Cleaning up Word Formats

Written by the Instructional Design Team

As computer programs do not always talk with each other very well, things copied from Word (or other rich format processing applications) may “choke up” a content page or activity in a learning management system (LMS). It is best to clean up the format in Word when you copy things over. You can choose any of the following options when doing so:


  • Use the “save as” function of Word to save your document in “plain txt” format, re-open it in Notepad or another plain text reader. Copy from this program into the corresponding editor windows of your learning management system.
    Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 4.35.09 PM.png

  • You can also toggle to the html mode (Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 4.33.08 PM.png)when copying content over, as this html mode will not keep any formatting you originally have. After you have copied the content over, you can then toggle back to the normal view, and make and format change you need. It is better to format the text with the editor that comes with the learning management system.

  • If you have short descriptions you want to copy over, you can paste such content in an address bar of a web browser you are working with, which will remove all formatting, and then copy it into the editor of your LMS.   Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 4.34.10 PM.png

  • If you use Moodle, Moodle has a tool (Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 4.32.09 PM.png) in its text editor for you to “remove formatting”.

  • If you have a document that goes beyond one page, consider converting it to a PDF file and attach it in your LMS, instead of copying and pasting the text to the learning management system’s editor you are using.

If you are working with a test, we recommend that you get our help using Respondus to convert the Word file into a test file, instead of using copy-and-paste methods to create your questions. Respondus can clear all such formatting in a batch, instead of you having to do this question by question. Contact the Instructional Design team if you need assistance with this kind of task.