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I have found several unwanted nonsensical hyperlinks inserted into unpublished content on my website (self-hosted WordPress). Four of these are to "#_msocom_1".

Googling on "#_msocom_1" returns 519 results; Googling on "msocom1" returns 602 results. I've checked a sample and all seem to be similar to my situation - they are nonsensical text inserted in the content (whether or not as a hyperlink). Unfortunately I can't find any explanation of why/how they occur.

Question: Have others noticed these nonsensical hyperlinks? Is there a known explanation? Does 'msocom1' actually mean something?

Note: I have not mis-spelled this term. It is 'msocom1'; it is NOT 'mscomm1'.

Addendum#1: there are/were other nonsensical hyperlinks. For example the words "content in" were turned into a hyperlink to 'http://content.in'. There are another 22 of these nonsensical hyperlinks.

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I would be more concerned about securing my Wordpress site. Update to the latest version if you can. Also, discover how they are getting in. You may be able to use .htaccess to block these attacks for the short term. –  closetnoc May 15 at 14:41
    
Are there any event listeners on these hyperlinks? –  w3d May 15 at 15:45
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From other references on the net, this would seem to be the result of pasting content from Microsoft Word? "msocom" - MicroSOft COMment. (An attempt to turn a comment into a footnote?) –  w3d May 15 at 16:32
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@w3d - no event listeners. The content was entered by cut-and-paste from a Word doc, but I used the WordPress "kitchen sink" and I've re-checked the and it is just straight text. BUT it does sound like a Word glitch. It's just that there are so many unexplained examples on the net. –  Ted May 15 at 22:42
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This thread seems informative, which discusses a recent update to WordPress/TinyMCE to "fix" issues of pasting content from Word - with an HTML example of pasted content (containing #_msocom_1). A lot of users do seem to paste content from Word (which has historically always been problematic), so this could go a long way to explaining why there are "so many unexplained examples on the net". –  w3d May 15 at 23:09

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

As mentioned in comments, this would seem to be the result of pasting content from Microsoft Word. Perhaps where the original document contained embedded comments - "msocom" - MicroSOft COMment.

Comments in this WordPress ticket/thread would seem to suggest that MSWord tries to convert the comments into linked footnotes in the resulting HTML. There is an example of pasted content and the resulting HTML which contains #_msocom_1.

Also discussed in the linked document is a recent update to WordPress/TinyMCE to "fix" issues of pasting content from Word. A lot of users do seem to paste content from Word (which has historically always been problematic), so this could go a long way to explaining why there are "so many unexplained examples on the net".

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Expounding on w3d's answer: From the look at the # sign this is the tell tell sign for a Div ID. To verify this export a Word document to HTML. Newer Versions >=2003 will insert CSS Markup to try to match the look of the document in the <head> tags. This includes Fonts and Paragraph Spacing. The reason all of this looks like Garbage in WordPress is because the CSS for the <div id> tag cannot be inlined due to the way PHP renders the page. For this to work correctly, you must dissect the word document and copy the CSS into the appropriate file for your theme. In WordPress, that's the Admin Menu > Appearance > Editor Submenu.

The easiest way around this that I've found, is to tell Authors to copy from Word to Notepad, and then from Notepad to WordPress.

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