Copy/paste is one of the functions that CMS users make the most frequent use of. You type a document in Word, email it around campus, and then post it up on your website by copy/pasting it into a web page, voila!
Only, as many users find, it’s not that easy. With the new version of Microsoft Office (2007 for PC, 2008 for Mac), a lot of extra background coding is carried through, which causes a kinds of formatting errors. It’s best clean your content thoroughly before importing it from any version of Word (read a blog post about that here).
Other users may find that various settings on their computer interfere with their ability to use their mouse to copy and paste in the CMS. If you find that your mouse is blocked for some reason, you should still always be able to use the keyboard shortcuts:
- PC shortcuts: CTRL-C for copy, CTRL-X for cut, CTRL-V for paste
- Mac shortcuts: Cmd/Apple-C for copy, Cmd/Apple-X for cut, Cmd/Apple-V for paste
One final issue that prevents CMS users from using copy/paste functions is interference from browser addons, specifically toolbars. Many of these toolbars are installed by default with browser upgrades, and it takes a savvy user to notice the checkbox and prevent them from being installed. While they add extra functionality to your browser, they can also block some of the CMS functions, so it is better not to have them installed in the browser that you use to do your CMS work.
Common toolbars include the Google toolbar, the Ask.com toolbar, and the AIM toolbar. Here is a picture of what they might look like on your screen:
If you have these toolbars installed and are having issues with copy/paste functions, you can remove them yourself. You can visit this Help FAQ to learn more about it.
As IT moves the campus through the upgrade to the newer version of Microsoft Office (2007 for PC, 2008 for Mac), CMS editors have been reporting errors when copying and pasting content from various Office programs, most notably Office. These errors are being reported more for 2007/2008, but are present in older versions of Office as well.
When you create a document and format it in Microsoft Word, the program adds code to the document to communicate that formatting. When you copy and paste from Word into a web page, some of that extra coding can conflict with web browsers to create a variety of errors. These range from missing content, strange error codes displaying on your page, broken news stories, or very strange formatting to your text. All of these errors make it much harder for your users to navigate your site.
Whenever you choose to copy and paste from another source, you should always clean out the extraneous markup (directions can be found here). However, sometimes even that is not enough to strip out some of the Word 2007/2008 coding. In that case, the best practice is to paste your text into a text document (Notepad for Windows and TextEdit for Mac, or any other plain text editor you may have), and then copy it out of the text document to paste it into your CMS text editor. Doing this does remove links and formatting, but it will avoid the errors generated by the extraneous Word coding. You can then establish links and format your text using the text editor in the CMS.
In order to check your page for errors, you should view it both on the read and author servers (cms.skidmore.edu/yoursite and cmsauthor.skidmore.edu/yoursite), and also view it in more than one browser (IE7/IE8, Firefox and Safari are browsers commonly found on campus). Note any differences or issues, and contact the Web Development team (use our web form) for support if the above suggestions do not help you in fixing your pages.
We are working with Paper|Thin, the parent company for our CMS program, to resolve issues with copy/paste, including the errors most specific to just Office 2007/2008. In the meantime we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our editors and site users.
Web Development Coordinator