When creating listings for Amazon and potentially other channels you may get errors when trying to save and upload telling you the description is invalid.
This is often due to the fact that the description contains HTML formatting and these 2 channels in particular only allow very basic formatting.
Amazon "safe" tags
<b> </b> - Embolden Text
<br> - Line Break
<p> </p> - Paragraph
<ul><li> </li></ul> - Bullet points
See below an example of a description in Design mode that has been copied from a web page and pasted in, you will notice that it has retained the formatting.
Now look at the Description in HTML mode and you will see highlighted in yellow all of the HTML tags that may cause problems when submitting
There are 2 ways that you can clean this up
- Manually delete/clean all of the HTML tags in the editor. This isn't the best way of doing this if there is a lot of formatting as it's easy to miss some tags which could cause further problems down the line.
- Remove the formatting by pasting into a plain text editor first. This would be the recommended way as it will remove all of the formatting except for line breaks and below you will see how to do this.
Removing HTML using notepad
- In design view, select all the text then right click and cut.
- Ensure that both the design and HTML view are now blank.
- Open up notepad on your computer
- Paste the cut text into notepad (This removes all formatting from the text)
- Select all the text in notepad and choose copy
- Paste the text into the product description in design view and it should look like below (You may need to add your own line breaks at this point)
- Now check the HTML view and you will see that all the HTML tags except <br> have now been removed. It doesn't matter that the text is all bunched up.
Things to consider
Product descriptions for new listings to channel are always copied from the actual product description so it might be worth keeping the description in there as basic as you can. Then on any channels that allow rich or HTML formatting make the required changes to the description on the listing.
Also it is worth noting that changes made to the product description are not automatically replicated over to listing descriptions. So if you need to make changes after a listing has been created please ensure you are working on the correct description.