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UnWord

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Microsoft Word, part of the Microsoft Office suite, is a great word processor. I use it myself for documents, e-books; and I use the rest of the Office suite for email, spreadsheets etc. It's a great desktop app.

It's really easy to copy / paste from Word into a blog post to make creating pretty blog posts with good spell checking super easy. Which is fine, except that unless you have (and use) a special "Paste from Word" feature in your blog's post editor, lots of Microsoft Office-specific custom HTML comes along for the ride as well. You may not see it when you're editing, or even on your blog when it goes live, but it's there. When emails built from that post arrive at non-Office subscribers, and sometimes when Office-using subscribers do something like forward an email, much weirdness can result. Text changing size and / or typeface are common symptoms; or line spacing suddenly not being what you expect. 

The reasons why this happens relates to things called CSS classes and custom conditional HTML that nothing outside of Office and Internet Explorer recognize, and I'm not going into the gory details here. Suffice to say it's there, and it's frustrating to everyone when perfectly happy posts "suddenly" don't display correctly.

When things like this happen, my usual advice is "Don't paste from Word to create posts!"

But that's unrealistic. People are going to do it anyway, and that ought to be OK.

So, here at FeedBlitz, we're going to make it OK.  Tools should interoperate properly and your emails should work, consistently, for as many of your readers as possible. So, as of now, FeedBlitz will attempt to fixup Microsoft Office-related custom markup to minimize the sometimes bizarre effects that it can have; we call it "UnWord."  The results are more consistent rendering across the board, and your emails staying that way when your subscribers forward or reply to them.

There's nothing you need to do; it's automatic for everyone. Now you can use Word to create your posts and they will both look better and behave more consistently across the board. Although, honestly? I still recommend you draft your posts in your blog's post editor. You'll get the best results that way, no matter what.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous resume said...

Word is the best help in my writing work, it facilitates my life

4:18 PM, November 28, 2011  

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