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How To Submit Articles: Preventing Formatting Issues When Pasting From MS Word
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Have you ever written an article in MS Word and then copied it into an article submission form only to be surprised that the pasted article did not look like the original?

The words were probably much the same, but the formatting was messed up somehow. Maybe strange characters appeared in the place of apostrophes in your article, or perhaps the article became double spaced or developed some other type of spacing issue.

When that happens, it’s perplexing and irritating. You wonder “How in the world did this happen? I did a straight copy and paste.”

It may help to know that most online publishers want articles to be submitted in plain text format–that means that there can’t be any HTML or special formatting in the article submission.

“But I created my article in Word, ” you say, “and I didn’t put any HTML or special formatting in there.”

I know, it’s confusing. Articles written with MS Word or other word processing documents deceptively look like they’re in plain text format, but behind the scenes it’s a different story. There is special formatting that you can’t see. An article written in MS Word is not in plain text. When you copy and paste it into a program that requires plain text, you’ll see the hidden formatting issues spring to life.

How can you get it so that this article you’ve created in Word appears properly when pasted into the article submission form?

The good news is that the solution is so easy that you’ll never have to deal with the any of that “pasting from Word” weirdness ever again.

Just use the “Paste from Word” tool on Here’s how to do that:

- Go to the Enter Your New Article page in

- Click on the Paste From Word icon in the article body field. It looks like a clipboard with a piece of paper over it. Here’s a screenshot so you can see exactly where the Paste From Word icon is located.

When you click on the Paste From Word icon a pop-up box appears:

You would paste your article into the pop-up box, and then click “Insert” to make the article show up in the correct field on the article submission page. Entering your article in this way makes it so that any strange characters or formatting are removed and the article appears in plain text.

This should help you deal with most of the formatting issues that you might encounter, but just in case you were the one who innocently added the formatting error, let me tell you what sorts of things publishers look for when looking at formatting.

Articles should have multiple paragraphs (rather than just one big paragraph).

As a guideline, you should have an opening paragraph, paragraphs that contain supporting content, and finally a concluding paragraph. Depending on the type of article that you’re writing, your layout may look a little different, but you get the idea–your article should be comprised of multiple paragraphs rather than just one big one.

Your article should be single spaced with a blank line in between each paragraph, like so:

List items should be clearly separated from each other, either appearing on separate lines or being separated by a comma.

Many times it’s easier to understand if you can see an example. Here is an example formatting issues with list items in an article:

Here are tips that writers of any skill level can do to improve their writing: Write on a daily basis Get a role model Review your final draft carefully Allow a time of separation from your article before trying to proofread it Have realistic expectations of how many articles you can write in a certain time span….

Do you see what the problem is? There are a bunch of list items in the above paragraph, but the items are running together. There are a few ways to solve this issue, but here’s my favourite: The writer could put each of those items on a separate line, using a bullet point to draw attention to it:

Here are tips that writers of any skill level can do to improve their writing:

*Write on a daily basis

*Get a role model

*Review your final draft carefully

*Allow a time of separation from your article before trying to proofread it

*Have realistic expectations of how many articles you can write in a certain time span….

For writing for article marketing, I would really suggestion either numbering the list items or using bullet points, as well as putting each item on its own line.

Article formatting may seem like a technicality, but publishers pay attention to it for good reason. If your article is not formatted correctly, it makes it hard for readers to read. This is one of those things that is pretty easy to fix–most times it just involves using the ‘paste from Word’ tool at or being thoughtful about how your sub-headings and paragraphs look on the page.

NOTE: Please be aware this content may now be outdated. For the latest quality content on how to build massive publicity for your website, please go to The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere"

6 Responses to “How To Submit Articles: Preventing Formatting Issues When Pasting From MS Word”

  1. Your information was very informative and on point. Many online marketers could really benefit from the services that your site offers.
    Howard Rice

  2. Adrian says:

    You can save a word document as plain text by using the drop down options in word when using the Save As option. That also removes the hidden html that saving as a word document would include.

  3. Jack says:

    Hi Steve,
    Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a happy and prosperous New Year.


  4. Sir,
    I am following your training to article marketing and I am fully concentrating your training. I will regularly send articles and blogs.

    with regards,

  5. Mildred Owen says:

    I have been looking for information such as yours, for a long time. From these articles, I do not need to search anymore. Your articles include everything that a blogger, ezine article writer or Internet marketer needs to know to get started. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, as this information helps me very, very much, and it is free. Thanks to Elaine Currie for suggesting your site, in “Ezine Article Writing.”

  6. Steve Shaw says:

    @Adrian: Hi Adrian,

    Yes, if you are not a member of and you need to convert an article to plain text, you can also do so in Word. Here are some instructions for that I have from a while back–hope these still apply:

    1 – In MS Word, open the document that contains your article and choose “Save As”.
    2 – In the File name box, type a new name for the file.
    3 – In the “Save As” type box, select “Plain Text”.
    4 – Click “Save”.
    5 – If you receive a message that states, “Text marked in red will not save correctly in the chosen encoding,” you can select the “Allow character substitution” check box.

    Sometimes people have reported that this doesn’t work when copying and pasting articles into submission forms though. If that happens to you (and if you’re not able to use and the “Paste from Word” feature), then you can do this extra step:

    Once your article is saved as a Plain Text file, you can open Notepad and then open the file that contains your article. Then, copy and paste the contents of the plain text file into the submission form.

    But again, anyone who is using has a much easier way of converting a file to plain text–just use the “Paste from Word” tool on the article submission page.

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