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How To Submit Articles Preventing Formatting Issues When Pasting From Ms Word
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Have you ever submitted an article into an online form and noticed that after doing so the article did not look exactly like it did when you first created it? Maybe extra line spaces appeared, or perhaps strange characters showed up in your article. Sometimes question marks will take the place of apostrophes, or other unusual formatting issues appear.
When that happens, it's irritating and confusing. You were just looking at your article in MS Word, and it looked fine. Then you did a "copy and paste" straight into the article submission form, and somehow things got messed up. What's going on when that happens?
Many online publishers require articles to be submitted in plain text format, meaning with no HTML code or special formatting. You may be thinking, "But I didn't put any HTML in my article, and still my article ended up looking weird after I entered it into an article submission form."
It may help to know that MS Word documents are not in plain text--what you are seeing when you look at a Word document is not the whole story. There is hidden code going on behind the scene, which can show its ugly face when you try to copy and paste into a form that only takes plain text.
What can you do to get around that? Some online publishers will automatically convert your article to plain text, or they may offer a tool that will do it for you. Alternatively, you can create an article in Word and then convert it to plain text by taking the following steps:
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.
A few people have reported that this didn't work for them when copying and pasting articles into submission forms though. If that happens to you, 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 from Notepad into the article submission form.
Submitting an article in plain text format should alleviate most formatting issues with your article, but here are a few other formatting issues you may run into when submitting articles:
* Your articles should be comprised of multiple paragraphs, rather than being just one big one.
* Your articles need to be single spaced. It is not necessary to indent paragraphs. Instead, put a blank line in between paragraphs.
* Be sure that your list items are clearly marked and appearing on separate lines. You probably will write your original article like that, putting your numbered list items on separate lines, but sometimes in the process of copying and pasting your article into an article submission form, the formatting can get messed up and some your list items may scrunch together on one line. That is just something to check for when previewing your article.
The formatting of your article may seem like it's not a big deal, but how your article appears on the page influences how easy it is to read and how professional it looks. With some major issues like the ones covered in this article, it may even cause a publisher to decline your article. By learning how to prevent and troubleshoot issues that come up when copying and pasting an article that was originally created in MS Word, you'll have an easier time getting your article accepted by online publishers, and your article will appear just as you intended.
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