Foreign characters changing in Word?

Subject: Foreign characters changing in Word?
From: Geoff hart <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "'Sharon Deitch'" <Sharon -at- eshbel -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 08:53:20 -0500

Sharon Deitch reported a problem <<...resulting from using Hebrew text... In
several of the files, the text that was originally in Hebrew (appearing in
Greek in our English-only Word) seems to have changed its character set.
Changing the font doesn't help, nor does changing the language. The person
who worked on these particular files doesn't remember exactly what she did
differently.>>

You've probably just encountered a particularly annoying bug in Word. My
memory of the details is hazy, but the problem goes something like this: If
the other author used a font that you don't have on your computer rather
than a text font to enter the Hebrew characters, then Word converts the
characters into some font that _is_ available on your computer (usually
Symbol). That's Word's attempt to be helpful, because if it didn't do this
font substitution, you wouldn't be able to read the file at all. Text fonts
generally convert in this manner without problems, but not Symbol, for some
reason.

I was able to replicate this error with my current version of Word (updated
to Service Release SR-2): type any word in (say) Times Roman, select the
word, convert it to Symbol font, then save the document _after_ converting
the Roman text into Symbol. When you reopen the document, you can no longer
switch the font back into Times; when you try, you get a series of Word's
"there's a character here but I have no idea what it is" boxes. Others can
hopefully provide details on a truly useful solution, but about all you can
do once this damage has occurred is ask the author to resend the original
file, but modified to use a text font that you have on your computer (and
definitely not Symbol). The alternative is to spend a lot of time doing
search and replace to change the characters back into Hebrew, but that's
going to take time and will be quite error prone.

--Geoff Hart, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"The paperless office will arrive when the paperless toilet
arrives."--Matthew Stevens




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