Fix the Root Cause
What makes more sense: keep fixing the same issue or eliminate it with a process change? Specifically, why worry about website content spelling and grammar when you can minimise potential issues at source?
Producing error-free, grammatically ‘correct’ content involves a simple modification of the process you are likely already using.
Carefully configure Word, Google Docs, or their open-source equivalents (if that’s your thing) and then use these applications to create and edit all your written content.
Why? When you use these applications, you benefit from significant investments in multi-lingual spelling and grammar checking capabilities. You can check your work continuously as you revise and edit and transfer error-free content to your institution’s content management system. No need to rely on end-of-process, in-browser spell checking or external grammar checkers.
This approach recognises and supports higher education’s devolved content creation, but desire for uniform content standards. Placing powerful customisable spelling and grammar checking with contributors and editors, offers greater content editing flexibility than relying on one, or more, centralised CMSs.
Moreover, universities and colleges can also have complex content language requirements, from multilingual recruitment content, to entirely bilingual sites, to departments that generate multilingual content. Word and Google Docs have language and dictionary support for most of these needs.
To ensure these applications are giving everything they’ve got, enable the following:
Custom Dictionary – set institution-specific spelling, preferred styles, abbreviations and other preferences, that won’t need subsequent on-page verification. Google Docs and Word let users set up ‘personal’ dictionaries.
Grammar – Word has a default set of constructions that it will flag as ‘ungrammatical’, but you can improve the list and drive out further solecisms such as clichés, inappropriate passive voice, split infinitives and the like to hone your work. Google Docs has limited grammar checking available through spell checking.
Language – your copy of Word or instance of Google Docs should be set to the version of English appropriate to your audience or house style. Word currently has more options than Google Docs for English variants.
Once your content is ready and approved it will need transferring to your institution’s content management system. Word uses non-standard tags to format on-screen text and carrying these tags over to a CMS can upset subsequent web page presentation.
Fortunately, most of the popular higher education content management systems will readily remove non-standards tags and allow in-house styling to be applied by a CMS.
Copying Word/Google Docs Content to Higher Education CMSs
We've reviewed our past content management system posts and highlighted the "copy and paste" capabilities of the most popular CMSs:
Cascade Server – can take content directly from Word or Google Docs and will remove proprietary mark up from the text. More details here: https://www.hannonhill.com/cascadecms/8/kb/pages/copy-and-pasting-content-from-microsoft-word-or-google-documents-into-the-editor.html
Contensis CMS – the editor provides a paste-as-text button that removes all formatting from source content.
Drupal – CKEditor shipped with Drupal offers paste from Word or Google Docs functionality to strip proprietary mark up from the original text. More details here: https://www.drupal.org/docs/8/core/modules/ckeditor/overview
Ektron – Ektron’s editor supports copying and pasting directly from Word through a paste-as-Word option. More details here: http://documentation.ektron.com/cms400/v802/mobile_help/Advanced/Content/Managing%20Content/Editing%20Content/eWebEdit400/ewe400%20toolbarbuttons.htm
Episerver – the editor allows copying and pasting from Word through a paste-as-Word option. More details here: http://webhelp.episerver.com/latest/cms-edit/editing-content.htm
Joomla – copying and pasting directly from Word does not work with Joomla’s standard text editors. Install the JCE Editor Joomla extension to access a copy-and-paste-as-plain-text capability that strips all formatting from content created on Word. More details here: https://extensions.joomla.org/extension/jce/
OmniUpdate – OU Campus’ editor automatically removes any invalid content, code and styling that Word inserts. More details here: http://support.omniupdate.com/oucampus10/pages/justedit/justedit-toolbar.html
Sitecore – accepts content pasted from Word documents, but strips all formatting from the source content. More details here: https://doc.sitecore.net/sitecore_experience_platform/content_authoring/creating_and_editing_items/editing/paste_content_from_microsoft_word_into_a_rich_text_field
Squiz Matrix – paste content from Word into Squiz’s editor and then use the Remove Format tool to delete Word’s proprietary mark up and tags. More details here: https://matrix.squiz.net/manuals/content-types/chapters/edit-editor
TERMINALFOUR – use the Paste-from-Word button in the editor to remove non-standard tags and mark up from Word.
WordPress – paste content from Word and use the paste-as-plain-text button to remove all formatting. More details here: https://en.support.wordpress.com/microsoft-word/
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