MS Word to WordPress

For years publishing from Word to WordPress was as easy as pie, or at least as easy as, Publish to Blog. Publish to Blog from Word worked through the first 41 version of WordPress, a long time, from the 2003 launch of WordPress v.7 through the first five years, until version 2.5.1. You can still find demo videos of this functionality in v2.5.1 on WordPress.com.

Shortly after that, things broke down between Microsoft and WordPress. Publish to Blog has not been fully supported, since 2008. It’s not completely broken, as I demonstrate in this example Publish to Blog draft post from Windows 7 and Word 2007 (what the college uses in the lab) to WordPress.com.

Publish to Blog PreviewIn the above example, I published my draft post without pictures or text formatting. It’s better to let WordPress handle the HTML formatting or Word may offer non-compliant formatting tags (think “reveal codes” in WordPerfect).

I also needed the visual editor to drag and drop my image to anchor them in HTML and add alt text for accessibility or the image will free-float (produce random appearance) and your images will not be web accessibility compliant (no alt text). The final edit of both text and pictures should be done via the visual and/or text editor.

If you’re an HTML programmer, you use the text editor, so this visual editor tutorial likely won’t pertain to you. Feel free to fast forward to the conclusion of the problem between Word and WordPress. But for the tens of millions of Microsoft Word users that simply want to publish to blog without a crash course in HTML, this visual editor workaround is key.

MS Word, since version 2007, has had the ability to publish to blog, including 2010, 2013.
To duplicate your own test of publish to blog:

  1. Click File > New > New Blog Post > Create.
  2. Click Blog Post > in the Blog group > click the arrow next to Publish > click Publish.

From the menu looks like this:

Publish to Blog
MS Word File New >Blog: Publish to Blog

Let’s look at the results:

This is what a fully functional publish to blog used to look like with embedded pictures and objects. I had to save it as a .png file and drag and drop through the visual editor. MS Word to WordPress

Conclusion:

Who is responsible for the failure to support web standards and when are they going to fix it? Microsoft has always been proprietary in its support of web protocols. Initially the browser was part of the operating system and not an independent application. IE 7 was the first to adopt relative web standards, not fully realized until version 10. The Microsoft Office was never web-compliant, choosing to deploy with intranet SharePoint, rather than internet cloud-based solutions. Microsoft Word alone supported three different versions of Save As… web page for static web sites (single-file Web page, Web page, and Web page-filtered), none of which ever really worked well.

That’s why Content Management Systems (CMS) were developed for dynamic web logs and publish to Blog first appeared in 2007 and 2008, through 2010-2013. Microsoft still supports Publish to Blog through the XML_RPC (Extensible Markup Language Remote Procedure Call) and the ATOM Publishing Protocol. AtomPub, or APP, is a simple HTTP-based application-level protocol for publishing and editing Web resources (where RSS feeds came from). WordPress, on the other hand, has dropped native support for these protocols on WordPress.com back in version 2.5.1 last known supported. You used to be able to choose what protocol you used in Settings >Writings, but no longer, though RPC is still built-in through SQL which is why this still works partially for text.

Since WordPress.com does not support plug-ins, it’s not likely that Publish to Blog will ever be restored. Publish to Blog does still work with Google Blogger through a plug-in, so it’s possible future implementations of WordPress.org may support Publish to Blog again through a plug-in similar to Google Blogger. Microsoft has since withdrawn support for its Windows Live Writer which was included free with Windows Live Essentials for Microsoft’s own Windows Live site. Windows Live Writer was supported through Windows 8, but a recent test with the recent Windows 8.1 shows it no longer works. You used to be able to publish to blog with Live Writer also, but Publish to Blog support is waning from Microsoft.

A final word about all office documents and accessibility. It’s not the fault of Microsoft Word alone, but any open office document from any software vendor office documents embed their own formatting code which causes them to require a viewer program or appear differently depending on the browser and format codes. Ohio State University Web Accessibility Center Publishing Office Documents to the Web describes the problem with all application programs:

As a web publishing tool it (MS Word) is a little less than ideal and produces very messy HTML. The same applies when using Google Docs, OpenOffice, or other word processors.

In addition application programs do not meet accessibility requirements required for internet deployment (alt text must be added) so all media library must be filtered and properly HTML anchored. There are are formatting strippers available paid and free (TidyHTML) which can filter formatting tags, but the sure method to publish MS Word content in WordPress is to use the Paste from Word (W Briefcase) button available in the Kitchen Sink (which automatically filters tags) and drag and drop media files in the WordPress visual editor.

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This entry was posted in Class Assignments by Michael T Reidy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michael T Reidy

I am a student in the Web Development Associates of Applied Technology degree program at Clark College, Vancouver, WA. Our instructor is Lorelle VanFossen who was a senior editor of the WordPress codex. I have been working with computers for over 25 years. My first computer job was managing electronic data processing (EDP) for the US Department of Commerce as the Assistant Manager for Electronic Data Processing (AMEDP) in the Tulsa Regional Office of the 1990 Decennial Census. The computer was a midrange DEC VAX/VMS. Soon after, PC Networks became popular and I became a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE+I) and Trainer (MCT). I was recruited by IBM Sales as a Field Technical Support Specialist to launch their new PC Server brand. A few years later, I was invited to join IBM Global Services as a Team Lead Professional Server Expert (PSE) and Global IT Architect for Systems and Storage. I was both a contributing member and review board architect of IBM Global Services Reference Architecture. As Lead Architect for Integrated Storage Management Services (ISMS), I was the sole author of the IBM Global Services (GS) Method for Lean Storage Services: ISMS. When IBM Global Services offshored to India in the financial crises of 2007, I relocated to Vancouver, WA. For the past six years, I have worked independently as an Audio/Video Producer and Web Manager. In my personal life, I am the Minister of the St Clare Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order in Portland, OR and a Regional Councilor for Troubadours of Peace (ToP) Region in the Pacific Northwest states of OR, WA, AK, ID. I am responsible for Communications Technology development for ToP Region. I served the National Franciscan Order – USA (NAFRA) as a Q Committee member (AV Producer) for the NAFRA Quinquennial XVIII in Chicago, 2012. I twice received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for National Engineers Week: Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. I chaired the efforts of IBM, in conjunction with Intel, to promote minority recruitment in engineering through such programs as: Hermanas: Diseña Tu Futuro (Design Your Future). I was also an elementary and secondary classroom advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). I currently volunteer as a Spiritual Care Volunteer for Legacy Hospital, Salmon Creek and as a Hospice Volunteer for the Veterans Administration in Vancouver, WA.

3 thoughts on “MS Word to WordPress

  1. Pingback: Publishing MS Word Content in WordPress |

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