Paste Text Cleanly into a Page in Pilot

Sometimes when you paste text into Pilot’s built-in editor, formatting from the original document will carry over into your new page and clash with the rest of the text on your page. This is especially frustrating if you use a template to give your pages consistent, attractive formatting throughout your course.

Pasting into Pilot from Word

When you paste text from a Word document into a page in Pilot, you want the text to come over cleanly, taking on the template’s formatting and leaving behind formatting from Word. Level 2 headings in your Word document, for example, would become level 2 headings in the Pilot page, taking on the font and color assigned to that heading in the template.

Most of the time that works if you simply copy and paste. One caution using Firefox, though:

If you use the Firefox browser, paste text into Pilot using the keyboard shortcut. On a PC, that’s Control V on a Mac, it’s Command V. Other ways of pasting into Firefox, such as using a menu or right clicking, do not paste as cleanly.

Clear Formatting

Sometimes text just doesn’t want to leave it’s Word formatting behind and will bring with it formatting that overrides the Pilot template. In that case, you may want to clear the formatting from the text in Word before you copy and paste it into Pilot.

First select the text you want to clear. In Word for Windows, go the the Home tab. You will see a small icon to Clear Formatting. In Word for Mac, under the Edit menu, go to Clear, then click Clear Formatting.

Once the formatting is cleared, you can copy and paste the text cleanly into Pilot. Of course, headings will cease to be headings. But you can restore them using heading styles in the Pilot editor. Lists will become a series of paragraphs. But you can select the paragraphs and click a list icon on the Pilot editor’s toolbar.

Pasting from a PDF File

When you paste text from a PDF document into a page in Pilot, you want the text to come over cleanly, taking on the template’s formatting and leaving behind formatting from Word. Level 2 headings in your PDF document, for example, would become level 2 headings in the Pilot page, taking on the font and color assigned to that heading in the template.

This tutorial is about PDF files that have actual text that you can select and copy. Some PDF files are just pictures of pages and you can’t select the text to copy it. That kind of PDF will need to be converted to real text before you can copy and paste it into a template in Pilot. The conversion process is beyond the scope of this tutorial.

The best way to copy text from a PDF file and paste it into Pilot depends on what browser you use and whether you are on a PC or Mac computer. Below are suggestions for getting text into Pilot as cleanly as possible from a PDF file.

Your Browser is Internet Explorer or Google Chrome for Windows
  1. Open the PDF in Adobe Reader. Then select and copy the text you want.
  2. Open a blank document in Microsoft Word.
  3. Right click in the Word document and paste into Word as Plain Text.
  4. Select the text in Word and copy it.
  5. Paste into Pilot.
Your Browser is Firefox for Windows
  1. Open the PDF in Adobe Reader. Then select and copy the text you want.
  2. Open a blank document in Microsoft Word.
  3. Right click in the Word document and paste into Word as Plain Text.
  4. Select the text in Word and copy it.
  5. Paste into Pilot using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl V.
Your Browser is Safari for Mac
  1. Open the PDF in Preview (not Adobe Reader). Then select and copy the text you want.
  2. Paste into Pilot.
Your Browser is Firefox for Mac
  1. Open the PDF in Preview (not Adobe Reader). Then select and copy the text you want.
  2. In Pilot, click the “T” icon on the toolbar.
    t_icon.gif
  3. Paste into Pilot using the keyboard shortcut Command V.
Your Browser is Google Chrome for Mac
  1. Open the PDF in Preview (not Adobe Reader). Then select and copy the text you want.
  2. In Pilot, click the “W” icon on the toolbar.
    w_icon.gif
  3. Paste into the box that pops up using the keyboard shortcut Command V.
  4. Click Update.