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.
In 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:
- Click File > New > New Blog Post > Create.
- Click Blog Post > in the Blog group > click the arrow next to Publish > click Publish.
From the menu looks like this:
Let’s look at the results:
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.