What are some best practices when it comes to using the copy/paste functionality and formatting my essay response?
Especially when it comes to copying and pasting your response into the Personal Essay or other long answer fields in the Common App, there may be instances where you can run into formatting issues or inconsistencies. When you copy and paste your essay from a word processor into the Common App, your content is passing from the word processor software to your clipboard - part of your computer's operating system - and then from your clipboard into your browser. Different combinations of word processor and operating system and browser can cause different results. This list is meant to represent some of the scenarios which may occur, and best practices for working through them.
Right from the start, please always check your pasted content and desired formatting prior to submission. In many cases, formatting issues may be specific to a particular browser, so logging into Common App using a different browser or using a different word processing application to copy your essay into Common App can help alleviate some issues.
Some of the more common copy/paste issues may include:
-When working in the personal essay, the long answer control does not recognize the Ctrl-A then Ctrl-V sequence, so you may be unable to select and replace existing text with new text using keyboard Ctrl-A/Ctrl-V. If you want to replace all the text in your answer by pasting other text in its place, first delete the unwanted text rather than pasting over existing text.
-When pasting from Chrome, the last line of your content may not paste.
-If you are using Word 11 for Mac and Firefox 14.4.x when you paste your content into the Common App essay answer box you may see additional formatting commands from Word that should not be visible.
-Text pasted from a Google doc into an essay or long response field may not retain formatting.
Please try pasting your essay into a text editor (Text Pad in Windows or TextEdit on Mac) and then copy it from there into the essay portion of the Common App.
20 Votes Was this answer helpful?