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HubPages Tip: Writing Your Draft in a Text Editor

Updated on April 3, 2012
Gedit for Linux
Gedit for Linux

While it can be tempting to simply write your entire hub into the HubPages text capsules, this can sometimes lead to unexpected disastrous results when you least expect it. If you've been on HubPages long enough, it's more than likely that you've already had this happen to you at some point: you're done writing your text, and then you hit the "save" button, and suddenly, your text doesn't save.

At this point, you're probably staring at your computer screen in rage and disbelief, with the urge to throw your computer out the window.

For those of you that haven't experienced this, I'm glad! But keep in mind that this always a possibility in the future.

Why doesn't it Save?

So why does this even happen? Is it HubPages' fault? That's always possible, but the issue could also lie elsewhere. While we all wish for the site to run smoothly, the sad truth is that malfunctions happen. The problem could be one of many:

  • Your browser's cache is causing troubles with the cached versions of the Javascript or CSS files.
  • The network connection between your computer and the HubPages servers are not properly working.
  • Other websites that you have open are affecting your browser's speed and functionality.
  • HubPages is updating the website at the same moment you are trying to save your text.
  • The HubPages servers are being slammed with too much traffic.
  • There are bugs with the HubPages code.

Microsoft Word Document
Microsoft Word Document

How can you prevent this?

To combat this problem, many hubbers have learned to write their hubs on their own computers. Most users will choose to use Microsoft Word to write and save their hubs.

I would actually advise against using Microsoft Word because you can end up with strange formatting issues when copying and pasting into the text capsule.Microsoft Word tends to add a lot of unseen formatting code into the document (ie, to show bold font, to mark new paragraphs, etc) which can cause the HubPages text capsules to interpret it in unpredictable ways.

Some issues that I've seen hubbers report include the following:

  • Extra blank lines added to the text.
  • Font turning bold at random places.
  • Underlining of text at random places.
  • Paragraphs mushing together.

TextMate for OSX
TextMate for OSX

Using a Text Editor

The best solution is to write all your text into a text editor, which saves everything... as just plain text. No additional formatting added! This will allow you to copy and paste your text straight into the text capsule without any chance of having the formatting issues.

Every single operating system ships with its own built-in text editor, so you don't need to purchase anything (unlike Microsoft Word, which costs money). For Windows, you can simply use the program Notepad to write your hubs. Linux has the text editor Gedit (and for my fellow nerd companions, there's emacs and vim). And for OSX, you can use TextMate.

Notepad for Winidows
Notepad for Winidows

How do YOU write on HubPages?

How have you been writing your Hubs?

See results

Get out there and write some awesome Hubs!

Saving your hubs on your own computer can save you a lot of frustration down the line, whether you are using Word or a Text Editor. It allows you to open your files at any time and continue writing, without even having to log on to HubPages. You also reap the additional benefit of having all your text already saved on your computer, in the event of any future disaster.

Now write those hubs, and make big bucks! And don't forget to use a text editor!

Happy Hubbing!


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    • Kevin Kash profile image

      Kevin Edwards 3 years ago from Deltona, Florida

      Is there any way possible to add capsules while editing on your phone?

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Hello ezhang, great info. I had no idea about using notepad to write, copy, and paste. I actually prefer to write my articles in Word, print them out, and re-write the whole thing in the text capsules. I always end up changing it or adding something so this works for me. I never copy and paste text from Word to capsules, only links for images and sources so I can save everything for that hub in one place. Very informative, voted up and useful.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Using MS Word can definitely cause trouble, as you had mentioned. But I still like to take advantage if its useful features that we don't have in a simple text editor. Features such as the spelling check and grammar check. I also use the synonyms suggestions a lot, so that I don't end up using the same word too often.

      My solution is to use Word to create the article -- and then I copy and paste it into Windows Notepad, then I copy from there and paste into a text capsule in my new Hub. I do this for each capsule individually. Adding the subheadings if any.

      That process removes all the special code that Word tends to place within the text. It also makes the paragraphs space just right, a little more than when typed directly into the text capsule on HP.

      Once I have the plain text in a capsule, then I can go ahead and use the HP tools to make bold or underline anything I wish, as well as any other formatting required.

      Everything comes out really nice that way and people have said it leaves the page easier to read. Not bunched together and also not spaced too far as Word tends to do when copied direct.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 5 years ago

      I'm finding these days that I do a lot of writing on my iPad. I use the cloud with iWorks (mostly Pages) so that my work is available wherever I am.

      I love the iPad because it is so light weight and versatile - I use it to photo stream as well which is also very handy.

    • derek gulbranson profile image

      derek gulbranson 5 years ago from San Francisco

      great hub

    • profile image

      ericsomething 5 years ago

      ezhang, this is good advice. I seldom compose anything - not even email - in a browser window anymore, too many things can go wrong. But there's something else worth mentioning:

      First drafts, by their very nature, should go down fast. You're getting your idea down as quickly as you can form it in your brain. If it sucks, so what? That's why they call it a first draft. Edit later, get the formatting later, so not being able to do boldface in a text editor shouldn't be an issue.

      I admit to the geeky thing; I'm a Linux junkie and a Vi user. I even have a console version of Vi on my little-used Windows partition; how nerdy is that? But I appreciate its speed.

    • Ausemade profile image

      Ausemade 5 years ago from Australia

      I knew about Microsoft Word... although I do prefer to type straght into HubPages, although what I tend to do is break my hub into capsules as I type... saving as I go along, so I have been lucky with not losing anything. I suppose I should use my text editor as you suggest... :)

    • Turtlewoman profile image

      Kim Lam 6 years ago from California

      Thanks for the tips. I do write on Microsoft and noticed the extra spacing after I copied and pasted it to the capsule. Being new at this, I found this hub useful...thanks. Still trying to figure out how to transfer my "chicken scratch" scribbled thoughts from the small notepad I have in my purse though ..haha

    • ezhang profile image

      Edward Zhang 6 years ago from Bay Area, CA

      Thanks for stopping by ramboruiz, tlpoague, mljdgulley354, and Millionaire Tips! Its great to know that some of you already use a program outside of the hubpages capsule! It's never fun to lose your work for no reason.

      Of course, pen and a real notepad would always work too!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      This is a good idea to use a text editor. I have written on Hubpages directly, and use Word for the spelling and grammar checker.

    • mljdgulley354 profile image

      mljdgulley354 6 years ago

      These are great tips. I use the Word program and so far have not had any problems. I like using a program outside of the hub capsules because I can save my work and if it does get plagerized I have proof of when it was written, where it orignated and who the original author is.

    • tlpoague profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from USA

      Thanks for these excellent tips. I have been using the Word program and "knock on wood" haven't had too many issues with it. I am horrible at grammer and spelling, so I enjoy those benefits. I will have to keep in mind using Notepad, if I do run into any problems. Thanks again!

    • profile image

      ramboruiz 6 years ago

      nothing still beats a pen and real notepad ;)

    • ezhang profile image

      Edward Zhang 6 years ago from Bay Area, CA

      @Kim, I'm sorry to hear that you had to lose your work like that. It's never fun to have your work suddenly disappear into the void. I remember in high school, I learned to obsessively hit Ctrl+S on Microsoft Word after losing my work to power outages, etc.

      @melbel, Vim DEFINITELY works as a text editor!!! You would be the most AWESOME person on earth if you used it for your hubbing!


    • melbel profile image

      Melanie Palen 6 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

      Google Docs is fantastic for this because you can take it anywhere and if your computer crashes or your format it and forget about docs (which happens to me a LOT) you don't lose anything.

      It's a super pain to copy and paste from Google docs, though, because, well, I'm pretty sure you actually cannot copy and paste from Google Docs. What you CAN do is export it and copy and paste it from there.

      Plus, you always have your original copy, no matter where you go or what you do with your computer.

      Personally, I use Vim. jk jk

    • Kim Cantrell profile image

      Kim Cantrell 6 years ago from Deep In The Pages of a Book

      You're not kidding about raging at the computer in disbelief! It only took that happening once to me (my internet connection went down, so it wasn't hubpages) to learn to write mine in my own text editor (and, for the record, I ditto you on Microsoft Word).

    • ezhang profile image

      Edward Zhang 6 years ago from Bay Area, CA

      Thank you to everyone for stopping by and reading my Hub!

      I should mention that, one downfall to using a text editor is that you can't bold, italicize, or underline your text using it. With that said, I personally don't mind adding the formatting inside the capsule anyway, so it's not a huge deal. I much prefer it over having do deal with possible potential copy-and-paste problems :)

      At the least, using Microsoft Word to save your drafts provides you with a saved copy of your hub. It's definitely better than nothing!

      @Emerald - unfortunately, sometimes even the draft doesn't get saved due to connectivity issues, so even the draft recovery tool can't be a saving grace.

      @ThePracticalMommy - thanks for sharing my hub on twitter!

      @LisaKoski and Romari - I'm glad this hub may have saved you from any possible future disasters!

      @Simone - you're just too nerdy!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Fabulous advice, Ed! I write most of my Hubs on my phone. Guess my secret method isn't so secret anymore!

    • LisaKoski profile image

      Lisa 6 years ago from WA

      I usually write my hubs in the capsules and I have yet to have it not save for some reason but I'm glad you pointed this out because I never thought about that happening. Very useful advice!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      Hmm..I always use Word, but I guess I'll switch to Notepad! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      I agree with you about using a text editor. But there is a way to recover your draft in HP text capsule. If you would like to know how, visit the hub "How to Recover Your Draft In The Hub Text Capsule".

    • Injured lamb profile image

      Injured lamb 6 years ago

      Thanks for the sincere sharing...and I learned much from it. I usually write it on microsoft word itself,now I know where should I go...appreciate much...

    • romari profile image

      Rose Maria Rica D. Fuentes 6 years ago from Heaven

      I usually write my drafts on hubpages and save it from time to time and edit for changes before I publish them.. Thanks for your hub!