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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Adobe Dreamweaver CS6
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Discovering Paste Special

  • In addition to typing text onto a web page, take a look at the Paste Special command within Dreamweaver
  • You can add text to a web page by simply typing the text onto the page
    1. Create a new page using ctrl/cmd-n & save it as paste.html
    2. Add a title to the page
    3. Add the line "Exploring methods for pasting content onto a web page." at the top of the page
  • More often than not you will have text coming in from other programs that you need to move onto the web page
  • You have to be careful how much additional coding ends up on your web page when you use a basic paste
  • This extra information makes the page load slower to the user, and can often cause issues on the web page
  • Dreamweaver allows you to control how much formatting is included in the paste command
  • Take a look at the various paste options available within Dreamweaver and learn how to set the default method you prefer
    1. Be sure paste.html is open
    2. Open the paste-special-command.docx file within the text folder if you have Word on your system
    3. Open the paste-special-command.html file within the text folder if you do not have Word on your system
    4. Use ctrl/cmd-a to select all the text on the page
    5. Use ctrl/cmd-c to copy the text
    6. Click on the page.html page tab to make it the active document
    7. Select Edit->Paste Special
    8. Choose first radio button and click OK
    9. Look over how the text looks on the page
    10. Use ctrl/cmd-z to undo the paste
    11. Go through each of these radio buttons and note how the text looks
  • Click on the Preferences button or go to preferences within Dreamweaver & set the option you wish to use

Discovering Paste Special

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Paste Special Command from Word 1:05
    • Create New and Save
    • Paste Special with Full Formatting
    • Clean Up Source Code
    • Paste Special with Basic Formatting
    • Paste Special with Structure Only
    • Paste Special with Text Only
  • Change Paste Preferences 8:06

Transcription: Discovering Paste Special

Welcome back to

What I am going to talk about now is adding text content to a webpage specifically the Paste special command and working with that.0003

What the Paste special command does is allow you to control the amount of formatting that gets pasted into your HTML page when you paste content and is not usually something you think about.0013

If you are working in a word processing program you just copy and paste all the time, but when it is going onto a webpage you have to be a lot more careful.0027

Right now, I have Wanderlust travel, the webpage and that site, in my Files panel, this has been defined already and what I have here is a listing of the course files to start this course.0036

Now, I do provide chapter start files as well, so you may not have -- if you are using those -- quite as many files in your Files panel but do not be concerned about that.0052

We are going to look at the Paste special command, so first of all, we need to create a webpage to do this with, so let us do a control-N or a command-N to create a new page.0065

Now, I did that on my keyboard and nothing registered, what I am going to do is select the site in Dreamweaver and now I do a control-N and you can see it works.0078

Just know that when I say control-N, on the Mac side I am referencing command-N and I will try and be careful about using both of those depending upon your operating systems.0090

Now, I created a new page, what I need to do is save it and I can use a control or command-S to do that or I can go up to File save, whatever site is showing in my Files panel that is where it is going to save it and I am going to set this up to be paste.html.0101

You can see it was added to my Files panel very quickly by Dreamweaver, in case yours did not happen quite so quick, you can always click the refresh button in your Files panel.0124

And for my title I am going to say Using paste special, good to give it a title and get in the habit of doing that and what we want to do is add some content to this page.0135

And within the text folder I have a couple of documents, now it really depends upon what you are working in and your operating system and what is on it as to which one of these you want to use.0150

So, right now I have Paste special command as an HTML page, I also have it as a Word document, what I am going to do is use the Word document to do a copy and paste.0164

Do not worry if you do not have Office on your system; I just want to show you the distinction here.0179

And the paste special command -- as I said -- is a Word document, so what I am going to do is a control or command-A to select everything on the page and then do a control or command-C to copy, so I did a Select all and a Copy.0186

What I want to show you happens when I go to paste this, if I just do a control or command-V to paste I have no control over what I am specifically pasting.0205

What I am going to use instead is in the Edit menu, down within the Paste area there is one called Paste special, now it is not highlighted right now, so let me click in the Dreamweaver window and select Paste special.0218

And you will be able to see that you have four options now for pasting instead of just one and the option you choose really determines how much content is on the page, so let me show you what I mean by that.0236

I am going to use the last one and click OK, when I pulled this content in you can see it has some interesting fonts and text it has some bold, it's got bullets, it's got quite a few different pieces to it and now my file size for this page right now is 3K.0252

Now, if I go and look in Code view, you will see all this code mess and let me clean it up just a little bit; there is a feature at the bottom of the coding toolbar that I can use.0274

I will click on that to apply source formatting and it will organize it a little bit nicer for me in Dreamweaver, so you can see that big mess was organized.0289

But what I want you to see is all of this information you can see it is used over and over and over again throughout the document and that is because the way Word formats is a little bit different then we need in our webpage.0300

So, we have a 3K page and we have all this extra code in here, if I put it into Design view you can see it ends up green and it has a few different fonts in it.0316

Now, let me get rid of this; I will just control or command-Z backwards, to get rid of it.0328

And what I am going to do is use the Paste special one more time, this time I will use text with structure, but notice it is not going to pull in all of the formatting or styles, I will click OK.0334

Now when I paste you can see it did not pull in any of the green formatting and it is only 2K, now this is a very, very small document, but you could see there was quite a bit of code, if you consider that was a third of the page size was formatting.0351

Now, I have Italic, I have Bold, I have pulled in my Underlines and that type of thing on the page I just did not get the actual colors and we usually do not want those, we are going to use CSS to do our styling.0371

So, let me control or command-Z backwards one more time and I will show you the next Paste special option, this is the one that I tend to use the most and I will click on that, notice it gives me paragraphs list -- in other words Bullets -- and Tables, but it does not pull in any type of formatting.0386

Let us take a look at that one, I will paste it in, you can see I got the Bullets but there is no Bold, there is no Italic, there is nothing else for me to clean up.0407

Now this did end up the same size 2K which is teeny, teeny tiny, but because it is such a small page, but just note you do not pull in the Bold and Italic.0419

If I go into Code view and take a look I do not have all those styles and that information on the coding in the numbers and everything.0432

Let me control or command-Z back one more time, move back into Design view and this time I am going to use the last option in Paste special, Text only and when you use Text only what it does is strip out everything but the text.0443

You can see I have Bullets here and those bullets are not exactly in a bulleted sequence, if you need to strip out almost everything from your text so you can start over on the webpage, this is the best option.0461

Basically, there are four options here and you can see each one adds a little bit more formatting.0478

Now you can set your Preferences for a basic paste, so if I click on this it takes me to the Preferences area and you can see, by default, I will get a little bit of basic formatting such as Bold and Italic when I use a basic copy and paste.0486

And that is not normally what I want, so I am going to go to the second bullet so I do not get any formatting, I would not get Bold and Italic, but Italic is not good to use on the web anyway, it is hard enough to read on the screen.0504

That is a good thing I do not have to go back in and remove any of that myself so, now when I use a basic copy and paste, what it should do is do that for me.0520

Let me switch that, I will click OK; I am going to control-Z or command-Z backwards to have nothing on the page, now when I do a basic control or command-V you can see what happened to my page.0531

Well, I did get my Bullets added, now what I set in my Preferences for this feature and I will go up, this is the copy and paste area right here, notice it said Text with structure but I actually got Text and structure.0549

It did change, it did not pull in the Bold and Italic here, so I was able to get my Paragraphs list and Tables, so you will probably want to set your basic paste command using the Preferences area here, I will leave it up to you.0568

But just be aware that you have your choice to specify specifically what you want for that Paste command, if you are just using Edit, Paste special so you can always choose it this way.0585

But Word, specifically or other Word processing programs or even some of the other Adobe products can tend to pull in a lot of formatting and all that does is adding bulk to the webpage.0600

If we want CSS to do formatting we have to eliminate all of that and the Paste special command allows you to do that, so I will go ahead and save this page as paste.html.0614

Feel free, if you do not have Word on your system, to open up the Paste special command, copy it from the browser and play around with the Paste special in Dreamweaver using that file instead of this one.0629

But that is the Paste special command built into Dreamweaver, I think you will find it a very handy feature to use when you are copying content from one type of format into an HTML page.0644

So, that is the Paste special command in Dreamweaver.0658