WordPress 3.9 Has Built-in Support for Pasting from Microsoft Word

photo credit: This Year's Love - cc
photo credit: This Year’s Lovecc

A common support question that’s been popping up on the web after WordPress users update to 3.9: What happened to the “Paste from Word” button in the visual editor? If you find that the button is missing, don’t worry – it’s not a bug. Prior to this update, the button was located in the kitchen sink of the visual editor:


WordPress 3.9, however, removes the “paste from word” button entirely. It includes TinyMCE 4.0 and has better built-in support for pasting in blocks of text for Microsoft Word. The better your software gets, the more the magic happens behind the scenes. WordPress now detects if the pasted text is coming from MS Word and makes the appropriate changes.

Until I saw the question on Reddit, indicating that the button had gone missing, I had no idea that anyone still used this feature. The missing button is actually an enhancement, not a bug. Hopefully this information has reached you before you started deactivating all your plugins.

Unless you had been closely following the posts at make.wordpress.org, this improvement might have been easy to miss. Check out our summary of everything that’s new in WordPress 3.9. If you’re having any problems with the update, you may want to review some of the known issues with plugins before posting in the support forums.


27 responses to “WordPress 3.9 Has Built-in Support for Pasting from Microsoft Word”

  1. Finally….
    Has anyone tried it yet?

    I actually write my posts on a local install and copy and past into Word to check the spelling.

    When clients send text on a Word document it will be heaven to be able to paste into WordPress and not have to tidy it up.

    Well done the WordPress crew.

  2. Excel charts can’t be pasted in now though. The tinyMCE update has caused the most grief for users so far. Not surprising since it touches on a major workflow area of content editing. Most of the grief comes from plugins and themes that were not updated in time with this release. Also there have been a few cases where previously exposed functionality is either hidden or no longer available. It’ll only be a matter of time before its all addressed and everyone can forget the great WordPress tinyMCE update kerfluffle of 2014 :-)

  3. It doesn’t personally impact me as I’m not one to post data charts on my site. But I was trying to support some folks on the WordPress forums and was testing out their claim that one couldn’t paste an excel chart into the visual editor now and sure enough, it doesn’t work.

  4. The only reason I can think of using MS Word/Open Office/Libre Office/whatever else… is for the spell check and I am sure there is at least ONE plugin for that among the 30,540 plugins on the land of WordPress.

    One my clients posts on his own site (that I manage), I need to approve it, I get an e-mail on my phone.
    I go check it that there isn’t any spelling errors as his first language is not English.
    Part of the support package he wants. I get paid thus not complaining.

    Keith, curious: why a local install? couldn’t you do it on your live site and install a spell check plugin?

    • Hi @Miroslav
      Local install is only to save on bandwidth and to stop me hitting that big publish button before I’m ready.

      “One my clients posts on his own site”
      How do you deal with any images he upload?
      I optimise my images before I upload but not sure how a client would cope with that.

      • He e-mails them to me.

        Client is a chef, he runs a restaurant (he is owner), restaurant serves food of client/chef’s ethnic background.

        I took photos of all the menu options he has. Very few he takes when he does something new, he will e-mail it to me.

        He likes to blog about his home country. He serves most of the items he blogs about.

        He labels himself as an e-moron that can take photos.

        I am not complaining, I get free food whenever he changes the menu (he cooks items, I take photos, I eat items).

        • Hi @Miroslav

          “He labels himself as an e-moron that can take photos.

          I am not complaining, I get free food whenever he changes the menu (he cooks items, I take photos, I eat items).”

          Made my day reading this and I’m still smiling.

          I’m in the UK and most of my work is on business websites for local businesses.
          Most of my clients know very little about WordPress and care even less – they want a great looking business site, which ranks highly and brings them business.

          WordPress allows me to give them exactly that at a reasonable price.

          That’s my way of saying thank you to the WordPress devs, the plugin devs and everyone who contributes to WordPress.

  5. It might not do graphics or charts but I was still blown away by how good this really is:

    May as well quote my comment from https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/27160#comment:4

    I’ve got nothing of value to add to this ticket except to say this is awesome.

    Probably my first, last and only Word 2013 to WordPress posts.

    * ‘Table of Contents’ anchors match and work perfectly eg
    * Tables work perfectly with , , , , etc, even cells left blank are handled perfectly.
    * Imported and converted PDF -> Word 2013 – WordPress post, all good
    * Unordered Lists are fine, using
    * Ordered lists, I had one that didn’t work and an awesome on that did kicking off with
    * 140 page Word 2013 Document ~28,000 words to WordPress, not a single invalid HTML element…
    * 80 page PDF opened in Word 2013, copy and paste to WordPress post, all good
    * 1,000 rows by 30 column CSV (~65k words) open in Excel 2013, copy and paste to WP post, no problem
    * ~250 rows x 15 column Access 2013 to WP post, wow, still no problems

    I started off small then threw anything I could at WordPress, apart from formatting errors where images were in the original document that don’t become part of the WordPress post via copy and paste I could not fault a thing.

    I’d never recommend people to write in Word, Excel, Access and then copy and paste to WordPress, but if someone told me they did I would say “Isn’t it an awesome WYSIWYG experience”

  6. Hi guys.. I’ve recently updated my theme to WP 3.9 and to my dismay, I’ve lost the capacity to actually see the “visual” editor in my posts/pages. The only thing that’s left is “Text” editor. Why is this happening and what can be done to revert it to show “visual” instead? Also, I tried working on widgets, I actually don’t see the new feature working as presented on the WP 3.9 release video. Is this dependent on the actual theme used for a particular site? I would appreciate any help on this, as I’m about to change my theme to another one which would actually work (show the visual editor).

  7. I’m running into a problem pasting from LibreOffice Writer into the WordPress Visual Editor. This happens in both pre-WP3.9 whether pasting directly into the Visual Editor or using the “Paste from Word” button. It happens in WP3.9 and also on wordpress.com. Pasting into the “Text button” or the Text/html editor is fine. (but of course you lose your formatting)

    So… When you paste from LibreOffice, it looks like nothing has pasted. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. However, if you look in the HTML/Text editor, you can see that the only thing that was pasted is

    Short of having to use some in-between step, anyone have a clue how to paste from LibreOffice?

  8. It does NOT work. I am incredulous at this change.

    The people who got rid of the ‘paste from word’ radio button that DID work were likely of the same opinion as you that nobody used it..

    I say this because they didn’t bloody test it!

    The reason why I am so incredulous is I spent two hours trying but ultimately failing to properly format a post.

    The most important function of WordPress, surely is to publish posts. These guys should not be allowed to remove that in such a cack handed, unplanned out and vulgar manner.

  9. I agree with the above comment. Now when I copy from Word it strips out all the formatting. And also the Visual Editor is not working. I make changes in it then hit save and it strips out all formatting. I am beyond frustrated with this change.

    How can I get the Visual Editor to work again? I really don’t want to do all the formatting in HTML.

  10. I use Open Office just for my resume and used to use the paste from word feature with reasonable success, but now when I try to paste from Open Office it’s just chaos. There’s not even any consistency in how it screws up all the formatting so I have to go through every line of the document, making sure nothing is messed up. I resorted to finding a conversion utility (http://www.textfixer.com/html/convert-word-to-html.php) before finally pasting in.

  11. Unless you are getting pretty fancy in Word, why not use a full featured WordPress editor (I use WP Edit Pro) and just paste it in as text and then do the formatting in the WP Editor.

    I’d imagine that from the tinyMce (the editor WP uses) end of things they’ve decided that there are lots of various word processing programs and they all use their own flavor of coding to format things on a *paper* page – far too many programs to keep track of.

    Also, even when the “Word” button did exist, it was no panacea. It left lots of crappy and unnecessary code behind. I even had a few clients who used the Word button to paste in from Word and it looked fine… In every browser except Internet Explorer!!! In IE no text on the page was displayed at all!!!
    What??? A Microsoft program that couldn’t read Microsoft coding? What a concept!!


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