WD97: Symbol Characters Change to Box Characters

This article was previously published under Q160022
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
For a Microsoft Word 2002 version of this article, see 290978.
Symptoms
When you format text with a symbol font, such as Wingdings, and then changeto a non-symbol font such as Times New Roman, the text is replaced with boxcharacters.
Cause
Word displays the box characters after it translates the symbol font to itsUnicode equivalent.

This problem occurs when you do the following:
  1. Format text using a symbol font, such as Wingdings.
  2. Select the text from Step 1 and apply a non-symbol font, such as Times New Roman.
Workaround
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The following Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications macro converts thesymbol characters to non-symbol characters:

NOTE: Select the square characters before you run the following macro.
Sub ConvertSymbol()   Dim dlg As Object   Dim NoFC As Integer   Dim SCP As Integer   Dim StartRange As Range   Dim UniCodeNum As Integer   ' Temporarily disable Screen Updating   Application.ScreenUpdating = False   ' Temporarily disable Smart Cut & Paste   If Options.SmartCutPaste = True Then      SCP = 1      Options.SmartCutPaste = False   End If   ' Temporarily display field text   If ActiveWindow.View.ShowFieldCodes = False Then      NoFC = 1      ActiveWindow.View.ShowFieldCodes = True   End If   ' Set StartRange variable to current selection's range   Set StartRange = Selection.Range   Selection.Collapse   ' Select first, then each next character in user-defined selection   Selection.MoveRight unit:=wdCharacter, Extend:=wdExtend   While Selection.End <= StartRange.End And _   ActiveDocument.Content.End > Selection.End     ' If the character is a space, then move to next character     Set dlg = Dialogs(wdDialogInsertSymbol)     UniCodeNum = dlg.charnum     If UniCodeNum = 32 Then       Selection.Collapse       Selection.MoveRight unit:=wdCharacter, Extend:=wdMove       Selection.MoveRight unit:=wdCharacter, Extend:=wdExtend     End If     ' Loop, converting symbol Unicode characters to ASCII characters     Set dlg = Dialogs(wdDialogInsertSymbol)     UniCodeNum = dlg.charnum     While UniCodeNum < 0 And Selection.End <= StartRange.End _     And ActiveDocument.Content.End > Selection.End        Selection.Delete        Selection.InsertAfter (ChrW(UniCodeNum + 4096))        Selection.Collapse (wdCollapseEnd)        Selection.MoveRight unit:=wdCharacter, Extend:=wdExtend        Set dlg = Dialogs(wdDialogInsertSymbol)        UniCodeNum = dlg.charnum     Wend     Selection.Collapse (wdCollapseEnd)     Selection.MoveRight unit:=wdCharacter, Extend:=wdExtend   Wend   ' Reset Word document settings   If SCP = 1 Then Options.SmartCutPaste = True   If NoFC = 1 Then ActiveWindow.View.ShowFieldCodes = False      Selection.Collapse (wdCollapseStart)      Selection.MoveLeft unit:=wdCharacter      Application.ScreenUpdating = TrueEnd Sub				
More information
The following table lists common symbol and non-symbol fonts.

   Symbol Fonts                             Non-Symbol Fonts   ---------------------------------------------------------   Bookshelf Symbol 3                       Arial   Marlett                                  Book Antiqua   Monotype Sorts                           Bookman Old Style   MS Outlook                               Century Schoolbook   MT Extra                                 Courier New   Symbol                                   Garamond   Wingdings                                Times New Roman				


Unicode

Unicode is a 16-bit character set designed to cover all the world's majorliving languages, in addition to scientific symbols and dead languages thatare the subject of scholarly interest. It eliminates the complexity ofmulti-byte character sets that are currently used on UNIX and Windows tosupport Asian languages. A consortium of companies including Apple,Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Digital, and IBM created Unicode. Thesecompanies used information from the ISO-10646 standard to produce a singlestandard in 1993. Unicode is the basis for the Windows NT operating system.

Unicode is a 16-bit character set where all characters occupy the samespace. The first 256 values are the same as the ISO-Latin character set,which is also the basis for the ANSI character set used in Windows 3.1 andWindows 95. However, Unicode defines 34,168 distinct coded characters. Inmost character sets, a single value is often assigned to several characters.For example, in ASCII a "-" is used to represent a hyphen, a minus sign, adash, and a non-breaking hyphen. In Unicode, each meaning is given its owncode; that is, a hyphen is represented by a character different from aminus sign, and so forth. The Unicode standard contains only one instanceof each character and assigns it a unique name and code value. It alsosupports "combining" accent characters, which follow the base characterthat they are to modify.

For more information about Unicode, visit the Unicode Web site at:
square boxed garbage incorrect font symbols change changed changing boxes wd97
Properties

Article ID: 160022 - Last Review: 10/26/2013 09:03:00 - Revision: 3.0

  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition
  • kbnosurvey kbarchive kbdtacode kbpending kbprb KB160022
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