Frustration with Microsoft Word

We’ve been testing out DrupalEd for a faculty collaboration and sharing of information this fall, and it’s been flexible and worked like a charm after a normal CMS learning curve. 

So our faculty are submitting their summer professional development reports through a form.  The problem is that when faculty copy and paste from Word, even using the TinyMCE copy from word and code clean up buttons, it does not work so well.  Paragraphs are lost, hard returns are added. 

Trying to change the editor/word processor that people write in is so difficult.  I’m already asking faculty to change by publishing these reports on a web site versus just e-mailing them to our Academic Dean.  I don’t feel as though I have the option of adding steps such as saving the file as a txt file first.  This is supposed to be simplifying but is making   more work than it is worth.

Personally, I’ve started doing all of my writing in Notepad++ or Windows Live Writer because it is light and I find it so much faster than the either Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Write. 

I guess I could use recommend faculty use Wordpad, but it’s still asking folks to change from the editor that they are used to using.  Change is tough enough as it is, and I’m working hard to simplify this year.  Even as I try to simplify, I feel as though I keep piling up more directions in front of our faculty who are already busy and don’t need more administrative burden. 

What do you do?  Any suggestions on how to move faculty to a web based platform without all of the code issues easily?  How do we simplify in this time of ever expanding options? 

Thanks for any input.

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3 thoughts on “Frustration with Microsoft Word

  1. Hi Alecia,

    Yes, that is obvious and appropriate for most users, but because everyone already uses Microsoft Word, it’s a new login and steps. So it cuts out a small number of faculty, who are critical to get this type of project off of the floor.

    In reality, the project has worked well, and I’ve tweaked the posts that have spacing problems with Notepad++.

    Thanks for the comment!

    – Alex

  2. You could just disable TinyMCE for the user role that is submitting the reports – that way, pasting from Word produces plain text rather than evil markup. It’d make editing and prettifying a bit interesting, but would solve the evil-HTML-paste-from-Word problem.

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