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I'm using Windows 7 Basic and Microsoft Office 2007 and I write word documents using not English characters (ă, ţ, ş).
When I give them to other people, these special characters show up as squares. Anybody knows why, is there a fix for this ?

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Wich version of Windows and Office do "the other people" use? –  Martin Apr 22 '10 at 9:23
windows xp and office 2007 –  Omu Apr 23 '10 at 6:14

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

This problem might related to font encoding. See this Microsoft article how to save and open files: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/HP052584541033.aspx

This might give you some additional info: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/HA101212491033.aspx

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The font you used is not installed on their computer. Or it is a different version of the same font that doesn't have a complete complete character map. Simplest solution? Pick a standard font that does have all the characters, or give them the font you are using. Watch out for licensing questions when distributing fonts though.

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I'm using Times New Roman, and the ones that I gave the doc have this font, what they do is select the "box" characters by one and replace them with the needed ones, but they appear kinda different, a little curved –  Omu Apr 22 '10 at 8:09
If they appear different, then that could very well be an indication of a different version of the font. Or, as Nicu suggested, the encoding of the file itself. –  Roald van Doorn Apr 22 '10 at 15:32

This is likely an encoding issue. Encoding is the way that a computers interprets and displays a file containing text, using a specific set of characters. (see http://www.text-editor.org/encoding.htm for an explanation of encoding) If the person who you send the file to does not have support for the encoding, it may not display correctly. To fix the issue, try saving the file under an encoding like UTF-8, which has support for a huge number of special characters.

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There's another trick that works for older versions of Word, and is much easier:

  1. Select the text that appears as squares. Select All may work.

  2. Left-lick on the Styles drop-down but do not click on any style.

  3. Dismiss the Styles drop-down by left-clicking anywhere in the document display.

Shazam --- the squares turn into the correct glyphs.

The Styles drop-down is the one that contains items like Normal, Heading 1, and usually many others.

Cliff cb0 AT me ...you know the rest

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