Editing Body Copy

Use "New Draft" to start

We refer to "Body Copy" as the main content area of most sites.  Once you are in the Edit Draft area it works much like a Word document.  You can bold and italicize, align text in a variety of ways (e.g. left, center, right and fully justified), add numbered or bulleted lists and add additional images to the copy block.

  • Tabs at the top
    • first time you edit a page there will be three tabs: “View Published”, “Edit Draft”, and “Revision History”
      Three tabs are visible when first edit a page: View Published, Edit Draft and Revision History
    • the second time one more tab is added "View Draft"
      After the first draft is created a new tab appears.  Now have: View Published, View draft, Edit draft and Revision history

Caution Copying and Pasting From Word

Many of people use Word as their primary editing and once the editing is completed the document is often copied from Word and pasted into the copy area.

Unfortunately, this is a VERY bad practice for web pages.  Unbeknownst to many, there is invisible proprietary code which is pasted along with the main content.  This proprietary code directly affects how a page is displayed in a web browser - and not always in a good way.

Below is an example of the extra code carried forward for a simple paragraph. You don't have to actually read the code to see the significant difference:

An image showing an example of excessive code which is carried forward when copying and pasting from a Microsoft Word document
An example of a simple paragraph - it is very small compared to the proprietary data

To prevent this from happening we HIGHLY RECOMMEND using the "Paste from Word" button

Blow up of Paste From Word button
or the "Paste As Text" button:

blow up of the Paste From Text button

Use Proper Headings

Making use of proper headings is critical not only for search results, but also for readability and accessibility.  When a search engine such as Google or Yahoo "look" at a document.  Headings help search engines understand what is important. 

They also provide persons who use screen readers with an outlide of content.  A sighted person visually scans a page to figure out what is important and the headings help with this process by organizing information.  Using proper headings helps a non-sighted person do the same thing.

Use the "Format" dropdown to create headings

The formating drop down is located next to the image button

Heading Order of Importance

  • H1 is the most important and is reserved for the page title - it should not be used in body copy and it is not available from the format dropdown
  • H2 is the next most important heading and should be the first one you use within body copy
  • H3 is a sub-heading of an H2 - it is related to the H2 subject
  • H4 is a sub-heading of an H3 - it is related to larger H2 heading, and a child of the H3
  • H5 is a sub-heading of an H4 - it is related to larger H2 heading, and a child of the H4
  • H5 is a sub-heading of an H5 - it is related to larger H2 heading, and a child of the H5