Import and format content from other documents in Microsoft Expression Web

Posted by: Minal Agarwal , on 2/8/2009, in Category Expression Web
Views: 33556
Abstract: Every web site has some kind of content, be it text, pictures, files, links or charts. Such content can be created while creating a web site. But you need not wait for your content to be written till your web site is created. Instead you can start writing your subject in a Microsoft Word document and later copy/cut paste the same into your web page. But will I have to format everything again in the web page? Not really. Microsoft Expression Web has a feature of Paste options (similar to that in Microsoft Office Suite) that helps you format your content easily in minimum steps.
Import and format content from other documents in Microsoft Expression Web
In our earlier articles we saw various ways of creating websites and editing it. In all the methods we were creating the web sites from scratch, in other words we were entering the content while creating the site itself. But you can import your web site content from various sources. The content/text could be copied from Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft Excel charts or even from a document created in Microsoft Expression Web. Microsoft Expression Web has a feature of Paste options (similar to that in Microsoft Office Suite) that helps you format your content easily in minimum steps.
In this article we will take a look at how to paste such content and format it in Microsoft Expression Web.


To copy/cut and paste the text, open the source document and copy/cut the text. To paste the text in the Expression Web document you have two options:
I.                   Paste:
Press CTRL+V or go to Edit menu and choose ‘Paste’. Paste option provides you with options to control the formatting of the text.
Paste Options
When you choose ‘Paste’ from the Edit menu or press ‘CTRL+V’ in the design view of the web page, the Paste Options button Paste Button appears just below the pasted text. As you hover over your mouse on the button, it displays a down arrow next to it. Click on the arrow to get a menu as shown below:
 Paste Options
Let us explore each of these options in detail.
1.    Match Destination Formatting
This is the default option chosen when you paste text into your Expression Web document.
If the source document contains a style that has same name as your destination document, this option applies the styles defined in the destination document and not from the source from where the text is copied. For instance if you copy a Heading 1 text from a Microsoft Word document and paste it into the page in Expression Web, the pasted text would be formatted according to the Heading 2 style defined in Expression Web.
2.    Keep Source Formatting
This option retains the styles of the source document from where the text is copied, not considering the styles in the destination Expression Web document.
In the above example the Heading 1 would be retained as it would appear in the Microsoft Word document after it is pasted in the Expression Web page.
3.    Remove Formatting
This option removes all formatting and pastes the text as plain text.
4.    Keep HTML Only
This option can only be used when you are copying any HTML code and you want to render the text in the code rather than displaying the tags. For instance, <pre>This is a piece of text </pre> would be displayed in a preformatted
5.    Keep Text Only…
Choose this option when you want to paste just the text from the source. When you choose this option you get the Paste Text dialog box (image given below under the heading ‘Paste Text’) that contains more options to format your text. Paste text options are discussed below.
II.                Paste Text:
In the Edit menu choose ‘Paste Text…’ provides you with options to control line breaks, white space, etc. The Paste Text dialog box appears as shown below:
 Paste Text Options
NOTE: The same Paste Text dialog box appears when you choose ‘Keep Text Only…’ in Paste Options.
Paste Text Options
1.    Plain Text
Removes all formatting (line breaks, paragraphs, etc) and replaces line breaks with spaces and displays it as just one block of text. Note that any tables in the document are also lost and the table text is added to the block of text.
2.    One <pre> formatted paragraph
This option pastes the text into a single paragraph enclosed in preformatted text elements (<pre> </pre>). The text is adjusted into a fixed width box and lines do not break within the area defined by Expression Web.
3.    Many <pre> formatted paragraph
This option is similar to the previous option except that Expression Web uses new preformatted text tag (<pre> </pre>) for every line break found in the source document.
4.    Normal paragraphs with line breaks
Pastes the text into a single HTML paragraph (<p> </p>) and insert line breaks (<br>) wherever a line break occurs in the source document.
5.    Normal paragraphs without line breaks
This option would paste the text in separate paragraphs.
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This article has been editorially reviewed by Suprotim Agarwal.

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Minal Agarwal, Expression Web MVP, MCDST, works as a freelance web designer (SaffronStroke) working on Expression Web, Photoshop and other Graphical tools. As a hobby, she also runs a famous Food site called Follow her on twitter @ saffronstroke

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