Pasting content

When pasting into the editor, our CMS will do its best to convert the content pasted into a web friendly format. Heavily formatted documents may have mixed results, but the editor does accept most styling such as font colour, bold, italic, headings and tables.

When the document is saved, we process the pasted content further to remove blank items, excess unused styling and common formatting errors.

In some situations however, there's hidden formatting and characters that only become obvious when pasted, and this can cause the content to appear differently than expected.

In this case, it's generally better to either:

a) Use the Clear formatting button

Copy and paste the content into the editor, select all the content, then click the Clear formatting button in the toolbar to remove the excess styles.

This will strip inline formatting such as font colours, italic, bold – but will leave major headings and paragraphs in place.

b) Paste in as plain text

Paste as "plain text" will strip all headings, colours, tables etc. and paste in the raw text. On Windows, Chrome and Firefox support pasting without formatting using the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + V

To paste as plain text on a Mac, you can use the shortcut Option + Cmd + Shift + V to paste without formatting.

Common formatting issues


There is no standard tab character on the web, so pasting in tabbed content, or content that used multiple blank spaces to indent text will result in that spacing being stripped when the document is saved.

Properly formatting list items will retain indents as per the global site styling

Blank lines

Empty blank lines (for example between paragraphs) will be stripped out when the document is saved. This is to ensure the content saved is semantically correct and meets accessibility guidelines.

If blank space needs to be added occasionally to content for presentational reasons, inserting a horizontal rule and setting the rule to spacer from the Formatting menu will result in a semantically and visually correct space.

Multiple Fonts

Seeing words and lines with more that one type face or letters in different colours is a classic sign that there's hidden code in the background that is getting pasted with your text.

Complex characters vanish

You've uploaded an article on mathematics and the equations have disappeared! MS Word handles equations so well that it can be a shock when they don't translate to the web. Mathematical equations are a pain online. Sometimes the solution involves converting the equation into images and placing them inline into the text. If the images are sitting above the words and look odd - then it may also require a little bit of code added into each image tag to say  style="vertical-align: middle;"

Odd spacing within words or between words

If you notice your article has odd spacing within a word or between words double check the text pasted into the content area. Sometimes the problems are visible in the editing region.

As a first step to resolve. Try using the "Clear Formatting" tool. (As outlined at the top of this page.) This is often successful to remove unwanted formatting.

Peeking at the Code as a tool to detecting underlying problems

To detect the underlying problem look at the code behind the problem area to obtain some clues as to what is happening. Some times this will reveal odd hidden code is being copied and pasted with the text as it is inserted as per the example shown below.

In the dashboard the code inspection tool which has an icon depicting a set of angled brackets, can be a useful tool to see what is happening in the background. It doesn't matter if you don't understand the code but it can give a clue that there's hidden players at work.

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