Tuesday, April 29, 2014

An Open Letter to Microsoft and Google

I know you think you're very clever.

I'm talking metadata here. All those little fiddly bits of code that float around in the background of every Microsoft Word document I create. I appreciate that it's there. It keeps my sentences spaced correctly, my fonts in place, my bold and italicized text bold and italicized, my margins straight and every other little bit of my document life right exactly where it should be.

Until I copy and paste my pristine little words from MS Word to Blogger.

For some devilish reason, MS Word thinks I want all that metadata to follow. And in most cases I would -- copying and pasting from document to document is handy when all the formatting follows as well.

But Blogger doesn't know how to digest all that metadata and thus spews it all over the page. That spacing meant to be preserved? It's gone. But not to be forgotten, because it appears in odd little places throughout my text. Not where I want it, of course, otherwise why would I complain?

And yes, I can open Blogger's HTML viewer and delete the metadata. But that's a chore. Far easier just to settle for wonky formatting or just type the whole damn text in all over again (like I'm doing now) rather than bothering with the copy/paste. I can spend twenty minutes clearing out the metadata only to miss one fiddly little bit and have the whole post blow up on me.

Not. Worth. The. Trouble.

And Microsoft Word used to let me inspect a document and remove the metadata before I copied and pasted. That doesn't seem to be working any more.

Maybe we need dumber software. Or an option somewhere to leave the metadata behind when I copy/paste from one bit of software to another. Or Blogger could be programmed to ignore imported metadata. Either way would work with me. Come on guys, throw me a bone.

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