Using Microsoft Word to turn your homework
(or another document) into a plain-vanilla Web page

  1. Open the document with Word. (Save a copy as a backup, just in case something goes wrong.) These instructions assume your document does not have graphics, columns, footnotes or fancy formatting, which may or may not work. We're talking vanilla... but go ahead and try it anyway.

  2. Find Word's "save as Web page" or "save as HTML" command on the FILE menu. (Depending on the version of Word, the menu choice might have a slightly different name.)

  3. Give the document a one-word name ("essay.html" for example). Depending on the version of Word, the program may automagically add ".htm" or ".html" to the end of the name, or you may have to type ".html" yourself. In either case, you can change the name after you quit Word.

    (The only difference between ".htm" and ".html" is that if Word omits the "l" you have to remember to leave out the "l" in any link codes you make to the page name. Sticking with ".html" for all pages will keep things simpler.)

  4. If Word adds a ".txt" to the end of the name, it is saving the file as "ASCII text" or "plain text," not as HTML. In that case, go back and make sure you're using the "save as Web page" or "save as HTML" option.

  5. The result should be an actual HTML file that you can drag into a browser to preview, then post on in your Pages space if you like the looks.

  6. If you don't like the looks of the page, there's still hope... Depending on the version of Word you're using, the HTML might be more complex than it needs to be (using style codes and XML), but it still should work. If it doesn't look OK, you can go one more step and open the Word-generated HTML file with Dreamweaver, then go to Dreamweaver's COMMANDS... menu (top center of the screen) and choose "Clean up Word HTML" to get rid of some of Word's non-standard coding.

    At this point you can add other formatting with Dreamweaver or by editing the HTML with BBEdit or Homesite, but that's going beyond "plain vanilla." Sometimes, vanilla is what you want.

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