I have noticed that sometimes when people copy and paste text from other documents or websites, there are special characters in the text (such as curly quotations marks or foreign characters) that are not recognized in the Moveable Type interface and display as questions marks. For example:
"According to Humberto Márquez, the Venezuelan writer and author of Historia Universal de La Destrucción de Los Libros (2004), about a million books and ten million documents were destroyed by the fires of April 14, 2003." (http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=4710).
(I'm not picking on you Michael, this was just the most recent example. Also I was able to fix the problem which is why I'm writing this.)
“This is what happens when you copy and paste the curly quotation marks around this sentence from MS Word.”
Here are some suggestions to avoid this problem.
For the curly brackets problem, if you must copy and paste text that was created in MS Word, you will need to edit it to remove the curly quotations marks (and any of other so-called "smart characters" that MS Word creates). You can do this manually after you have copied and pasted the code into Moveable Type (delete and retype the quotation marks and they will go back to being plain quotation marks), or you can do this more quickly (for large amounts of text) by copying and pasting the text into a simple text editor such as Notepad or WordPad. This will automatically strip and replace the special characters and make it safe to use in MT.
The foreign characters are a little more complicated. The easy solution is to use the Enlish language characters without the accents, etc. If you are dedicated to preserving the accents, you will need to use special HTML code to represent them.
For example, you need to use the follow code sequence to create their corresponding characters.
ó = ó
ã = ã
Here is a link to a table of special characters and the code that can be used to get them to display properly. Have fun!
Posted by cminor at July 14, 2005 10:46 AM