One of the first things that a new user to InfoBarrel should learn is to write their articles in a word processor instead of writing directly in the InfoBarrel editor. For a myriad of reasons, it is possible to lose your work when working with the online editor. This is not a problem unique to InfoBarrel. It is a common problem with any online editor. One of the few exceptions would be services like Google Docs which are designed specifically with online content creation and editing in mind. Though it too can suffer from some of the following problems.

It is possible that you could be automatically logged out of the InfoBarrel website while you are typing your article. When you then save your document in the InfoBarrel editor you will lose your document. If your Internet connection is not active when you try to post your article, then your work could be lost. A power outage that shuts down your computer will cause you to lose the document that you are working on. All of these are reasons that should encourage you to write your article in a word processor and paste the contents into the InfoBarrel editor after the document is created.

Pasting Your Article

There are at least three ways you can paste your article into the InfoBarrel editor. First is to start a new article and paste the contents of your word processing document directly into the editor. The second is to use the clipboard button on the second row of the editor that has the W on it. This is designed specifically for users of MS Word or similar word processing programs to retain as much of the formatting as possible. The third way is to use the clipboard icon with the T on it which is to the left of the W icon. This will strip out any formatting from your document and paste the contents into the InfoBarrel editor as plain text.

The safest option is to paste only plain text into the InfoBarrel article (by using the T icon). This is because there are different ways that different editors handle the way text is displayed. When you paste formatted text from any editor into another editor, you are likely to have slight formatting problems. Sometimes these problems may not show up in the editor, but when the information is saved and opened in another program there will be incompatibility issues embedded in the formatting. This is especially true when you start viewing a web page with various browsers. What may look fine in the editor may render oddly on the reader's browser. Throw three or four popular browsers into the mix and you, as the writer, may never know what the reader sees when trying to view your article on their computer. However, all of these potential problems are eliminated when you make an effort to paste only plain text into the InfoBarrel editor.

An optional way to make sure you are only pasting plain text into the editor is to first paste your article from your word processor into the Notepad application on your Windows computer. This is the way the administrators at InfoBarrel recommend you strip the formatting out of your articles before pasting them into the InfoBarrel editor.

Formatting Your Article

Because you are stripping all formatting out of your article when you paste it into the InfoBarrel editor, you will need to format the article after it is written. You should not spend much time formatting the article in your word processor. Use the word processor to help you with any of the nicer writing tools (spelling and grammar checkers along with word count features), but save the formatting for the InfoBarrel editor.

Formatting would include any haedings that you plan to use as well as italicized and bolded text. You can use the formatting options in the InfoBarrel editor to help you with each of these actions. You will also know that there is no translation layer that is preventing you from being able to format your text the way you want.

In the new InfoBarrel 2.0 editor you are given the option to use different text elements with headings and sub-headings. While there may be a place for using these in the future, it currently seems that there are fewer formatting problems if you place your whole article into one text element as if you were using the old InfoBarrel editor. If you need to break your article into different headings, do so within one text element in the editor. If you have articles that have large gaps between the different sections, it is probably due to using different text elements when creating the article. Until the problem is sorted out, you can eliminate this by creating your whole article in a single text element.

When applying an H2 or H3 heading you might find that it makes the whole paragraph below the heading turn into the larger, bolded text. This is because you have a line break in your text instead of a full carriage return. A line break is created when you type shift+enter. In HTML that means you are creating a BR tag instead of a regular enter which is a P tag. You can fix the problem by inserting your cursor at the beginning of the line after the heading text and typing a backspace (to get rid of the line break) and then enter to give you a full carriage return. The text in your paragraph below the heading should turn back into normal text.

It is an extra step to have to paste plain text into the editor and then format it after you have it pasted. However, it is the best way to insure that your articles won't have any odd formatting that you can't clean up.

Take time to notice how other articles are formatted on InfoBarrel. Some use colors to highlight text, others have creative uses of bold and italics. All of these are good and can help set your article apart. But you probably know when something doesn't look right. When you encounter this, then you should be able to fix it in the editor. If you are having trouble getting your article formatted properly, then please ask for help in the forum. People are willing to help you get your article looking right. When your article looks good, InfoBarrel looks good. We all have a vested interest in helping everyone format their articles so that readers will enjoy our website.