Tools: Missing PC symbols on a Mac? Use your browser!

Subject: Tools: Missing PC symbols on a Mac? Use your browser!
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 09:49:13 -0400

As Mac users know, there are many font mismatches between Mac and PC if you're using pre-Unicode fonts. Mac OS X provides good Unicode support, but if you're still using a version of Word older than Word 2004, you'll find that Word doesn't offer full Unicode support. Result: lots of standard Windows keyboard characters (e.g., the 1/2 fraction symbol, the superscript 2 and 3 symbols, etc.) appear as underscore characters (_). Very frustrating if you're an editor responsible for ensuring that the correct symbols are present!

If you can get your clients to send you a PDF, the characters are usually visible in the PDF and you can work around the problem. If not, there's an alternative: On the McEdit list, Julie Pickard reported an elegant solution that often works (lightly revised; all errors mine):
- Save a copy of the Word file in html format, then launch your Unicode-enabled Web browser. (Safari, for example.)
- Open the html file in the browser. If you see a message about a missing Character Set (or something similar), keep clicking OK until the file loads.
- Voila! In most cases, you should now see the characters in your browser.

Very cool. Hope this helps!

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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