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Old 2007-11-21   #1 (permalink)
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Default MSWord unprintable characters and how to remove them


We have an application and part of it has a large text field for users to enter text. A lot of the time users copy text from a MS word document and paste it into this field.

The trouble is that the older version of word uses unprintable characters that appear as Bold Pipe symbols when displayed. Some of these characters are hyphens, quotes, tabs etc.

When commited to the database they appear as

Hyphen \226\nhorizontal ellipsis \205\nSingle quotes \221quote\222\nDouble quote \223quote\224\nTab\t\nNewline\n

When the user tries to print this text it fails. We currently have a awk script that can strip out these \226 etc characters.

What we'd like to do is to remove them in Openroad before they're commited. The trouble is that when you examine the string in debug, before it's commited, all of these character just appear as blank space.

Does anyone have any idea how we can remove and replace them with the correct symbols?


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Old 2007-11-23   #2 (permalink)
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This sounds to me like your word documents are using characters with character codes > 127 (0x7F) (extended 8-bit characters).
The \226 numbers are octal numbers, so \221 (0x91) for instance is not a quote (apostrophe), but a left single quote - but this is depending on the font you are using. So, it's left single quote in "Arial" or "Times New Roman", but it's just a bold pipe symbol in "System" font, where all characters from 0x7F to 0x90 and 0x93 to 0x9F are displayed as the same bold pipe.

So, the first thing to check is the font setting/mapping for your multiline EntryField.

If you store the data in the database and print them,
you of course have to print them using a program that supports the extended characters using an according font / character set.
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Old 2007-11-27   #3 (permalink)
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thanks for the info.

I managed to find a way to check each character and swap out non printable ones.
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