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Tech: Word, html and special character

DMcG 05 Nov 16 - 08:24 AM
DMcG 05 Nov 16 - 09:00 AM
Joe Offer 05 Nov 16 - 12:49 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Nov 16 - 01:44 PM
DMcG 05 Nov 16 - 02:28 PM
DaveRo 05 Nov 16 - 03:42 PM
Mr Red 06 Nov 16 - 07:22 AM
Andrez 06 Nov 16 - 07:32 AM
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Subject: Tech: Word, html and special character
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 08:24 AM

As part of our club website we wanted to put up a history of the club. Now, I know I could put this up as a pdf, and I know using word as the basis of websites is not in general a good idea, but for this specific purpose I am thinking of doing so.

It has worked reasonably well except that word decided to be intelligent and use 'smart quotes' so that they appear as opening or closing as appropriate. And it does this with a lot of stuff em-spaces, em-dashes and so on. However if you then save it as a *.html file all this clever stuff seems to be changed into the same "unprintable" character making it a pain to sort out.

Anyone know a way to either get word to use the html ampersand forms of these, or change them into a basic character set?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word, html and special character
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 09:00 AM

Problem over. When you select 'Save As' htm;, there is a 'Tools' function that allows you to specify the encoding and that sorts it out.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word, html and special character
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 12:49 PM

That's a very worthwhile tip, Dave. It's a problem that has vexed me for years.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word, html and special character
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 01:44 PM

No - don't save it as HTM - there is too much crap in the code that way. Simply save the entire page as a PDF and it will display like the original document.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word, html and special character
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 02:28 PM

I did consider PDF and if it the history becomes more than the equivalent of a few A4 pages I will certainly switch to that but we also need to consider how the style of the document fits with the style of the rest of the site. As a relative newcomer to this club I couldn't write the history and the people who have that knowledge couldn't write html comfortably. I have thought about the options and alternatives and for the moment have taken the html output from word and passed it through preprocessors to clean it up and apply the site standards.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word, html and special character
From: DaveRo
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 03:42 PM

I used to collate contributions to a club newsletter that was also published on the web. I got stuff from Microsoft Word users containing smartquotes and my approach was to simply replace them all with ordinary quotes. A recursive edit will do that. In fact I used to drop all the authors' formatting and restyle it to suit the newsletter or website - which were quite different.

Including PDF in a web site is contentious. Jacon Neilson, the web usability guru, used to get quite exercised about it. But IMO it depends on the piece and the audience. It's probably unreadable on small devices, and for users who have poor sight and need to zoom the text (or are blind and use a screen reader). So not for an important page like the events list, but perhaps OK for a club history.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word, html and special character
From: Mr Red
Date: 06 Nov 16 - 07:22 AM

Word "Save As" HTML gives bloated files, but these days the sizes involved are unlikely to be a concern. The internet is about information at its best (and often misses the target). So I say make sure the page is accurate and readable. Which it looks like is being done.

PDF is a bit of a pain, consider doing it with anchors and a list at the top. Or Pages with a heading of links to each page. Not sure if Word handles anchors well, but links are no problem. Might I suggest that you don't change the URL of any page, give them appropriate names then have an (edited) "latest.htm" with links and leave old ones as is. That way people can put them on their favourites and always get back to them without searching!

Once you go down the Word route - don't try and see what it does in the HTML. Even a power user of HTML would give up on analysis. Trust me.

You can clean-up Word HTML (ish) in Dreamweaver, but don't expect miracles!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Word, html and special character
From: Andrez
Date: 06 Nov 16 - 07:32 AM

For what its worth pasting any text into a program that edits html like BBEdit for Mac, Adobe Dreamweaver or similar lets you apply any HTML Markup coding as needed at the flick of a switch literally. No need to do manual coding or suchlike. There are probably free editors out there to suit other platforms as well if you want to do a little googling.

The cool thing for your web pages is that these tools also let you get into using CSS styles that takes formatting text to anther level of simplicity once set up.

Cheers,

Andrez


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