View Full Version : MS Word -Can I find and replace special characters?How?

21-09-2003, 09:59 AM
Hi Folks,
I have some ex Word Perfect files that are converted to Word Files.
The Word files,however, contain odd characters such as a box (at the
ends of lines) and an @ or some such symbol instead of a dash.

I thought I could use Word's Find and Replace set up to remove the
unwanted symbols or characters but because they are not standard fonts
or words I can'twork out how to replace all the small box symbols in
one go for each file (several pages long so quite a lot of odd characters).

I'd welcome some step by step instructions -any advice would be appreciated
as I have several hundred files which need the removal of these unnecessary
characters. (I am not very familiar with Word)

Greg S
21-09-2003, 10:09 AM
Just use Find & Replace inthe usual way, but get the special characters from Character Map (Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools)

21-09-2003, 11:18 AM
Select one of the special characters you want to replace and press Ctrl+C to copy it, then Ctrl+H to open the Find/Replace dialogue and paste the character into the Find box (Ctrl+V to paste) and type whatever you want to replace it with in the replace with box.



21-09-2003, 03:06 PM
Thanks Greg and Mike for your helpful replies.

The problem now is that I can't get the small squares to appear in the
"Find what" slot in Find and Replace. (I can get a letter such as E to
appear in that slot by selecting an E on a Word page and using Ctrl+C
then clicking in the "Find what" slot then Ctrl+V to paste it.
However the same process will not copy and paste one of the small squares- that appears as part of being ex Word Perfect files - inside that slot.
So therefore as that symbol can't be placed inside the "Find what" slot
I can't delete all the ones that appear on those pages.

The character map seems to have many squares to choose from but they don't
match the square characters I want to remove.How can I tell what character
the ex Word perfect squares actually are in order to select the same thing
in the Character map so I can paste it into the "Find what" slot.

Do I need to have "Symbols" selected as the chosen font in Word to action
this change?
Thank you.

Graham L
21-09-2003, 03:44 PM
The propblem is that the "boxes" just represent a character code for which your font doesn't have a printable character. The soft return, and hard return, codes won't be printable characters. :D

Can you select the character position (the box) and copy/paste it into the search panel? That ought to work. (By the way, the "soft return" should be replaced with a <space>, otherwise the words on either side will be run together.)

My procedure would be to use the DOS programme LIST and switch it to the hex code mode, to find what the codes are. :D

0x0A, 0x0D, and maybe 0x0B (decimal 10, 13, 11) might be candidates ... (You might try the octal codes: \012, 015, \013 ... entered with the Alt/num pad method).

21-09-2003, 06:02 PM
Probably missed the boat now but heres some suggestions in case this is a regular procedure for you:-

Export as RTF. Usually wont have to worry about such issues with this format.

Word has some built in compatibility with WordPerfect. Winthin Word, go to Tools-Options then select the compatibility tab. You will see there is a list of recommended options for different files including Word Perfect 6.x. Theres a raft of options underneath which can be turned on/off.

I havent got Word Perfect so cant tell you how effective this compatibility is. Check in help under compatibility & word perfect for more info.