Editing HTML and copy workflows!
April 19, 2010 9:11 AM   Subscribe

How can I copy and paste text, and include links, without making a mess?

I edit lots of copy; people either file in the body of an email, or in a Word doc, or in a Google doc. In none of these cases can I successfully copy the text for editing into a publishing platform without losing the a tags for links. (I've tried "show original" in Gmail; I've tried viewing source and saving that; I think I've tried it all? I've tried copying plain-text with links into Pagespinner and restyling and ended up with... no links.)

OR, I can get the "a" tags, but it also includes taking all the other built-in html (like color and/or font tags and u tags and the like) and I end up with more of a mess than I wanted to end up in.

Part of this may be my problem, though? In Microsoft Word (v. 12.2.0 Mac Word 2008) documents, links show up like this when they're copied and pasted in:

{HYPERLINK: "http://www.whatever.com" }

Which is not very helpful, as I then have to go back in and handcode it.

I CAN'T TAKE IT ANY MORE, handcoding hundreds of links a day! WHAT SHOULD I DO to fix my very broken copy flow system?
posted by RJ Reynolds to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's not entirely clear what you're trying to do.

I'll take a guess. For GMails and GDocs, use Firefox, highlight the text of interest, right-click, choose View Selection Source. That'll give you the HTML for the links, if that's what you want. Word docs, not sure.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 9:19 AM on April 19, 2010

Hmm, thank you, close! But actually that still gives me ALL the HTML, including p tags and various CSS declarations, which are unnecessary, as I'm putting the text into a web publishing backend.

Sorry if I'm being unclear. I want to take text, and to included HTML formatted links, from various document sources is what I'm saying, in short. Thank you!
posted by RJ Reynolds at 9:25 AM on April 19, 2010

So you're copying multiple blocks of text from different sources directly into your html editor? Is there an intermediate step? Are you pasting into Word first?

What if you copy into a text editor, does the hypertext format properly? Sorry, not sure what the standard text editor on a Mac is, but something like notepad, emacs, whatever. Sounds like the problem might be that Word doesn't handle the link like hypertext, but with its own code.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 10:06 AM on April 19, 2010

If you use a text editor that supports regex, (e.g. Notepad++), you can paste the text in there then have a search and replace that turns {HYPERLINK: "http://www.whatever.com" } (or whatever code you're getting) into a valid hyperlink.
posted by camcgee at 10:26 AM on April 19, 2010

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