Salsa Scoop> Salsa Weekly Highlight: Avoid Composing in Microsoft Word

Salsa Weekly Highlight: Avoid Composing in Microsoft Word

by Leslie Hall

(From this week's Weekly Highlight email. Click here to sign up to receive it in your inbox every week!)

It's the "Salsa Weekly Highlight," your quick hit on what's what in Salsa to help get the most out of your online program. As always, you can find plenty more news, updates, and conversation throughout the week on SalsaCommons.org.

This week, I just wanted to remind you to avoid copying and pasting from Microsoft Word into Salsa (and probably into most any other online design tool you might use).

I know, I know. It looks like it should work. Lay out page in familiar Word interface, copy, paste it into web page or email blast. Easy, right?

Unfortunately, appearances are deceiving in this case.

Word is an excellent word processor, but a poor HTML editor. Copying directly from Word will embed in the HTML a number of proprietary Microsoft tags that do not comply with HTML standards. These tags rarely trouble Salsa itself ... but they often confuse the web browsers or email clients your supporters are using to read your carefully-designed message.

In extreme cases, that can extend to literally breaking the page.

Reluctant to give up Word? Here are a few alternatives:

  1. Compose in Salsa's embedded What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor.
  2. Compose in one of the many third-party HTML design/edit applications.
  3. If you really must compose in Word, eliminate the Microsoft coding by first pasting it into a plain text editor like Notepad or Textpad.
  4. Or alternatively, use the "Paste from Word" option in Salsa's WYSIWYG.

Image: The Paste from Word button in Salsa's WYSIWYG

We're not anti-Microsoft. By all means, continue using Word to create printed documents. Unfortunately, for the present, if you're using Word to build your web pages or HTML email, you're almost certainly selling your supporters (and yourself) short.

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