Explanations and instructions of all things Writing.Com.
When creating an item on Writing.Com, there are three ways to add your text to a create item page. (For directions on how to get to a create item page, see: How To Create an Item)
Type Directly Into the Item Body Text Box
The Body text box of the CREATE A NEW (ITEM-TYPE) page is indicated by the gray text "Your writing goes here...". You can type your work directly into the Body text box of any item type.
Information is typed directly into the browser window. While you are typing, there is no automatic save feature on WdC as offered in most commercial word processing programs, to protect your work from accidental clicks or keystrokes, computer glitches, or power outages. The site recommends that you save often and backup your work. Using Select All/Copy and your computer's clipboard is an option. Using the Lazarus form recovery add-on in your browser is another option: http://getlazarus.com/
When you are finished typing, clicking a Save option sends the information to the site. What you typed is not saved on the site until the submitted Save request is successfully completed. When this happens, the site returns a success message. If there are errors in the submitted Save request, the site returns an error message, reloads the information in the form, and asks you to correct the problem(s) and try submitting the Save request again. However, internet issues can interfere with the transfer of the information, and your save request can be lost. This is why the site recommends that you always make sure you have another copy of your work before submitting a Save request.
Copy/Paste Text From Your Computer (Recommended)
You can create your work in a word processing program on your own computer, then upload it to Writing.Com by copying the text from your word processing program and pasting it into the Body text box of the create item page. You can copy/paste your work into the Body text box of any item type. This procedure ensures you maintain a viable copy of your work while transferring it to your WdC portfolio. An added benefit of saving your work on your hard drive may become apparent should your financial situation require you to downgrade your membership level, thus reducing the number of items you can maintain in your WdC portfolio.
Steps to Copy/Paste Your Text
1. Open the existing file on your computer in your word processing program.
Note: If problems with text wrapping and/or symbols occur when you copy/paste directly from Word or Word Perfect, convert your file to a .txt file before transferring the content to the site. Copy/pasting the content to the MS Notepad program and from there to the site will also prevent these problems.
2. Select all of the text. Some programs have a "Select All" tool under the "Edit" pull down, and most automatically select all of the text when you click in the document area and press Ctrl-A.
3. Copy the selected text. Most programs will copy the selected area when you press Ctrl-C. If not, check in the "Edit" pull down for a copy tool or consult your program's help documentation.
4. Open a CREATE A NEW (ITEM-TYPE) page on Writing.Com. (See How To Create an Item for directions on how to do this.)
5. Click in the Item Body text box labelled with the gray text "Your writing goes here...", and paste what you had previously copied. Most web browsers will treat Ctrl-V as paste. You can also check the program's "Edit" pull down menu or consult your program's help documentation.
6. Fill in the appropriate information in the other sections of the form, such as the item's title, content rating, brief description, etc.
7. When you are finished, choose a Save option at the bottom of the form. The information is not saved on the site until the submitted Save request is successfully completed. When this happens, the site returns a success message. If there are errors in the submitted Save request, the site returns an error message, reloads the information in the form, and asks you to correct the problem(s) and try submitting the Save request again.
[Beta] Drag and Drop from an MS Word Document File
This option is available only for Static items and entries in Book items.
The drag and drop process supports these file types: MS Word .doc and .docx document files, .rtf files from any program, and .txt files from any program. Images in the file are not supported. There is a limit to how large the file can be.
To create a new Static Item, you can begin by using the drag and drop box at the top of the CREATE A NEW ITEM drop-down area to load your MS Word document file (.doc or docx), an .rtf file, or a .txt file. The drag and drop lightbox opens. While your upload is being transferred, you have the option to stop the upload, and once it is uploaded, you have the option to remove the uploaded file. When the upload finishes, the drag and drop box displays two options to continue, SIMPLE and COMPLEX. When you click one, the system opens a CREATE A NEW STATIC ITEM page and either (SIMPLE option) loads your text into the Body text box or (COMPLEX option) shows a message box stating the name of the uploaded file that will be converted to HTML and stored, as well as directions for how to edit an item created with this option. Fill in the rest of the form and choose a Save option to complete the process.
To use the drag and drop feature to add an entry in a Book item, first open the Add an Entry page in the Book item, and then use the drag and drop box at the top of that page or drag and drop the file to the entry's Body text box. [Note: You cannot use the drag and drop box in the CREATE A NEW ITEM drop-down area of your portfolio page to create or edit an entry.] The drag and drop lightbox opens. While your upload is being transferred, you have the option to stop the upload, and once it is uploaded, you have the option to remove the uploaded file. When the upload finishes, the drag and drop box displays options to use the file to create a new entry or a new item. Click on Add New Entry to display the SIMPLE and COMPLEX options. When you click one, the system either (SIMPLE option) loads your text into the Body text box or (COMPLEX option) shows a message box stating the name of the uploaded file that will be converted to HTML and stored, as well as directions for how to edit an entry created with this option. Fill in the rest of the form and choose a Save option to complete the process.
Whether you use the drag and drop process to create a new item/entry or to edit an existing item/entry (that might have been created another way), the process gives you both options:
The SIMPLE option is for files with text, fonts, colors and basic formatting. This option formats the text with WritingML and puts it in the Body text box where you can continue to edit it onsite if you want -- or you can edit the file on your computer and use the drag and drop process to edit the item.
The COMPLEX option is for files with tables, columns, and more colors. This option formats the text with HTML and stores it, and instead of the Body text box in the item's edit page, you see a message box identifying the filename on your computer and giving directions for editing. Editing must be done in the file on your computer. To update the text in the item, open the item's edit page and use the drag and drop process again with the edited file (or another file).
You can try either one and go back and forth between the two options using the drag and drop edit process to decide whether you like what it does or not. Note: From the edit page of an existing non-drag-and-drop item, you can copy/paste the current on-site version of your item text to your computer and save it in a file in case you might want to put it back again later. From the SIMPLE results, you can copy/paste the old version back into the body text box if you need to.
Avoiding Problems with Quotation Marks and Apostrophes
There are two kinds of quotation marks/apostrophes. Online uses straight quotes, and word processors default to using curly or smart quotes. The method you use to upload your writing can affect the quotation marks and apostrophes.
If you type directly in your browser, your text will have straight quotes.
If you transfer your text containing curly or smart quotes from a word processing program with copy/paste, the version on the site might or might not retain the curly or smart quotes. With quotation marks and apostrophes, the behavior of the copy/paste operation depends on how your browser is currently handling them. Straight quotes are not affected. To avoid potential problems, you might find it helpful to change the automatic smart quotes setting in your Word software, and then do global search/replace operations in existing files to set the quotes and apostrophes in your Word documents to straight quotes -- before copy/pasting to the site.
If you use the drag and drop feature, the version of your text on the site will have straight quotes. The version of your text on your computer will remain unchanged.
Whichever method you use to put your work on the site, remember to save your work frequently and back it up in multiple places.1