Pasting from MS Word


I have a user that says she cannot paste content that she has written in Microsoft Word. I tried and did not have an issue pasting something from Word. But I do know that there are many formatting issues when pasting Word content into many editors. Some of a “Paste from Word” option to strip out incompatible formatting.

Does Surreal have such a feature. I could not find it if there is. I wish I could give more specifics, but since I could not reproduce the issue I’m just taking my clients word for it. Has anyone else run into issue when pasting from Word?


Pasting from Word is a tricky one. There are many variables that make it difficult to work around: different versions of Word, different operating systems, different web browsers, etc. On top of that, Word adds its own custom tags and styles — it doesn’t create semantic HTML, meaning your website’s styles get overridden for the pasted content.

When possible, I recommend creating content directly in the CMS. The Save as Draft feature can be used to save progress as you edit so changes never get lost :slight_smile:

That said, sometimes it’s necessary to paste content from Word. In that case, the best approach is almost always to paste it as plain text and add the appropriate formatting back afterwards.

To paste as plain text:

  • macOS – CMD+SHIFT+V
  • Windows – CTRL+SHIFT+V works in some applications. (If it doesn’t work, you can also paste into Notepad then copy the text again and paste into the editor.)

If you don’t paste as plain text, you’ll spend a lot of time fixing formatting. The editor tries to cleanup proprietary tags, styles, and invalid markup, but that means what you see in Word isn’t exactly what you’ll get when you paste it into the editor.

One last option you can try to retain formatting is to save the Word document as HTML. Look for the “Webpage, Filtered” option, which produces much cleaner HTML. You can copy the resulting HTML and paste it into the editor using the </> button.

I hope that helps!


Thanks Cory. I agree with your first two paragraphs. I develop PHP applications and accommodating people that insist on pasting from Word is fun to deal with. One editor that I sometimes use is TinyMCE, which has a “paste from word” option. This essentially just forces the paste as plain text function.

I do not agree with your third paragraph. It is never necessary to paste content from Word. Some people just don’t know any better :slight_smile:

I will pass along the “paste as plain text” instructions and have them try that. It should work for them. Thanks for your time. Everything is going well.


Is there any chance of getting a “paste as plain text” built into the editor? I’ve had the same issue with my users and even though I asked them to use the commands to paste as plain text they never remember how to do it.


I don’t see why not. I wonder if we can get it to auto-detect Word content somehow. Worst case it may have to be a textarea with instructions to paste it there.


Users can also paste from Word, then highlight the pasted text and Remove Formatting. Of course that also removes attributes like bold, italics and underline.