Microsoft SmartQuotes II – Attack of the Umlauts

Awhile back, Chris had done a blog post and an article on MS Smart Quotes and how they don’t always necessarily translate globally. Besides being lost in translation, Smart Quote characters also have a tendency to break things, like RSS Feeds and guess what? It’s not just quotes and apostrophes that this applies to as MS Word will also apply a SQ type affect to hyphens as well, among other items. Here is a list of common MS SQ characters to avoid when writing articles, especially in your Title and Summary.

Copyright Symbols – ® © ™
Use (c) or (r) instead

Words with é in them – decor, resume and others.
Just use a plain ole e, we won’t think less of you. This also goes for any other letters with the apostrophe-thingy (highly technical term there) over a letter.

Foreign Language Characters
Try and replace with the English equivalent.
ñ = n (Spanish tilde)
&#252 = u (German umlaut)

British Pound Symbols – £
Please use the word pound.

Fractions – ¼ ½ ¾
Replace with 1/4 1/2 3/4

The above are examples we see on a daily basis, but there are others.

Best way to avoid all of this is to make sure to transfer your MS Word written article to a Text Editor, clean any character formatting up and then copy/paste your article from there.

Or just write the whole article in your Text Editor (with spell check) and cut out the middle man. :-)


Dina writes:

Hey, Wally. Boy do I hear you on this one.

I’ve mainly noticed a problem with any ‘FORMATTED’ text. I tell people who send copy in Word to PLEASE SHUT OFF their autocorrect feature and DON’T FORMAT for print.

All those indents, bullets and anything that the Word Monster will automate for you somehow gets screwed up in the translation to HTML.

Thanks for reminding us.

– Dina

Comment provided February 3, 2006 at 7:19 AM


Ajitesh Biswas writes:

The article is an eye-opening one for those who do not have any knowledge about the pitfalls of typing articles in MS Word which autoformats and autocorrects some characters.

Comment provided February 6, 2006 at 11:07 AM


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