What Causes These Strange Characters On A Webpage

by Willie Crawford 12 replies
I just noticed that the first and second paragraph
in the body of the webpages at:
http://easypushbuttontraffic.com
has "diamond shaped boxes with question marks in
them" in places where I sure that quotation marks
belong.

Can an html/browser expert enlighten me as to what
causes this. I have seen it a number of times
before.

I notice this when using FireFox if that makes
a difference.

Thanks,
Willie
#main internet marketing discussion forum #characters #strange #webpage
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  • Profile picture of the author chriswight
    Are you using Firefox?
    Signature

    Chris Wight
    www.ChrisWight.com

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    • Profile picture of the author John Motson
      Hey Willie,

      I don't see the strange shapes, but when I checked the page source I noticed that there is not encoding meta tag specified in the page <head> element...

      No encoding => weird character display issues... sometimes.

      John
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
        Willie,

        It is definitely a character-set issue. In this case, it happens because the content was copy/pasted from Word or the like and it included quotation marks that are non-standard.

        While you may be able to fix this by changing the encoding in your DOCTYPE, that is not the solution I would recommend.

        Just replace the quotes with the normal variety you get when typing here on the forum in a basic text editor.

        Mike
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        • Profile picture of the author Willie Crawford
          Originally Posted by MikeLantz View Post

          Willie,

          It is definitely a character-set issue. In this case, it happens because the content was copy/pasted from Word or the like and it included quotation marks that are non-standard.

          While you may be able to fix this by changing the encoding in your DOCTYPE, that is not the solution I would recommend.

          Just replace the quotes with the normal variety you get when typing here on the forum in a basic text editor.

          Mike
          Thanks Mike,

          Not my page, but I'll pass it along.

          Willie
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          • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
            Originally Posted by Willie Crawford View Post

            Thanks Mike,

            Not my page, but I'll pass it along.
            Yea, I realized that after posting!

            I actually do not see the offending characters you are referring to, but the solution is still the same. It really is a common problem because of the special single-quotes, double-quotes, certain dashes, and even ellipsis [...] that programs like Word use to make things look prettier.

            Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author Willie Crawford
      Originally Posted by chriswight View Post

      Are you using Firefox?
      Yes, Firefox 2.0.0.16.
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      • Profile picture of the author chriswight
        Firefox seems to have trouble with various types of puncuation that IE seems to handle seamlessly. Like Mike said, it's usually an issue with the page encoding.
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        • Profile picture of the author Sean Donahoe
          Just to help here, This is usually due to a character set issue. Usually when this happens it is due to UTF8 characters trying to be shown as ISO8559 such as smart quotes, mdashes etc (usually from MS Word etc). To rectify this you can force browsers to treat the content as UTF8 by adding this line to your meta tags:

          Code:
          <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=utf-8" />
          Failing that, just pull the offending text into a text editor and replace the bad characters with the relevant equivalents, replacing smart quotes, apostrophes and symbols etc.
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          • Profile picture of the author Greg Cooksley
            Hey Willie,

            I'm using FF3.0 and I don't see the characters you talk about
            unless they've already been fixed...

            Regards

            Greg
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            • Profile picture of the author Willie Crawford
              Originally Posted by Greg Cooksley View Post

              Hey Willie,

              I'm using FF3.0 and I don't see the characters you talk about
              unless they've already been fixed...

              Regards

              Greg

              Hi Greg,

              They should have been corrected by now since I did notify
              the site own immediately, and also pointed her to this thread.

              Thank you,
              Willie
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              • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
                To confirm what has already been said, yes the Word quotes are the source.
                They showed up fine on my site until I decided to get rid of the 5 character
                ms quotes and replace them using the site editor. It turned out that the quotes
                also have an invisible character in addition to the ones that you see in the
                editor and if you don't backspace over that one also, you get the diamond
                with the question mark.

                I sent just about everyone I knew to a site with those, and no one mentioned
                it to me. Here on the forum it seems people are grateful when someone is
                enthusiastic enough to point out a problem like that and I sure would have
                appreciated it, but when people don't put up their own sites I guess they don't
                understand that kind of feeling.
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