Home     Help   Index     Login
Avoid junk characters from MS Word # 1119 Back to Directory   Review Date:2013.11.04
Help Category: Trip Reports

Summary: How to avoid special characters when exporting from Microsoft word.

If you write a trip reports using programs like Microsoft Word, and then transfer it to Bivouac, you sometimes see mysterious character sequences. What is happening is that the "auto format" feature of word has inserted special "opening quote" and "closing quote" characters for what you typed, but the browser doesn't know how to handle these special characters.

To avoid this problem, you either have to turn off the "auto format" or when you export the text from word, make sure it is plain text. Or use a regular text editor rather than Microsoft word. Otherwise, somebody has to go through your article, and replace the text strings with the characters. I've fixed hundreds of such reports.


  • Example 1 - Mike Peel's trip report
     We got warmed up for this 6 day canoe trip by canoeing from Tuwanek Point (where we rented the canoes) - near Sechelt - north along the coast to Nine mile point, across the Salmon and Narrows Inlet and then on through Skookumchuck Narrows (at slack tide!), with a stop at the Cinnamon bun bakery at Egmont and then across Jervis Inlet to a small Island camp spot - home of Whiskers the baby seal

  • Example 2 - Single Quotes
     When I go into Microsoft Word and try to enclose a word in single quotes, I use the single quote on the keyboard. (the key beside the Enter key). But what happens is the "auto format" feature of Microsoft word turns my kestrokes to "opening quote" and closing quote. Below is an example:

    Actually in the file:

     This is a 'quote'.

    This is what is displayed.
     This is a 'quote'.

    However in this case, it seems to know how to translate the leading and trailing quote.

  • Example 3 - Wayne Weber
     Wayne's member description uses the slanted apostrophe for the abbreviation "I'm". On his member page, these are displayed with question marks. Yet on this help page, they display as upright quotes.

     I'm a native of North Vancouver...

    I'm a native of North Vancouver...