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Word 2010: Publish to a blog

March 7, 2011

One of the ‘save and send’ options in Word 2010 (and possibly Word 2007 as well) is to publish to a blog post.

If you already have a blog, you just have to enter its URL and your username and password, when asked. Then you decide if you want to post now or post as a draft. It all sounds very easy — and it is.

But it’s crap there are some issues with it that I found in a 5-minute test of the process.

Issue 1: More than one blog with a single blog provider

I have more than one WordPress blog registered under my username and password, as I suspect do many people. My blogs are titled differently and have different URLs. One is this blog you’re reading now, another is my personal blog, and I have a couple of basically inactive ones I use for dumping information. When I first created a WordPress account and blog, I gave it a name  (let’s call it ‘Rhonda’); subsequent blogs under that username have names like ‘CyberText’ and ‘Travel’ (also not its real name).

So, I use the Word 2010 ‘save and send’ interface to create a link to my blog in Word 2010. I enter the URL for the CyberText blog plus my username and password. And when the blog account link is created, my CyberText blog gets listed as ‘Rhonda’, NOT ‘CyberText’ as I wanted and expected.

Next I thought I’d try creating a linked blog account for my ‘Rhonda’ blog. I enter its URL (different URL to the CyberText one, but same username and password), and now I get the second blog listed… as ‘Rhonda1’!! I guess if I continued creating links to the other blog accounts, they would be listed as ‘Rhonda2’, ‘Rhonda3’ etc. What use is that??? I want to see the blog names, as reflected by the URLs.

When I tried to edit the account listing, there’s no option to change the name displayed in Word. You can only change the URL, or enter a different username/password. Why can’t I edit the displayed name of the blog so I can easily distinguish one from the other?

What I can’t understand is WHY Word lists my ‘CyberText’ blog as ‘Rhonda’ in the first place. The URL is totally different to the ‘Rhonda’ blog. It can’t be going on the username/password combination as Word 2010 allows me to create multiple blog accounts from the same credentials.

BTW, when I used Word 2010 to post a draft to the ‘Rhonda’ blog (really the CyberText one), it correctly posted in the CyberText blog. That was good.

Issue 2: Really bad HTML from a well-styled Word document

The test draft blog post I did from a Word 2010 document was really simple and it used an existing test document I had already created. Here’s part of that document as it displays in Word 2010;  it uses outline numbering for headings and all numbered headings are left aligned at 0 cm with a 2 cm tab between the outline number and the heading text; all text in the document uses default Word styles:

And here’s how that same content looks when published to my blog from Word 2010:

Pretty darned ugly, huh?

So what’s going on here? Well, I checked the HTML in the post and found a couple of things:

  • Word’s nasty additional markup created in its ‘save as HTML’  in previous versions seem to be stripped out. This is A Good Thing.
  • The STYLE tags created by earlier versions of Word in the ‘save as HTML’  option are also gone. This is also A Good Thing.
  • However, Word does NOT deal well with outline numbered headings when it publishes a Word document to a blog post. I may be maligning Word here — this could be a WordPress issue, not a Word one.

Here’s what the HTML looks like:

I don’t know where the 56 pt left margin came from — all the heading styles were left aligned with the margin in the Word document.

And the OL/LI stuff is where it’s trying to convert the outline numbers in the headings into a number sequence in HTML — and failing badly.

So, maybe this ‘publish to a blog’ was a good idea, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Didn’t anybody at Microsoft actually test this with REAL documents? Sure, while not many people will publish a document with outline numbering, there are plenty who will. Think of all those scientists and engineers, lawyers, government types, etc. who use outline numbering in their documents — publishing those documents to a blog will cause all sorts of bother for them until this process is improved dramatically.

I’ll continue writing my blog posts in a text editor or directly in WordPress. This feature in Word is still in its infancy and is pretty useless for me as it has been implemented.

3 comments

  1. Hi Rhonda,
    Did you ever find a solution to the problem of Word using the same blog name for all your registered blogs. I am having the same issue. Frustrating!
    Liz


  2. Hi Liz

    No, I gave up.


  3. Thanks Rhonda, what a pain. Can’t tell which blog is which!



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