Wordperfect Weirdness

I work with lots of authors who use WordPerfect. Sometimes they pass their documents on to colleagues who use Microsoft Word. That wouldn’t be a problem if the authors would first save their documents in Word format. But they don’t, and their colleagues work on the documents in Word, pass them around to others, and then give them back to the authors, who send them to me.

When I open these documents they look okay–except that some of the characters look kind of funny. The quotation marks and apostrophes are a little crooked, and the em dashes are thick and bold. What’s going on here?

What’s going on is that these aren’t regular ANSI characters. You can prove this by selecting one and then pressing CTRL + SPACEBAR to remove any directly applied formatting. When you do, the character will turn into some other character. With this particular kind of weirdness, an opening quotation mark (for example) will become a capital A. You could Find and Replace these with real quotation marks, but your document may have hundreds–even thousands–of *real* capital A’s that you want to preserve.

Here’s a list of the pseudo-characters (the ones I’ve identified; there could be more) and their corresponding true identities:

CHARACTER DISGUISED AS TRUE IDENTITY (sort of)

Em dash C

En dash B

Opening quotation mark A

Closing quotation mark @

Opening single quotation mark >

Closing single quotation mark

(apostrophe) =

Another way to prove something weird is happening is to put your cursor in front of one of these characters and then run the macro you’ll find here:

http://www.topica.com/lists/editorium/read/message.html?mid=1704193319

The macro will tell you that the ANSI number is 40–which is really the number for an opening parenthesis. That will be true whether you’re checking a pseudo-quotation mark, em dash, en dash, whatever. So you can’t Find and Replace them by using character number 40, either, since your document may contain legitimate parentheses.

What’s needed is a way to Find and Replace a character that is an A (or whatever) *and* has the ANSI number 40. At the end of this article is a macro (one for Word 97 and above; one for Word 6 and 95) that will do just that, for all the weird characters in question.

Now, if you run into this WordPerfect weirdness, you’ll have a way to fix it. If you know about other characters that act the same way, please let me know and I’ll include them in a future newsletter with a revised macro.

If you remove directly applied formatting and the character (such as an em dash) *doesn’t* change to something else (such as a C) but instead to a less-bold version of the same thing (which can happen), then the macro won’t fix it. It if you know what’s going on with *these* weird characters and how to fix them, please let me know and I’ll share your solution in the newsletter.

If you don’t know how to use macros like the following, you can learn how here.

‘MACRO FOR WORD 97 AND ABOVE STARTS HERE

Dim a

Dim i

Dim FalseChar$

Dim TrueChar$

Dim ThisChar

WordBasic.EditFindClearFormatting

WordBasic.EditReplaceClearFormatting

WordBasic.StartOfDocument

‘Check for platform

a = InStr(WordBasic.[AppInfo$](1), “Macintosh”)

For i = 1 To 6

‘Set find and replace variables

Select Case i

Case 1

FalseChar$ = “C”

If a Then

TrueChar$ = Chr(209)

Else

TrueChar$ = Chr(151)

End If

Case 2

FalseChar$ = “B”

If a Then

TrueChar$ = Chr(208)

Else

TrueChar$ = Chr(150)

End If

Case 3

FalseChar$ = “A”

If a Then

TrueChar$ = Chr(210)

Else

TrueChar$ = Chr(147)

End If

Case 4

FalseChar$ = “@”

If a Then

TrueChar$ = Chr(211)

Else

TrueChar$ = Chr(148)

End If

Case 5

FalseChar$ = “>”

If a Then

TrueChar$ = Chr(212)

Else

TrueChar$ = Chr(145)

End If

Case 6

FalseChar$ = “=”

If a Then

TrueChar$ = Chr(213)

Else

TrueChar$ = Chr(146)

End If

Case Else

End Select

‘Find and replace

WordBasic.EditFind Find:=FalseChar$, MatchCase:=1, PatternMatch:=0

While WordBasic.EditFindFound()

ThisChar = Asc(WordBasic.[Selection$]())

If ThisChar = 40 Then

WordBasic.WW6_EditClear

WordBasic.Insert TrueChar$

End If

WordBasic.EditFind

Wend

Next i

‘MACRO ENDS HERE

‘MACRO FOR WORD 6 and 95 STARTS HERE

EditFindClearFormatting

EditReplaceClearFormatting

StartOfDocument

‘Check for platform

a = InStr(AppInfo$(1), “Macintosh”)

For i = 1 To 6

‘Set find and replace variables

Select Case i

Case 1

FalseChar$ = “C”

If a Then

TrueChar$ = Chr$(209)

Else

TrueChar$ = Chr$(151)

End If

Case 2

FalseChar$ = “B”

If a Then

TrueChar$ = Chr$(208)

Else

TrueChar$ = Chr$(150)

End If

Case 3

FalseChar$ = “A”

If a Then

TrueChar$ = Chr$(210)

Else

TrueChar$ = Chr$(147)

End If

Case 4

FalseChar$ = “@”

If a Then

TrueChar$ = Chr$(211)

Else

TrueChar$ = Chr$(148)

End If

Case 5

FalseChar$ = “>”

If a Then

TrueChar$ = Chr$(212)

Else

TrueChar$ = Chr$(145)

End If

Case 6

FalseChar$ = “=”

If a Then

TrueChar$ = Chr$(213)

Else

TrueChar$ = Chr$(146)

End If

Case Else

End Select

‘Find and replace

EditFind .Find = FalseChar$, .MatchCase = 1, .PatternMatch = 0

While EditFindFound()

ThisChar = Asc(Selection$())

If ThisChar = 40 Then

WW6_EditClear

Insert TrueChar$

End If

EditFind

Wend

Next i

‘MACRO ENDS HERE

_________________________________________

READERS WRITE

Donna Payne wrote:

In response to readers write about Track Changes in Word 2002:

Although Microsoft has removed the option for how deleted text should appear in this version due to markup balloons, we have a free pdf file at the following location that explains how to get around this:

http://www.payneconsulting.com/public/tips/TipDetail.asp?nTipID=82.

Donna Payne

President

Payne Consulting Group, Inc.

www.payneconsulting.com

___________________

Johanna Murphy wrote:

In answer to Mary Eberle’s comments regarding AutoCorrect in you previous newsletter, I would like to give you my comments on this subject. I also have been using AutoCorrect heavily in Word 97, and I copied my normal over. The problem I have is just the opposite. The formatted entries freeze up the program, but the unformatted all work. Especially the entries I have for inserting fields. For instance, I create a date by using the field Month Date and Year. I then copy it into the AutoCorrect box and tell it to be formatted, but it will turn it into unformatted or freeze up the program. I really hate that! Any suggestions would be appreciated.

While I’ve got your attention, I am also hoping you or your readers could help me with a problem in Word XP. I work for a law firm and when we had Word 97, I had created the firm’s letterhead templates, pleading templates, etc. I inserted comments into the templates for the other users’ convenience. When the templates were transferred to Word XP, the comments showed up as a thin vertical line on the screen, and the lines ALSO PRINTED! Every time I open a template it is set to “Final Markup.” Since then, I have learned to use the Reviewing Toolbar to set the document to “Final Document.” This procedure is very tiresome to always have to remember to switch to Final Document. Staff and attorneys call me all the time to ask why these vertical lines show up when they print something. I have deleted the comments out of the templates, but the lines still show up unexpectedly on the printed documents even though they don’t show on the screen anymore. Is there help for this? Thanks.

Thanks to Donna for the additional information and to Johanna for her questions.

_________________________________________

RESOURCES

If you’re having problems importing documents from other word processing programs into Microsoft Word, some of the document converters from Microsoft may help:

http://office.microsoft.com/downloads/default.aspx?Product=Word&Version=95|97|98|2000|2002&Type=Converter|Viewer

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