WYSIWYG Editors: A Handy Guide

Emily HaaseWYSIWYG editors are useful tools within software systems that allow non-technical marketers to create and manage live zone or email content. (Need a refresher on live zones? Check out this post.)
Simply put, WYSIWYG stands for “What You See Is What You Get.” It provides the user with a look at how the end product will appear, without having to edit or insert code. WYSIWYG editors are fairly common in a variety of software these days, and Concentri is no exception.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you prefer to create content through a WYSIWYG editor.

Have a strong template in place. Having a strong template in place makes it easier to control what that content will look like when used and published. A professional services team or an in-house designer can create a template for you.

Resist the urge to play. When inserting content into the WYSIWYG editor, it’s very important not to mess with it too much with it in that mode, by changing font colors or sizes. This helps maintain a standard look for your messaging.

Whatever you do, don’t copy and paste. Never copy and paste text from a word processing program or from an email into WYSIWYG. That’s because the formatting within the email or word processing program will be carried over into the WYSIWYG editing environment, which interferes with the appearance of your message. Not to mention, copying and pasting from the above programs often causes that email or newsletter you’ve worked so hard on to have a file size that is too large to send.

Solution: Instead, copy and paste your content into WordPad (or “notepad”), and then copy that content into your WYSIWYG environment. Pasting copy into WordPad rinses much of the styling from the text you copied. It’s not foolproof, but it helps. And don’t always rely on format stripping tools as they can’t catch everything. (This is often seen in newsletters that have different fonts in different sections.)

Always check rendering. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. It’s vital to do a variety of message-rendering checks before sending. Send yourself tests. Open those tests in browsers (IE, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) to see what things look like in each, then make adjustments as necessary.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you or someone on your team is using the WYSIWYG editor. They’ll help to ensure your content always looks great.

If you have any questions on how to use a WYSIWYG editor, let me know in the comments below!

(Special thanks to Joe McGarvey, Onboarding Specialist here at Knotice for his input on this post.)

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