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Aug 13 / Jeff Chase

Story displaying badly? Ditch Word and trust B/R’s publishing tools

You write a great piece, publish it, look online and—whoa! What the heck is wrong with it? Got a problem like bad line breaks? Or have you not even gotten this far? You’ve placed the lead image and now you’re not able to add more media. What’s going on?

Almost certainly, the problem is bad code, or more specifically, errors within the HTML. And we can all but guarantee that the culprit for that error is the external word-processing application you used. Something like Microsoft Word.

Word-processing programs tend to add code to make them look right in their software, not on the web. For that reason, our engineers are not able to support those programs, and we don’t recommend you use them. You should use the Bleacher Report publishing tools for your B/R writing.

We’ve probably all learned the hard way that it can be dangerous to write in a browser. If you accidentally close the window or it crashes, you can lose hours’ worth of effort. But Bleacher Report’s system has you covered.

When you’re writing a standard article, the system auto-saves your work constantly. When you’re working on a slideshow, it saves every time you click between slides. So even if the worst happens, you’re not going to lose much.

If you absolutely must create your piece in an external word processor, you have to convert your copy to plain text before pasting it into the B/R publishing tool. You may have to do some Google searching to find instructions for converting your copy to plain text in your favorite word-processing program. There are too many versions of too many applications for us to list them all.

And anyway, we don’t want you doing it! B/R’s Product team has done a lot of work to make the publishing tools stable. You can use it with confidence.

A better approach, if you’re still nervous about using the browser as a work tool, would be to copy what you’ve written from the publishing tool to an external application to have as a backup.

If you’re doing your writing in the B/R publishing tool, or you’ve pasted plain text into it from an external word processor, and you’re still having a problem with bad code, please send an email to and

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Jeff Chase is Bleacher Report’s Community Moderator. 

  • Scott Carasik

    Another option is to not add any HTML or do anything but basic text in word. Then do all the formatting in the BR tools after you copy and paste using “Paste as plain text” from a right click option menu.

  • Dan Hope

    I always write my drafts in Google Docs, but what I do with the new CMS is paste into the publisher then select all and go to “Format>Clear formatting.” This works well for me, it keeps in any hyperlinks I add + then I just have to do any other formatting within the publisher.