A bizarre text problem

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Parpar1836, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. Parpar1836 macrumors newbie


    May 29, 2010
    Rochester, New York
    Although I work in an office with linked Macs, my particular terminal isn't new, and not particularly up-to-date (Mac X, Version 10.4.11). I mostly use Word. I use Firefox for Internet, but have frequent freezes necessitating a "Force Quit."

    While editing a document I've been working on since around 1998 (so it's gone through several versions of Mac and Word), I noticed that several patches of text are corrupted. When I clicked the "¶" toolbar button (show nonprinting characters), the patches of text were displayed as being overlaid by ÿÿÿÿÿÿs (y with a diaeresis). Clicking the ¶ button to hide the nonprinting characters made the ÿs disappear. The affected text looks absolutely normal, except that it's peppered with tiny squiggly red lines indicating misspellings, but these are only one character long, whereas with genuine misspellings, they underlie the entire word. Doing a spellcheck yields no helpful results, as the words are not really misspelled, although various letters are displayed in the correction-suggestion pane.

    But copying and pasting pieces of text in the "Find/Replace"search bar shows that the letters of each word have spaces between them (which I certainly didn't put there). These spaces don't show up on a regular search, and they can't be corrected automatically in any way. The only way to fix the affected text is to retype it from scratch.

    Can anyone explain what may be causing this, and advise me on how to fix the text without retyping every affected patch?
  2. G.McGilli macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2015
    You will more than likely get a better response in the Operating System or Application forums imo as this doesn't sound like it's being caused specifically because you use an iMac.
  3. stevierg macrumors member


    Oct 19, 2015
    This sounds like the file at some point has been converted to unicode and back or vice versa. The problem here is the that it's pretty corrupt and can be hard to get back to it's original state, especially if there have been revisions to the file since.

    I'm not sure exactly what could have caused this in your instance, it could be saving it in a different machine, checkin the file into certain source control. Attaching the file to an email. There are a million other possibilities that could cause the conversion. It's possible that a tool mistook the file format and converted it for you.

    You could try using an app like Sublime Text and opening the file and saving the file with different encoding say ANSI or UNICODE or UTF-8 and see if that fixes the file.

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