Updating Content Editor Content with Word

There are a number of reasons why users might be using content editors for page content in a SharePoint site. However this creates a fair amount of overhead when users can’t get the content to ‘look just right’. Often without HTML edit abilities users become frustrated and will give up or push content out that has been akwardly formatted.

One of the ways you might try out to help with these kinds of issues is getting users to modify and update content editor content in word. I am going to go through how this can be done (relatively easily) in a few steps here. The important steps in the process is creating an HTML document (in this case I am using word, but you could use SharePoint Designer, or any product which pushes out HTML) and then getting the content editor webpart to reference the HTML document.

  1. First let’s create our web page content in word. It’s important to keep the size of the webpart in mind when we build the content and users MUST insert images as links (from the SharePoint site or internet) as embedded images won’t display. Here is an article on this: http://blogs.msdn.com/ecm/archive/2006/11/17/converting-office-2007-openxml-documents-with-embedded-images-to-sharepoint-web-pages.aspx *Note we are doing a process similar to smart client authoring/conversion. We are just doing it more manual for greater control/flexability.
  2. Save the word document as the HTML/HTM file type. You can do this simply by choosing SAVE AS and saving it under the HTML file type.
  3. Next we need to upload our HTML (or HTM) file to a SharePoint library.
  4. Navigate to the page you want the content to be displayed on and add a new content editor webpart.
  5. Now let’s edit the newly added content editor webpart’s properties. Namely the Content Link property and set that to reference the HTML or HTM file we just added. To do this you can right click the link in the document library and click copy shortcut and then paste the shortcut into the content link field.
  6. Click OK and save the edited properties.
  7. Voila we should now see the content (built in word) showing on our webpage through the content editor. If we want to modify the content we just need to open the document in word, make our changes and save it to the server. Immediately updating the content on the webpart.

There are two advantages to using a process like this:

  1. You get content version history and version control. Normal webparts don’t really have version control, so by using a document libraries content like this we can enable versioning and go back to previous versions in case something mucks up.
  2. Any user with access to the content can change it just like a word document (more or less) making it require far less training and effort for people to update than the typical SharePoint methods that can cause alot of confusion.

Hope this helps someone who wants to use document conversion for SharePoint but needs a more flexable model for page content,
Richard Harbridge

Explore posts in the same categories: Planning, SharePoint 2007, Tips and Tricks, Workaround

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4 Comments on “Updating Content Editor Content with Word”

  1. Tom Resing Says:

    Interesting technique that I haven’t used or had forgotten about. How do you see this comparing to blogging from Word? I like that the blog integration handles the images.

  2. I like the blogging from word more for sure. This is just a method that gets around issues around smart client authoring and the such, where you want to roll up multiple ‘sources’ into a page for it’s content. In terms of blogging I would stick with word or livewriter. 🙂

    Thanks for the question and feedback!
    Richard Harbridge

  3. Vivek Says:

    I need a Content Editor which can have a number of toolbars that easily helps me create my pages. There must be default number of tools when you first open the editor but more can be viewed if needed.
    Can i do this by content editor provided in sharepoint
    or i have to customize the editor or need to create another web part.. Plz.. suggest me its urgent…..

  4. rharbridge Says:

    My recommendation would be NOT to use the Content Editor Webpart in most publishing sites. If you can, use the field control or HTML editor instead which gets embedded into the page. You define the layout and can add reusable HTML, your own buttons, remove buttons, etc with this control, where as the content editor webpart is much harder to manipulate/change.


    I would need more information on what your needs are to give better advice. Carefully consider what your needs are, because most other people out there have most likely met, or run into those same needs and found solutions for it.

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