I incorrectly assumed that it was common knowledge to not paste content from the microsoft office suite directly into the WordPress Visual editor but I encounter problems related to this issue so frequently that I thought I should do a quick write-up about the issue.
When you copy and paste content from Microsoft Word, it attempts to preserve the formatting and adds sorts of “ugly” formatting code into the WordPress editor. Frequently this results in the page not displaying properly in Internet Explorer. (It amuses me to no end that Microsoft’s web browser can’t deal with it’s Word Processor formatting code. For some reason Firefox is able to work around it.) So, someone will come to me and tell me that the formatting on the page is messed up or that the sidebar is in the wrong location. It isn’t actually a layout or WordPress code issue but rather that formatting code from Microsoft Word is affecting the layout.