html – Where does <_o3a_p> come from on a webpage? – Education Career Blog

i got a question from a webdeveloper in my company who got it from a client: when inserting (russian) text into a webpage <_o3a_p> tags appear on the website.

I have (ofcourse) tried to google it but i only stumble upon websites that have these tags in them as well. No real good context for the how and why in other words.

My first idea was that the client must have copy/paste’ed it from an editor into our editor and thus copying the text. There is however no way we can find out what the client pasted from.

Anyone got any experience with this?


It seems to stem from MS Office’s HTML paste, in the same vein as all that exported “mso:normal” crud (which you often see in the same places). It signifies Office’s idea of a paragraph.

Another one you see is:


Which looks like an Office automatic “Smart tag”.

Best parse this useless cruft out when the content is submitted. (You do have an XHTML parser to process and check incoming content, right?)


I can’t find the cause, but the Google results show it happening on non-Russian pages too.

I’d suggest therefore that internationalisation is not the cause, but that it may be something special about the editor used.

Also, on each page I looked at these were written as HTML tags, but were rendered as text by Firefox and Safari. Maybe a naïve editor is using these as tags for its own use, not realising that browsers will show the tag instead of ignoring them like normal unknown tags.

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