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Word 2007 Format Character Displacement

by ravensice / August 20, 2010 8:59 AM PDT

I recently finished writing a book on a XP machine with Word 2007. After I finished the book, I copied the files to a flash drive and transferred them to another computer. Whenever I open the file on the original computer, everything is fine. Also, if I open the file from the flash drive on the original computer, everything is fine. However, if I open the file on any other computer, certain characters are replaced by other characters. These include:

"=" for a '
"@" for a " (left side)
"A" for a " (right side)

and so on. The following are what I have attempted:

1) I have tried opening the file on a Vista computer with Word 2007, a Windows 7 computer with Word 2007, a XP machine with Word 2003, and a XP machine with Word 2007. The problem is the same on all machines running all versions of Word.
2) I compared all the settings between the original XP machine running Word 2007, and the Windows 7 machine running Word 2007. All the settings that I could find, match.
3) I have renamed and recreated the Normal.dotm and templates.
4) I went through all of the Help Table of Contents and did not find anything that matched my problem. In addition, I didn't find anything on the Internet that matched this issue.
5) I have tried a repair of Word 2007 and an uninstall/reinstall of Word 2007.

If anyone has an idea of why this is happening, I would appreciate the input. All the Best.


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Re: font substitution
by Kees Bakker / August 20, 2010 11:42 PM PDT

That's either a language setting (in Control Panel>Regional settings), a keyboard setting or a font issue.
Let's hope that your publisher and printer don't have this issue when reading and printing your book!

Try to diagnose the problem by copy/paste to Notepad, saving as a text file and using a hex editor to see what characters it are.

It's an interesting issue. I would like to have a look at (part of) the file myself. Can you make a new file with a small sample (a few lines) with such characters? Then click on my user name to PM me (send me a private mail). I'll reply. Then you've got my email address (which I won't make public) and can send me that sample file as an attachment.

As apparently you have access to other PC's, it would be interesting if you typed the same text in the same version of Word using the same font on that other PC, and see how it shows on your PC. That's the same thing, but the other way around. Please send me that second document also, for comparison. If they look the same on the screen on their 'native' PC, they should be identical and show identical with me.



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Re: font substitution
by Kees Bakker / August 22, 2010 6:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: font substitution


Thank you for sending the sample files. Once I had saved them in html and opened those files in Notepad, it was immediately clear. And indeed is was a font issue, as you guessed.

For some reason that only you know, you use characters from an old non-Microsoft font to display the open and ending quotes. It's WP Typographic Symbols (that's from a nearly forgotten program called WordPerfect). If that's present on the computer used to open the document, they show as what you want. If that font is not present, they show as A and @.

In fact they ARE A and @. You can see the effect by opening a new document, select Arial and type A@. Then select that 2 characters and change their font to, say, Wingdings, Webdings, WPIconicSymbolsA and finally WP Typographic Symbols. That's the trick of ttf fonts: how a certain symbol (numeric value) LOOKS depends on the font.

So the simple lessons:
1. When making a document for someone else, DO NOT USE fonts that he doesn't have.
2. When making a document for someone else and using fonts he doesn't have, send him those fonts and let him install them.

Now on a new line, set the font to Times New Roman or Arial or Calibri, fontsize 22 and type "alfabet". See how smart Word is: the first quote is translated to an open quote, the second one to a end quote. It's an option (do it or don't do it) in Tools>Autocorrection options in Word 2003 (I didn't look in Word 2007, but they should be there somewhere).
Those ARE different characters, even for Microsoft, so there's not a single need for you to use the old WP fonts in the future. So that are other lessons:

3. Dump the non-Microsoft fonts you don't need.
4. If you think you're sure you need them, contact the publisher and printer of your book and ask them for typographical advice. If they don't have them, they would have to pay the license holder to use them in your book. And they don't like that, of course.
5. In fact, always ask the publisher or the printer for typographical advice when using anything else than absolutely standard fonts.

Hope this helps. And best of luck with your book.


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One More Question
by ravensice / August 22, 2010 6:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: font substitution

It appears that you are correct. However, my problem now is that I have all of the chapters using the WordPerfect font, and even when I copy and past them into another document, the problem remains the same. Is there any way to convert the files from the WordPerfect font into Word, so that I do not have to retype the whole book (which is what I have started doing now)? Thanks again.


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by ravensice / August 23, 2010 10:00 AM PDT
In reply to: One More Question

Indeed, the problem ended up being that I have both Word 2007 AND WordPerfect 12 installed on the same computer. At some point, I must have either created/opened these files in WordPerfect, hence the error. However, there are two other issues that I post here for those undergoing a similar error:
(1) How can you prevent this error from happening in the future?
(2) How can I fix the problem on documents that have already been created?

I have found two solutions to (1). The first involves a very detailed uninstall/reinstall of Word 2007, including going through the registry and removing certain instances. This can be found doing a generic search for "complete reinstall Word 2007". The other option (perhaps a simpler one) is to go to the following URL:
After going to the site, follow the instructions on how to create a .vbs file that will edit the registry to prevent Word from using WPWin fonts if present on the computer. The instructions speak for itself, so I will leave that there.

The real issue is what to do about question (2). Go to the URL:
Once you get to the website, follow the instructions on creating/installing a macro for your "normal" (default) template. Make sure to follow ALL instructions; not doing so will prevent it from working. Once installed, follow the instructions to run the macro to convert your WPWin fonts into fonts recognized easily by Word.

I hope that helps anyone that is going through some of the same issues. Infinite thanks to Kees who went far beyond what could be expected to lead me through this issue and help my book get back on the right track. I appreciate it very very much. All the Best.


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Good job.
by Kees Bakker / August 24, 2010 4:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Solved

I give a hint, and you pick it up perfectly, it seems.


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