Paste as Plain Text

Have you ever been flummoxed by strange things happening when you paste your content into the rich text area on your website? Maybe the content behaves weirdly or looks inconsistent with the rest of the site?

Here are step-by-step instructions on pasting correctly within your content management system:

  • Copy your text from the source (e.g. Word doc or email or another website) and paste it into Notepad or Text Edit in plain text mode. Now copy the content from Notepad or Text Edit and paste it into the website field.


  • Copy your text from source and on the website click on the Paste as Plain Text button and follow the instructions.

Once you've pasted the text, you can check to see whether it has pasted successfully as plain text.  Plain text format has these characteristics--all of the text is the same size/font and not bold/italic/underlined, there are no links or images. If you see any formatting, delete the text and try your paste again.  On some browsers, using your mouse to right click and paste does not ensure text is pasted as plain text, so make sure you use keyboard shortcuts to paste, or use Notepad/Text Edit.

One way to check whether the text is plain text is to click on Disable Rich Text below the editor body field and inspect the HTML.  Here are examples:



Above you see all kinds of html, such as these tags: <li>, <ol>, <a>, <span>, and font/style declarations.

Plain text


Above you see only <p>, <br/> and &nbsp; tags.


Here's a comparison:


Tidy up Spacing


Upon pasting, you will need to tidy up the spacing between paragraphs.  At the beginning of each paragraph hit backspace and then hit Enter/Return on your keyboard.  This will ensure that your content is broken into paragraphs, <p>, instead of being separated by line breaks, <br/>. Styles that you pick from the paragraph styles drop down on the editor apply to whole paragraph, so they begin at the beginning of a paragraph <p> and extend all the way until their is a closing paragraph tag </p>.  If you separate with break tags, <br/>, the paragraph styles you choose will spill over into the next paragraph.


Good luck!



This is a video about why you should always use the Paste as Plain Text function on your website.