Send to WordPress: Chrome Extension Exports Google Docs to WordPress Posts

photo credit: davekellam - cc
photo credit: davekellamcc

If you’re a Google chrome user, there are many free extensions out there that are useful for getting other applications to work with WordPress. Earlier this year we shared a collection of Chrome extensions for WordPress users, many of which are specifically tailored toward content creation.

Send to WordPress is a handy new extension that recently landed in the Chrome web store. It allows you to export a Google Drive document to WordPress as a post, with all the formatting and images preserved.

Once the extension is installed, you can create a new WordPress post from a Google document by right clicking one or more documents and selecting “Open with” -> “Send to WordPress.”

send-to-wordpress

On the next screen you’ll be asked to enter your WordPress site URL and login credentials. You have the option to send the post to save as a draft or to publish immediately. You can also elect to use your theme’s text styles and add images as attachments.

wordpress-login

Click “Create Post(s)” and your document will be automatically sent to your WordPress site. Once you’ve verified that it’s there, you can edit the post and make any further changes. You’ll find that any images included in your post(s) have been added to your media library.

draft

After testing the extension, I found that it adds some unnecessary classes and inline styles to the content that is sent over. This may be something that you will want to clean up, depending on how you formatted the document in Google Drive.

Why Not Compose Directly in WordPress?

Publishing via the Send to WordPress extension may seem counterintuitive at first. Why not just compose directly within WordPress? One advantage is that when Google Drive is online, you can work with others to collaborate on a post as a group and then have a convenient way to send your work over to WordPress.

The main benefit of this extension is that it allows you to keep working, even when you cannot access your site. Google Drive can be enabled for working offline, which allows you to organize folders, view your files, and edit Google documents without an internet connection.

If you’re on a long plane ride and the wi-fi isn’t working or you’re stuck somewhere without internet, you can continue to write posts, add images, links and formatting in Google Drive. The Send to WordPress extension lets you automatically send all of that work over to your WordPress site as soon as you have a connection again.

29 Comments


  1. Thanks for another well written post, Sarah. It sounds like another potential advantage might be if you have a photo in Google Drive, you wouldn’t have to download from Google Drive and then upload into the WordPress Media Library.

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  2. Nice article, but I would never publish/push an article right from Google Docs to WordPress. I write all my articles in Google Docs and copy paste the text into WordPress in text mode. Why? To avoid so many unwated HTML tags. It’s maybe a bit time consuming, but it’s still better all the HTML trash you get from Google Docs (or Office)

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    1. @Olaf – We’re making great efforts to eliminate as much HTML tags as possible during the post conversion process, I personally don’t like auto-created-useless HTML tags as well :).
      Although this is an ongoing effort, I think the tool is already in a very good condition when it comes to the created HTML output.

      I believe that if you’ll try the tool you’ll be pleasantly surprised from the end result, and that along with the text, links, lists etc the tool will also copy the images from the post to your media library, optimize them if you want, and will automatically make large images clickable for the user to view their large versions (including the use of prettyPhoto or other such plugins if are installed on your blog).

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      1. The concept sounds very useful and one I wanted to try. However, after installing and activating the extension (actually an app), several curious events happened: first, the extension is not listed in my list of extensions at Windows/Extensions in Chrome. Secondly, when I try to install the extension again, I get “Launch App” at the Chrome Web Store page. This brings up images from the extension description.

        Like I said, interesting concept, but having a difficult time, testing Send to WordPress for myself.

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  3. This is pretty cool. Will be very interesting to see how well the docs get formatted. Will check this out – thanks

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  4. This looks promising! I could see this for data intensive posts containing text, images, and tabular data (tables). This is somewhat off topic, but how would it handle a table that is being imported into a responsive WordPress site? Surely there are some additional styles that are needed to handle the table (are there WordPress themes with responsive tables built in?! I haven’t seen this..)

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    1. Seth – Many themes have built-in styles for tabular data (though of course not all of them). So ideally the extension would just transfer your markup, and the theme would apply its styles.

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  5. We excited to get this feedback. Sarah thanks for the post. We are an agency that creating great amount of quality articles and especially comprehensive technical guides. We found that uploading an article with an avg of 7 pics takes at least 20min. We already see it improving our customers’ website operations. We promise to push and make sure to listen to the community needs and improve on going.

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  6. @sarah

    Nifty little extension. Still limited but definitely has potential.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. @VinceTint – you don’t launch it like you would a regular extension. You have to right-click a document in Google Drive and select “Open With” to access the extension.

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      1. When I right-click a document, the only option provided under “Open With” is “Google Docs.” (I’m using the Mac version of Chrome, if that makes any difference.)

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      2. @Ed – the extension should work on Chrome+Mac, a few suggestions:

        1. Make sure that the extension is installed on your Google Drive account (the extension is installed per google account, not per browser). If you’re not sure if it is installed or not, try logging in to your Drive account and then install the extension again while you’re still logged in.

        2. Make sure that you are right clicking a Google Document (not a spreadsheet or an uploaded file – uploaded files, even if they are word (*.doc) files, need to be converted to be Google Documents first).

        3. If you are using the new Google Drive user interface, try switching back to the classic one by clicking on the settings button in your Drive account, and selecting “Leave the new Drive” from the menu.

        Hope it helps

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      3. I finally found the reason: The app was installed while connected to another Drive account. I deleted the app (the “Apps” icon on the toolbar had been staring me right in the face), logged out of the Drive account. Logged back into the editing Drive account, installed the app — and it worked. Thanks for the assist.

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  7. I am getting Error: could not export document/s, please try again when I try this. Do I need anything installed on my site?

    dj

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      1. Thank you, it worked, but the formatting didn’t transfer over, what do I need to change in my style.css or whatever to get the formatting to transfer?

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      2. Hi Nick – I’m not sure if you mean that no formatting was transferred whatsoever or just some of it.

        As of right now most of the basic styling (heading, layout, lists, links etc) should be carried over automatically while no css editing on your side is needed. However, the font type etc will be converted to what’s defined in your blog’s theme and those in the google document will not be used.

        We believe that in most cases people will want to match the formatting in their post to what they use on their blog, but for the special cases where someone would want to carry over everything we will bring back this option really soon.

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      3. Installed and attempted to use it. Got an error the first time. Closed windows and tried again. Again, error. After the third attempt, as wonderful as this tool seems, I’ve had enough. We upload 100s of posts to clients blogs, so this would have saved us a lot of time, but since I cannot get this to work, and can get no details for the error, I’m going to pass on it.

        Should anyone on the customer support desk see this, please reach out to me via info(at)creativecontentstudios(dot)com.

        Thanks!

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      4. Nida – My name is Ofir and we (iamondemand.com( build and maintain this app. It will be great to learn your needs and issues and make sure that you will enjoy our service. I will shoot you an email right after posting this comment. Looking forward to help and support. Ofir

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  8. Nida – My name is Ofir and we (iamondemand.com( build and maintain this app. It will be great to learn your needs and issues and make sure that you will enjoy our service. I will shoot you an email right after posting this comment. Looking forward to help and support. Ofir

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  9. Hi Sarah, We have developed a Google Docs Addon that helps users publish to WordPress from within Google Docs. It publishes content to a WP blog with full formating and images. The Addon is more intuitive then the chrome extension as it works within the Docs. Check it out here: http://plugmatter.com/publish-to-wordpress

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  10. When I try to use it, I got an error: Error: publish failed Show error/s.
    And clicking the Show error/s link only gives broken symbols and words.
    Tried several times. The results are the same.
    Looking forward to your help and support.

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      1. Hi Bradley,

        The video is a bit misleading (that’s our fault, I know :)), the add-on is indeed stripping the unnecessary class, styles and html tags that are not needed after the export and the majority of the tags that remain are those that are necessary to properly show the content in the WordPress site as close as possible to the way that it was created and styled inside the Google Document.

        After exporting, clicking on the “Visual” tab and then going back to the “HTML” tab of the WordPress editor will also remove any duplicated tags and therefore will give you the cleanest HTML code representation (as possible) of your content, if you need it to be that way.

        We haven’t shown that step because we wanted to keep the video simple and short, while still showing the major asset of the free add-on as we see it – which is to enable users to move their content from their Google Document to WordPress with a single click, while automatically taking care of uploading and positioning the images, formatting, links, tables etc… which is a tiresome and difficult task to accomplish today manually without using the add-on.

        I invite you to install the new “Docs to WordPress” add-on (the one that you showed in your attached video) and use the described above method, I hope that it will meet your expectations regarding your need for clean HTML output, and that you’ll also enjoy from the rest of the benefits that we hope the add-on gives to users.

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