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Problems with Spanish text in ID

Apr 15, 2012 6:15 PM

Whenever I place a Spanish rtf/Word file into ID I lose all the accents above the text, the accented characters come in instead with other odd special characters in place of the properly formatted letter.

 

Any insight would be appreciated.

 

ID 7.0.4, Snow, MacPro 2.8ghz.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 15, 2012 8:33 PM   in reply to GeofferyH

    I deal with foreign-language problems in InDesign constantly, but I've not heard of anything like this before. Spanish works pretty much everywhere, these days, although I did once see all accented Spanish characters turn into Arabic glyphs in an early release of Word 2000. And my generic suggestion for your issue would be to resave your RTF in another format - you say RTF/Word in your post, so I guess that means you've tried both? If not, try the other one!

     

    If that didn't work, you could try saving raw text out of Word (I think you can do that in Word on the Mac, haven't thought about it in a long time) and see if a) the results of the save look right in TextEdit, and b) assuming it's correct in TextEdit, whether it will place correctly into InDesign. This will tell you if the problem is in your file or is being induced by importing it into ID.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2012 1:19 AM   in reply to GeofferyH

    It sounds a lot like the old cross-platform character mapping differences with old fonts when moving from Mac to Windows, or vice versa. Joel is definitely more expert than anyone else here on this subject, but if the mapping is consistent, I would just use find/change to fix the text after importing.

     
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  • John Hawkinson
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    Apr 16, 2012 7:16 AM   in reply to GeofferyH

    Geoffrey, please post a screenshot of your problem.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2012 10:16 AM   in reply to John Hawkinson

    Indeed, it'd probably be pretty obvious what is going on from a screenshot. It's been a long time since I've seen character drops in Spanish induced by changing platforms. If that is the issue here, then it would be totally obvious from the screenshot, and (assuming that there's only one RTF placed in your InDesign doc) a few find-and-change queries can fix the text. However, since you say "whenever I place a Spanish rtf/Word file" then it's not just one document (right?), so it's probably not time-efficient to do that find-change every time. Eventually it'll betray you, by doing something like breaking the French when you are fixing the Spanish.

     
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  • John Hawkinson
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    Apr 16, 2012 1:25 PM   in reply to GeofferyH

    Does it come across ok?

    That's the question, we cannot possible know. Post a screen shot so it is unambiguous.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2012 2:21 PM   in reply to GeofferyH

    If you were to come out and actually say "z with macron" or "double dagger" when you post

    (e.g., Ž and ‡)

     

    then a screenshot would be technically unnecessary. Knowing what the one-to-one substitution is will help us figure out exactly what the problem is. However, obviously what is going on here is an encoding issue, so we don't trust your keyboard or your browser to show us what you are actually seeing. Post a screenshot! I recall the i-with-acute -> double-dagger substitution as being a dead giveaway for Mac OS encodings from the OS 9 being mis-identified, but it'd be pointless to pursue that because we don't know if that is what you are actually seeing. For all I know, the "weirdness" is being rendered incorrectly and we are all of us seeing different "wierdness."

     
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  • John Hawkinson
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    Apr 16, 2012 6:47 PM   in reply to Joel Cherney

    Joel:

    If you were to come out and actually say "z with macron"

    You of course mean LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Z WITH CARON?

     
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  • John Hawkinson
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    Apr 16, 2012 6:50 PM   in reply to GeofferyH

    OK, What are those characters supposed to be?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2012 9:58 PM   in reply to John Hawkinson

    Gah. Indeed, that's a caron, not a macron.

     

    The Z-caron is an e-acute, the double dagger is an a-acute, the oe-ligature  is u-acute, and the em dash is an o-acute.

     

    GeoffreyH, it seems like John has something up his sleeve - perhaps he can share it with us now that he knows what that sample ought to look like. However, I suspect he'll have more questions for you. As far as the insight you asked for in your OP, I would likewise still have questions for you, instead of insight. Something is obviously obviously wonky with either the way your RTFs or Word files are made, or about the way that InDesign is interpreting said documents. This particular kind of substitution error is not typically a result of InDesign's processing when placing documents, at least in my experience. So I'd be more likely to ask you how you're making those files, and what they look like when you use an application to look at them that is neither InDesign the app that made them, as I asked for in my first post in your thread. Maybe you could give that a shot? Or you could tell us how these files you are placing were made? Any detail would be useful.

     

    Alternately, if we knew what every accented character in Spanish was dropping to, it wouldn't be hard to gin up a set of saved find-change queries of GREP queries, or a Javascript, that would automatically clean up the poorly-encoded characters. This has always been a bad plan in my working environment (where e.g. using a change-all to replace the oe lig with u-acute would accidentaly induce ruination in some legal Latin somewhere else in the document) but might work well for you.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2012 12:33 AM   in reply to Joel Cherney

    Anyone care to bet we see "Claris Works" pop up her at some point in the near future?

     
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  • John Hawkinson
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    Apr 17, 2012 2:13 AM   in reply to Joel Cherney

    Gah. Indeed, that's a caron, not a macron.

    If it is any consolation, I thought it was a breve until I cheated...

     

     

    The Z-caron is an e-acute, the double dagger is an a-acute, the oe-ligature  is u-acute, and the em dash is an o-acute.

     

    GeoffreyH, it seems like John has something up his sleeve - perhaps he can share it with us now that he knows what that sample ought to look like.

    Uhoh...I am wearing a sleeveless t shirt at the moment, at least metaphorically. (In reality the sleeves are just short.)

     

    I was hoping for some clear correspondence to magically be obvious. Z-caron is U+017D. E-acute is U+00E9.

    Maybe comparing all the others would yield some sort of pattern... Perhaps someone has a handy tool that looks at ISO-8859-* encodings and compares them against UTF-8/16/32 encodings and looks for correlations? I don't have one, other than pouring over tables...

     

    As for Claris works, aside from making a bad joke about gendered pronouns, perhaps we could let it stay in the last millenium...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2012 4:29 AM   in reply to John Hawkinson

    .. a handy tool that looks at ISO-8859-* encodings ..

     

    Windows' charmap doesn't reveal anything useful. Prime candidate ought to have been "Windows:Central European" but there isn't even a Z Caron in that! There is one in "Windows:Baltic" but not at the expected position. Besides, the double dagger has the same position in virtually every Windows encoding.

     

    So it still might be some form of old Macintosh 8-bit encoding. GeoffryH, can you make a small RTF file that exhibits this symptom, and upload it somewhere we can d/l it to go over? Theoretically, there should be some sort of reference to the encoding used in the original file. Post an RTF file, rather than Word, because RTF is human-readable -- and please confirm your test file does indeed not load correctly into ID.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2012 11:18 AM   in reply to GeofferyH

    Yup. No matter where this issue came from (it's pretty obviously "the twentieth century" but beyond that we're still in the dark - although I won't bet against Peter on this) then resaving in another format is one of the first things to try, as I pointed out in my first response. I'm sure that we'd find it interesting to stare at the raw RTF contents in our Plaintext Editors Of Choice to see exactly which bit of the twentieth century had broken off and stuck in your documents.

     

    You might find it to be of interest as well. If so, you could use a service like Dropbox (www.dropbox.com) or YouSendIt (www.yousendit.com) to send an RTF file. I use YouSendIt to send myself the file - it then provides a download link that I can post. Alternately, if you were to pop it open in a plaintext editor so that we could see the RTF markup - i.e. this stuff:

    {\rtf1\adeflang1025\ansi\ansicpg1252\uc1\adeff0\deff0\

    then you could upload it to Pastebin (www.pastebin.com) just as easily. 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2013 11:12 AM   in reply to Joel Cherney

    I am having a similar problem. Mine originated with a word doc sent by a client thru Outlook and I received a winmail.dat file. I am able to open it on a PC in word and save in numerous ways. All formats except text file I wasn't able to open. Unfortunately the text file had all the weird substitutions that GeoffreyH had on the accented letters. This was a rather large document with lots of French legal text. I was not thrilled with the idea of spending hours checking for accents and ' between letters. What I was finally able to do, successfully, was open the original word doc on the PC, copy and paste the entire document into a new document and save that as a regular .doc file. That I was able to open on my mac and then successfully copy and paste all text to my ID file. For me, I believe the original file from the client was corrupted. I was never able to open it in any format on my mac in Open Office. I'm used to reformating issues from Word to Open Office and PC to Mac, but this was just not even usable.

     

    I'm not debating on how to let the customer know she needs to fix her Outlook so it doesn't send winmail.dat files. But that is not a discussion for here. I just wanted to share a similar situation.

     
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