Pasting text in Send a Message

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veehb
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Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:06 am
Location: Taylorsville, Utah, USA

Pasting text in Send a Message

#1

Post by veehb »

I'm still trying to find out if it is necessary to only post true text files into the message area of the "Send a Message" system. Looks like the text in Microsoft Word, with no special characters or format should work. So I ask, do we need to post only true text messages and not use the output from work processors such as Microsoft Word?

Or, was the system not working yesterday and did it return to "normal" late in the afternoon yesterday? Anyone able to post messages generated in Word and have them work? If it has to be true text files, I suggest a warning be posted as people enter the program that they should not use word processors to generate the text.

Maybe it is expected that we type the messages into the message window and not do copy and paste from commercial word processors? In the past I've called in with similar problems and was told to try other Browsers and to be sure to clear the Cash memory. That didn't work yesterday.

I'd appreciated an answer from someone who knows how to make this work every time. I wasted over hour yesterday trying to get an important message from our stake presidency to the adult members of our stake. It finally went out six hours later.

Thanks
lajackson
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Re: LCR was down, but back up for now

#2

Post by lajackson »

I type my messages into a text file. Then I copy and paste from that file into LCR Send a Message. I add any underline, italics, or bold that is needed. Then I send the message.

I have found that pasting from a text file always works. I have found that even such simple things as adding a carriage return in LCR Send a Message will cause spacing problems from which I am never able to recover.
veehb
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Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:06 am
Location: Taylorsville, Utah, USA

Re: LCR was down, but back up for now

#3

Post by veehb »

Thanks for confirming my finding. Wonder why they don’t let you use Word, the most popular word processor, without having to convert to pure text. Or, at least post an instruction that is has to be done with pure text. Good to know, after lots of time spent, what works.
scgallafent
Church Employee
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Location: Riverton, Utah

Re: Pasting text in Send a Message

#4

Post by scgallafent »

[-- Moderator note: I split these messages into their own topic because it was a pretty hard fork from the topic that they were originally posted in. Please remember to "Do not start a new topic in an existing thread; instead start a new thread." --]

When Send a Message was originally implemented, there was no attempt to provide extensive formatting capabilities beyond basic bold, italic, etc., and no effort put into providing cut-and-paste functionality from other systems that would preserve formatting. How do I know this? I wrote the original code and those were the requirements.

That means that:
  • We didn't do any work to try to support pasting anything except plain text, even from popular word processors.
  • We didn't build out any formatting capabilities beyond the basic features in the RTF editing component that we used.
  • There was no requirement or expectation that we would support any kind of advanced formatting like columns, embedded images, or anything like that that people are trying to use to turn this into a newsletter tool.
lajackson's observation that pasting from a text file always works is the safest approach. Pasting from Microsoft Word, even with no special characters or formatting, is NOT the same as pasting plain text. If you want to edit your content in Microsoft Word, I would copy-and-paste from Word into Notepad and then copy-and-paste from Notepad into Send a Message to ensure that you're pasting plain text.

Variations of this issue creep up all over the place. Sometimes it is helpful, like when I paste an SQL query into a chat window and the syntax coloring goes with it. Sometimes it isn't, like when I want to copy a scripture from the Church web site and paste it into my speaking notes.

I don't know whether Send a Message will eventually get an upgrade to provide more "word processor"-like features or the capabilities seen in some of the web email clients. That is a question of priorities and resources that someone else gets to handle.
russellhltn
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Re: Pasting text in Send a Message

#5

Post by russellhltn »

Using Word can result in changing characters. For example, it will change plain ASCII "quote" to fancier “quote” marks. Some systems don't handle the "upgrade" well.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.
veehb
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Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:06 am
Location: Taylorsville, Utah, USA

Re: Pasting text in Send a Message

#6

Post by veehb »

scgallafent, thanks for your clarifying explanation. Until this week I was not aware that Send a Message is really a text only system and can't accept input from commercial word processors. Now I will be able to use it the way it was designed. Maybe your explanation will alert others that this is a limitation in this system. I think I've copied and pasted Word files into Send a Message in the past. Maybe I was just lucky?? From now on I will be sure I'm only putting pure text into the message box and the will use the formatting tools provided at the top of the box.

This is a very handy tool and I'm asked often to send messages to various groups of members in our stake.
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