I have never seen a problem like this before...

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Alright. This is the second time that I have typed this so I am going to make it short. I work for a newspaper as a web developer. The web team gets their files from the writers. The environment is a mix Win/Mac.

When we open the files, on windows or OS X, there is always a weird shift in some of the characters. This happens in most programs. If I open the files in Safari, I can see the change. For instance, ? is Õ. ? are Ó and Ò. A ? is Ñ.

This is identical over all platforms. As a result, the web team simply Find/Replaces everything before they upload it.

It gets stranger. When I open one of the files in BBEdit, at first it reads the file PERFECTLY. There is no Ñ, it is the proper character. When opened in every other program however, Dreamweaver? textedit etc? the wrong character appears.

It gets even stranger. Last night, I had both Dreamweaver and BBEdit open with the same file. As I command-tabbed between them (and I tried it this morning, it still does this), the characters <I>switched</I>. What I mean by that, is that the messed up characters (and only the messed up ones) shuffled through characters ? in both programs. It was stuff I had never seen before, too, like mathematical characters and such. So BBEdit seems to be reading the encoding with no problem, but then as I command tabbed one of the programs was replacing the characters with other ones. And the files would be saved that way.

I should note that throughout this whole process, Safari was still able to read the messed up letters.

I am stumped. I would love to know how to fix all of these files so that we don?t have this problem ? but even if there is no solution, I cannot find/replace if the characters continuously keep switching on me. I am just curious to figure out what the hell this is?


  • Reply 1 of 4
    what FONT(S) are you using?
  • Reply 2 of 4
    Hey Vistago

    I've experienced myself the same kind of problems while i was publishing for a content portal which required lots of page layout.

    The guys in the dev teams created me (on PC) some templates on the server, supposedly coming with full toolbars around the place where I had to cmd-C / cmd-V. (I could either paste direct HTML (already laid out) or HTML code.

    First, I never saw said toolbars (OSX uncompliant ?), but when i made my pastes, after saving the characters where modified strangely (same kind of patterns you describe).

    Only solution I found was to first edit all my docs in Dreamweaver in layout mode, switch to code mode, then paste the HTML code on the server...

    But even in switching PC-written data from layout mode to code I had strange character substitution... (of course with GoLive the modifications were there, but not the same substitutions !!!)... which I had to correct one by one!

    I guess this post won't solve your problem, but at least you know others've been trough it.

    And it's extremely irritating, further of being unprofessional.

  • Reply 3 of 4
    I've seen this before when hand coding HTML in SimpleText on OS 9 sometimes when published on the net those characters would appear. I think it's something to do with the coding used to save the file? I'm not 100% sure.

    If you open up the preferences on TextEdit you can see that there are many options for saving text files in UNICODE UTF-16, UTF-8 and Western - MacOS and Windows along with Chinese, Japanese encodings etc.

    I'm not sure which is the correct one to be saving in but maybe this has something to with it? Dreamweaver on Mac probably saves in Western - MacOS and when this gets opened it expects it in a different encoding.

    I'm probably very wrong, but this is just what I thought when I read your post.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    I was wondering if it could be font related. Are you using different versions of the same font? Are you using a Unicode font when originally you were using a PostScript or TrueType font? If you copy some text from Safari and the font being used in Safari is a TrueType font and then you paste that type into TextEdit and the default font there is Helvetica the Unicode version then I am guessing that this would cause the shift in characters.
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