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When editing a website, it's very common to copy-paste content from external sources (MS Word, email, etc.).

The Copy-Paste process has pitfalls because it imports BOTH text and formatting from source applications.

For a website to have consistent style formatting, generally you should remove any externally applied formatting.  

If you perform a direct copy-paste:
  • On the surface it appear nice - since elements such as bullet lists and bolded words have imported
  • However, many subtle formatting elements are also included: fonts, sizes, paragraph and link styles, etc. Although they may not be obvious at first, they can wreak havoc on page formatting, and they make your HTML far more complicated. 
    • For example: Why is spacing inconsistent?  Does this look different, shouldn't it be the same?

Clear Formatting

Two common ways to do this are:

Use Google Sites ‘Clear Formatting’ command

After you paste the content from the source into the Google Sites editor…
  • Immediately remove all formatting by highlight ALL the content and select ‘Format -> Clear Formatting’ (or use the toolbar button).
  • Then apply relevant formats using the Google Sites tools.  
Note be sure to include ALL content that was imported, since sometimes this process will leave some hidden formatting commands at either the start or end of the insertion.  These hidden formatting tags can result in anomalies in the webpage appearance.

Use a Basic Text Editor as an intermediate Copy-Paste step

Remove the formatting before importing the content into Google Sites.

Pass the content through a basic text editor as an intermediary step to importing it to Google Sites.


* Note: the text editor preferences should be set for Plain Text.  Do not use Rich Text (RTF) mode, since that includes formatting, and won't help here.

The Plain Text mode of the text editor removes all formatting.  You may also want to tweak text while it's in the editor.

Once the content is in the Google Sites editor…
  • Apply formatting (Headings, Bullets) using the Google Sites tools.