Thursday, April 28, 2011

Uploading MS Word documents to Blogger - via Google Docs

This article is about transferring material from Microsoft Word .doc documents to your Blog posts, using Google Docs to keep the formatting.


Previously in writing posts for Blogger in MS Word, I noted that if the source document is MS Word, then the only approach is to copy/paste via a text-editor.

Unless, of course you use a totally different tool like Windows Live Writer instead of Word.

But recently I had a Flash of the Blindingly Obvious (TM):   Google Docs lets you upload MS Word documents, and offers to convert them to Docs format during the upload.   Google Docs is web-friendly, and is pretty compatible with Blogger.   So it should be possible to upload a Word .doc to Docs, convert and open it in Docs and copy/paste into Blogger.


Does it work?


So far, I've tested this approach with two different documents:  a very simple document (one header and two paragraphs) and a slightly longer document with a lot of formatting (I took my own CV, took all the personal details out but kept the formatting).

You can see the results in these posts:
The results are promising.   In each case, the pasted contents were accepted by Blogger and the post published without any further editing.    

There are some issues:
  • In the complex document, the tablular layouts are followed strictly, resulting in some parts of the post that are wider than the standard column.
  • I haven't tested it with a long document (more than 4 pages):  in theory there shouldn't be any problems, but I have had issues with conversion of some larger document previously.
  • And I'm sure that it won't work with some of Word's advanced features that aren't (yet) supported by Docs,eg auto-generated tables.
  • I'm not sure how well conversion from Word on a Mac to Google Docs works.  
I'm keen to hear about other people's experience with this approach - please leave a comment below comment below.


Detailed Instructions:


Follow these steps to transfer material from Word to Blogger via Google Docs:
  1. Log in to Docs   (www.docs.googe.com)
  2. Click Upload ...
  3. Click Select files to upload ...
  4. Select the source files from your computer
  5. Made sure that "Convert documents, presentations, and spreadsheets to the corresponding Google Docs formats" is ticked 
  6. Click Start Upload ...
  7. When the upload is finished, choose Go Back to Google Docs
  8. Open the file in Docs
  9. Select the contents that you want to upload (possibly use Select All from the Docs menu)
  10. Copy (you may need to use Edit / Copy from the browser, not from inside Docs)
  11. Switch to the Blogger post editor, in Compose mode
  12. Paste.
  13. Add any other content that you want in your post.
  14. Preview the post, and do any final formatting changes that are needed.


Related Articles:


Writing posts for Blogger in MS Word.

Showing a PowerPoint Presentation as a slideshow in your blog

File sharing hosts:  places to store files used in your blog

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27 comments:

  1. Brilliant, Thank You!

    This easily & neatly inserted a table into Blogger.
    I had previously tried publishing separately from Word, Excel, Google Spreadsheet & Google Document, which all produced rubbish!

    Needs wider publication...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maybe I spoke too soon?

    My table appears OK at first.
    If I then make any edits to the post (outside the table) then all the contents of the table (but not the outlines) disappears.
    This is repeatable.

    Next?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ouch.

    Blogger's editor doesn't officially support tables, though I know it's possible to create them by editing the HTML. (And I've learned the hard way not to use the un-do button in the editor on any post that's got a table in it.)

    Can you write the entire post in Word, and load it to Blogger via Google Docs? (Maybe even skip Word and just work straight in Docs, which does have support for tables?)

    This sort of stuff is frustrating, but is getting better: when I started doing serious work with Blogger just over 12 months ago, tables weren't an option at all, but now at least simple ones do work.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have worked quite a bit at this & find that the text of my tables is still there, but it is transparent!
    You can see it if you select it.

    Looking further, I just tried copy/pasting straight text (the word "Testing") from a Google Document to Blogger & that produces the same effect.
    Looks perfect until you either try to edit or even just open & close "Edit html", when it goes transparent.

    Here are the html versions before & after visiting "Edit html".
    I had to remove "span" from back & front of both blocks of html to get past your checker...

    < style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;" id="internal-source-marker_0.4843812353424348">Testing

    < style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;font-family:Arial;font-size:11pt;color:transparent;" id="internal-source-marker_0.4843812353424348" >Testing

    I suppose this does not just affect me...

    Thanks for any help!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I got it to work by pasting my table from Google Docs, switching edit modes till the text disappeared then copying the HTML to a text editor, replacing "transparent" by "rbg(0, 0, 0)" everywhere & pasting that back in place of the blog's old HTML.
    Produces the required result, and seems fixed through several edits...

    ReplyDelete
  6. unfortunately the results for not-simple layouts are very bad. Using Google-docs as the interface between word and blogger seemed OK at first... until the blog came up all twisted and absolutely no good. I am still looking for the possibility to write it all offline on word inc photos and then upload it. so far - so bad. no, I am not familiar with html nor wish to hence "switching edit modes till the text disappeared then copying the HTML to a text editor, replacing "transparent" by "rbg(0, 0, 0)" everywhere & pasting that back in place of the blog's old HTML." would not work for me....
    help anyone?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I followed your advice for a simple text: everything worked out fine - I use MS Word for MAC.
    Thx

    ReplyDelete
  8. That's great news bdorh, thanks for letting us know that the approach works cross-platform too.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This works great for me. I've found out the approximate width of my text lines in my blog window. I've adjusted GoogleDocs to that width. I do all my formatting in GoogleDocs and copy-paste into my Blogger compose window. Works like a charm!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm glad you've found an approach that works for you James. But I'd be a bit cautious about focussing on getting line-lengths just right - because some of your readers may be using screens that are a long wider or narrower than your own. It you put "hard" line breaks in at the end of each line, the blog could look very odd on differnt-sized screen.

    ReplyDelete
  11. nope, it didnt work for me and I've been trying for a while...following step-by-step instructions. When I go into 'edit' then select all (it goes all murky) I right click copy, go to my blog right click 'paste'....NADA. Now what?

    ReplyDelete
  12. does this work backwards? is there a way to turn my blog into a word doc w/o cutting and pasting each post?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Google Docs won't let you go backwards. But there are various tools that let you make a printout of your blog, presumably some of them will also create output that can go into a Word document. (Haven't done it myself, sorry, so won't recommend any.)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I just tried this on a table with a lot of formatting (bold, shading and borders) - all the formatting worked, except the bold/unbold bits.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Brilliant, thanks for posting, you just saved me hours of work and frustration. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to help - and to hear that this approach is still working.

      Delete
  16. Yes this works well - just a tip. If you are having problems with formatting in Blogger once you have actually pasted from Google Docs into Blogger(GD) just try formatting the parts you are having problems with in GD again and then repaste in Blogger and you should solve the formtting problems.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Google Docs are very usefule, to all people who want to share important forms and formats i raise thumbs up to google doc

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sorry guys but it seems to me there is no difference whatsoever between this complex, time and resource consuming procedure and a simple straight forward copy (CTRL-C)from the Word document on my C: drive to the new post.
    Almost all formatting, and definitively all pictures are lost in both cases.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, but there is a big difference.

      You can copy-and-paste from Word to the HTML view of the post-editor, and as you say, this loses all formatting.

      But you should not EVER copy-and-paste from ANY Microsoft product to the Compose tab. Even if you get away with it a few times, this approach will cause serious problems for your blog sooner or later.

      As noted, some people have had success with converting via Docs, some haven't, it all depends on the complexity of the document.

      Delete
  19. Why can it not publish from Word like I used to? All the resources are there in Word, such has New Blog Post, Register your blog, Ribbon for blogging. I did this in 2010 but cannot now. This makes no sense.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks from Asuncion Paraguay.....it seems to work...i tested it with a not-too-complex-doc document...thanks

    ReplyDelete
  21. This process doesn't work if you have in text citations (Chicago or Turabian). I have tried a couple other ways as well with no success..

    ReplyDelete
  22. Even easier method: compose your post as per normal in Word (2007+). After saving the final version to your definitive *.doc(x) file, save a temporary copy in the 'Web page (Filter)" format using the Save-As option. This will generate an HTML version with all the Office tags stripped out, and will launch it on-screen. Simply copy-and-paste from that Filtered HTML version into the Compose window of your blog. I can confirm that feedburner validates these contributions OK, whereas copy-and-pasting from standard Word documents causes it to fail.

    ReplyDelete