HTML Email: The Perils of Copy ‘n Paste (Part II)

In my last blog post, I played the part of the copy and paste doomsayer, warning all of the dangers inherent in the act of, well, copying and pasting. In particular, I discussed how, with that simple editing function, invisible metadata that has a rightful place in the source document can find its way into the HTML describing your email communications, (where it has no right to be in whatsoever) producing junk code.

Not to be a hater but here’s another reason to be mindful when indiscriminately copying and pasting into your code: junk characters.

HTML Email: The Perils of Copy ‘n Paste (Part I)

While the title may sound like some sort of Hardy Boys mystery (albeit a genre-confused tale involving electronic mail and word processing), it’s really only the preface for a more mundane happening involving two other lesser-known but widely-used siblings: Control-C and Control-V.

These days, copying and pasting text from one document to another is a pretty standard practice. Come on, admit it – you do it. I do it. Anyone who knows how to type does it. There’s no shame here. It’s one of the greatest editing shortcuts that technology has afforded us since the advent of sliced bread*. And given that content is written in and comes at us in a variety of formats, it’s no wonder that we copy ‘n paste with abandon. But take heed, gentle reader, for I’m about to tell you that there lies some modicum of danger in this very act.

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