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How can I copy and paste comment threads (and sometimes the original post) from Facebook into WordPress (or elsewhere) and preserve exact formatting?

Screenshot? ok, but text etc is better. Both + link would be ideal.

When I paste now, the thread/paragraph structure is intact, but the "likes" etc and profile pic thumbnails don't display.

I don't need my whole page/site to look like Facebook, just the content of some pasted posts.

Ideally a screenshot would be displayed as a thumbnail. I want to include the screenshot so people don’t think I made up or edited the posts.

I don’t want to only include the screenshot because I want people to be able to select and quote parts of the text.

If I copy and paste into Evernote, a link to the source is automatically included.

Can all 3 - screenshot, text etc, link - be pasted - with the text-etc preserving exact formatting? If not, how close is possible?


I was not using a browser sharing extension. Just now, however, I tried the "Press This" WP Plugin (bookmarklet??), but it only posted the core image of the facebook post, not the intro text, and not the comments.


I copy selected text from the comment thread (multiple comments, sometimes all the comments, and sometimes the original post too).

I did not try to paste a screenshot. I download screenshots - that's the only way I know to get full "screenshots" (including whatever is too long to appear on my screen). I could upload screenshots into my WP post, but as I wrote above, I want people to be able to select excerpts of the text, so I don't want to only include screenshots.

Ideally "Press This" or a similar brower-sharing extension would enter all 3 - the screenshot, the link, and the text plus-images-if-applicable. Preserving the exact formatting.

Next best: I paste the URL into my New-Post editor, click "fetch" or some such button, and the complete post and comments would appear, along with a screenshot and the link. I could then cut out irrelevant text.

3rd best: copy and paste


I'm pasting into WordPress' new post editor - I think it's the default settings. I'm willing to use a different editor if that would help. If this can't be done within WordPress, and if it's already possible elsewhere, I might switch from WordPress. I'm using the Gutenberg block editor; latest WP version. I'm not using Divi or Elementor or anything. The site I'm creating will be functionally a duplicate of DanceOrangeville.com but with different images.

(From Facebook posts, not Messenger.)

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    Can you be more specific about what it is you're copy pasting from Facebook? Are you just copying the lnk and pasting it into WP and expecting an embed? Or are you trying to copy text from FB? Which editor are you pasting it into? Your post doesn't say if it's a page builder, classic editor, block editor, etc. Use the edit link to add more information to your question, I think there's a lot of assumptions in this question that aren't being shared, I'm struggling to picture what it is that you want, and can think of several things it could be that are very different
    – Tom J Nowell
    Jun 26, 2020 at 12:01
  • Thanks. Edited 3 times. I think I answered your questions. Copying comment threads and sometimes also the original post. By Page Builder do you mean Divi or Elementor or something? I'm using Gutenberg block editor - not sure if I love it, but that's what I'm currently using. Jun 27, 2020 at 13:38
  • I have an "Expand All" bookmarklet that expands all the comments. I know one way to screenshot the entire post and thread - ctrl-shift-i, ctrl-shift-p, then type "scre", choose "screenshot full". Jun 27, 2020 at 13:43
  • Can you be clearer about what you mean by pasting? I still don't know what it is that you copied. Like did you screenshot the FB post and you're pasting the screenshot? Or did you select the FB post with a click and drag and copied? Selected the text? Or is this a URL? Drag and drop? A browser sharing extension? Your question is incomplete, until the basics of your question are clear it's not answerable. I understand that to you it might seem obvious, so state the obvious. It's also unclear what you're expecting once pasted, there are no examples and the description is open to interpretation
    – Tom J Nowell
    Jun 27, 2020 at 15:30
  • Thanks. Do you get notified when I edit, or do I need to add a comment to tell you I've edited my post? Jun 28, 2020 at 20:59

1 Answer 1

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You have a number of halfway options, but there is nothing that directly matches your requirements. That is because this is not something Facebook provides.

  • Copy Paste
  • Manual embedding
  • Screenshots
  • OEmbed

Other software may claim to do this but it is a simulation/illusion, and will rely heavily on bespoke customisation, it isn't really a facebook comment thread embedded.

Or it may have access that is impossible for WordPress to have, e.g. the Evernote web clipper which can use browser APIs to duplicate a facebook thread because it's running inside Facebook itself with privileged access.

Copy Paste

This is probably what you tried, and you expected it to look exactly the same when it was pasted. But that's not how copy paste works. Copying doesn't copy all of facebooks stylesheets, that isn't possible.

Copy paste will copy just the text and images selected, with basic markup, but no CSS based styling.

This will give the worst results if it's aesthetics you're after regardless of social media.

Note that copy pasting the URL to generate an OEmbed is an exception, see below

Manual Embedding

This allows you to embed anything as static HTML, however, it's 100% manual and requries that you do all the styling, all the markup, and it's incredibly labour intensive. You're basically re-implementing that part of Facebook from scratch, then inserting the content.

This might take several hours to several days for most developers depending on the content chosen. This would be true regardless of the CMS chosen ( or if it's a static HTML website ). It also wouldn't update as FB updates their interface.

However, if looking exactly like FB isn't necessary, then there are a lot more options. For example, comments could be replicate using the chat blocks in the block editor if they aren't threaded. Plugins may provide other options.

Screenshot

As described this gives you exactly what you wanted, and can be uploaded as an image. However:

  • It cannot be modified without Photoshop skills, so highlightng a phrase is out of the question
  • It's totally innaccessible due to text inside images. A lot of tooling will be unable to expose this information
  • That also means a lot of search engine crawlers will have difficulty too

OEmbed

This is how FB posts are meant to be embedded:

  • Copy the URL
  • Paste it on a blank new line
  • WP replaces it with an OEmbed instance
  • The HTML and CSS for that embed are provided by Facebook itself

There are downsides though:

  • FB controls what the embed looks like
  • You can embed a single specific comment according to facebooks documentation, but not a comment thread. There is an option to include the parent comment if it exists, but other replies aren't shown.

I would recommend the OEmbed route, but to continue further you will need to refer to the Facebook documentation, starting here with embedded comments

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  • Thank you. I somehow missed a notification that you posted this. Mar 19 at 9:49
  • @JonathonNeville If this answers your question, consider marking it as the accepted answer by clicking the tick button under the voting controls. If not please leave a comment explaining why so that I can update the answer, or so that somebody else can leave a better answer
    – Tom J Nowell
    Mar 19 at 21:30
  • I just commented under my question about how formatting is preserved when pasting into Gmail and (i think) webclipping into Evernote. Do you know how that's possible? Mar 20 at 22:49
  • @JonathonNeville if you have a new question about unrelated software you should ask that somewhere else, WordPress has nothing to do with GMail or Evernote, they are completely different products and they will have independent copy paste handling that has zero overlap with WordPress. I'm only interested in your original question, did I answer it? If not please explain. Remember this isn't a discussion thread, it's a question answer site, I can only answer the question you asked.
    – Tom J Nowell
    Mar 20 at 22:53

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