Article: Joomla Text Formatting - Problems & TipsJoomla Text Formatting Problems & Tips

Joomla is a great CMS (Contact Management System), however it can be prone to some problems in how it manages text formatting if not handled carefully and with due care.
There are some things which are almost guaranteed to cause you problems eventually and which should be avoided at all times, such as:

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1. Never cut & paste or copy text from a Word document (or similar word processor programs) directly into Joomla as this can cause many invisible and non-standard HTML elements which are invisible to the human eye to be embedded into the page, causing problems thereafter with formatting using any Joomla editor(s) on the site.
Instead always either:
(a) Paste the information into Notepad or some other plain text editor first to clear any hidden formatting and special tags & then paste the text into the Joomla editor, or
(b) My Favourite: Install a more advanced text editor program for Joomla such as JCE which has an option to paste from "Word" (& other document types) to prevent such problems.

2. Never copy text from webpages & then try to insert this into a Joomla article - This also can cause the same problems as copying & pasting directly from Word documents (see above), and the remedy is the same too.

3. Inserting text articles from some article providers can also cause problems if the articles are not provided to you in plain text format and/or without ANY additional elements (such as code etc). Whilst such formats are probably fine for some other types of sites, they can cause havoc in Joomla sites (we recently had this very same problem ourselves, despite taking all the necessary precautions). In our case the result was that all new articles had text which wasn't being contained within the page parameters & so one side of the text was lost behind other things (older pages written before the attempt to insert the articles from the article provider were still fine). To remedy it we simply re-install the JCE Editor (JCE doesn't need to be uninstalled first either, simply install it over the existing installation...).

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4. If you are having problems with your text formatting due to inadvertently doing one of the (common) mistakes listed in this article, and removing the offending text/content etc hasn't fixed it either, (....remember to also delete any problem causing article(s) completely from your system too, including emptying the trash.... ) you can try re-installing the editor again to see if that helps fix the problem....

5. Don't just simply press "ENTER" when you need to go down to the next row as this creates another paragraph with an extra white line. To avoid this, you should instead hold down the SHIFT key when hitting ENTER as this will allow you to start your typing in the next row without taking you to the next paragraph.

6. Images in Articles: Don't use large sized images which you then scale down as you go to appear much smaller - this will cause the page to load much slower than it should (and as an incentive for you to heed this advice, Google is now going to begin penalizing slow-loading sites/pages....). Instead you should either
(a) Reduce the size of the images before uploading them to the site, or
(b) Size the images correctly during upload or
(c) My Favourite: Use the JCE editor's image manager to perform image resizing.

7. If you are using image pop-up features in you pages, such as we do on this site (click on the image on this page & it should pop up to then display a full-size image...), then perhaps the JCE Editor method might suit you best, and it is probably the quickest & easiest method, too.

8. Include Image Titles & Images Alternate Text: Lastly, although it isn't really a text formatting problem / issue, I wanted to add that when inserting your images you should always try to give the image a Title (See image below: "JCE Editor Image tab3") & also some "Alternate Text" (See image below: "JCE Editor Image tab1").

  • "Alternate Text" is important because it is required for XHTML WAI/508 compliance requirements, and
  • "Title" provides the text to display in a tool-tip when the website visitors mouse cursor is placed over the image element

Including both of these should not only help you with compliance issues but also help slightly with SEO if labelled correctly using keywords, too.

I hope these tips have helped you, and should you need advice on any other text-formatting related issues concerning your Joomla site please Contact Us & we will endevour to answer your questions. If you found this article helpful please take the time to rate it & or leave a comment below. Thank you,

Image: Screenshot of "JCE Editor Image tab1" (showing image "alternate text" box)
Joomla Tutorial - JCE-Editor-Screenshot-tab1
JCE Editor - Screenshot-tab1

Image: Screenshot of "JCE Editor Image tab3 (showing image "title" box)

Joomla JCE Editor- Screenshot-tab3
JCE Editor - Screenshot-tab3