WordPress has established a platform that enables writers to create content that is readable because of their editing tools. From bold and italics to using subheads and snappy bullets, the formatting bar allows the creation of engaging and easy to look at pages. However, there are solutions for people who do not use the built-in editor directly or who are not aware of the shortcuts that can speed up the formatting process. The article analyses how to fix common WordPress formatting issues. Solving formatting issues requires users to leverage the solutions offered by WordPress to create readable and engaging work.
1. Formatting headings
Headings are the visual cues of articles as they determine what the entire content will be, thus influencing the way the text will be read. It is the part which attracts the readers’ attention and thus should not only be engaging but also readable. HTML headings in WordPress are created using heading tags. These tags are essential in clearly showing the transition between headings and subheadings. They provide the structure of the text and they vary in different sizes, from being the main heading to being the least critical subheading.
“When trying on the WordPress text editor, it is easy to wrap heading tags on the formatting bar depending on the heading number and the level of importance,” says Rachel Mitchell, Head of Content Writing at APA Outline service. However, this is a challenge if the text is exported from an external text editor, since the initial editing may be overwritten. This can be rectified by selecting ‘the appropriate heading type’ from the ‘visual editor’ drop down menu.
2. Copy from Word to WordPress
Text that has been directly copied to WordPress from Word cannot be published into a website without editing, as the platforms are not compatible. The HTML codes cause formatting problems. To avoid the mysterious codes from appearing, select the ‘insert from word’ icon which is a ‘W’ on the toolbar, which opens a dialogue box that allows selecting the document in Word.
Another option is to switch to the text editor where, after pasting the content, the user deletes the extra codes, tags and line breaks, and ultimately makes sure that each entry is correctly placed on a new line. The text editing mode allows the user to manually remove the codes. “However, the process is tedious and requires a user with HTML knowledge,” notes Brian Peyton, Senior Content Writer at ConfidentWriters.
Arguably, a less tedious process would be to use the two-step copy/paste process where the user copies the text into a plain text editor to remove the formatting, and then manually adds the formatting styles to the text again.
3. Use formatting plugins
These plugins enable users to avoid formatting issues. Using the TinyMCE Advanced plugin and the WP-Typography plugins offers a solution that assists users, especially when transferring content from external editors. The TinyMCE Advanced plugin fixes a lot of major issues in WordPress. It allows users to keep the paragraph tags that are added manually and to have multiple options such as creating and editing tables and setting the font type and size from the editor. Users get additional practical features that would have otherwise required the user to manually input them.
The WP-Topography offers more comprehensive solutions such as character placement options for formatting, thus helping the user to style characters such as ellipses and trademark symbols. The plugin is free for WordPress and offers additional features such as CSS hooks like numbers and uppercase words for styling, and, also space control and hyphenation.
Other plugins such as Wordable have been recommended to fix formatting issues which allow users to type normally as in a Word document. It allows all the formatting and images to be imported to WordPress without further editing, making it an essential collaborative tool. However, it is a paid plugin, therefore requires users to invest in a paid plan.
It is common for writers to use different editing tools when creating content and use WordPress to import the content to their online platforms. However, it is evident from the article that copying and pasting text from an external editor introduces a whole host of issues to the page. Using plugins and the formatting features in the visual editor, and the text editor allows users to solve these issues and to create content that is readable.
Author bio: Paul Bates is a technical writer and editor at Paper-Research.com and SwiftPapers.com. He also contributes to HuffPost, Medium, and Essaysadepts.
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