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And here we go! ... nur auf Englisch!

  Irregular Characters?
is this some kind of RPG?

There are a lot of characters that you can actually use in your FAQs that are not in your standart ASCII Character set. Here is a short list of the most common unusual characters...

ALT+0149 - BULLET (•)
ALT+0151 - EM DASH (—)

You press ALT and while pressing it you type the number on your numpad. The normal number-keys above your letters on the keyboard don't work for this. So if you are writing on a laptop that doesn't have a numpad you either need an external USB numpad or some keycombination including the well known FN key.

While these special characters can look fantastic in a FAQ, Metapad does not like some of them. Here's what happens to these characters after committing the word wrap in the document:

1) The EM dash gets converted to an unknown character/paragraph symbol (without the paragraph break effect); you just have to do a find/replace of the character to put them all back into place, but it still works. Just copy and paste the symbol into the search field.

2) The Bullet gets converted to quotation marks ("); I recommend finding/replacing all " marks BEFORE wrapping with something completely random (like `, or some character you never use), then commit the word wrap. Once they all change to ", replace them all with the bullet, then re-replace all of the ` back with ", or whatever your favorite character was.
This is Zy's method as he explained it to me via email. I suggest you replace all the bullets with an unusual character you normally never use in your FAQs and then commit wordwrap and afterwards replace the unusual character back with the bullets. But that's just me. Well, use a character that you can easily produce with the keyboard and don't need all these ALT+#### combinations to make. Like ³ for example. Or even the semicolon. I never used it in one of my FAQs ever, so no normal occurrences of this character will be convertet to a faulty bullet when converting back.

It's strongly recommended to use Microsoft Word if you're using the above special characters, as it will not alter any of the symbols while word wrapping. To learn how to commit the word wrap in Microsoft Word, see the section titled "Using Microsoft Word for Committing Word Wrap".

  The non breaking space
aka the no break space or unbreakable space.

While you can use the nice combination of   in html to display a non breaking space it is something different when writing something in plain text and you want some words to stick together while committing word wrap.

This is useful when sticking together money and the amount. Or for number of HP and the word HP. Everything numbers with units in a FAQ can make good use of the non breaking space and will make the FAQ look like the author really knows what he is doing.

  Using Microsoft Word for Committing Word Wrap
(strongly recommended for those using the above irregular characters)

Unlike Metapad, Microsoft Word will not convert the irregular characters into entirely different characters while wrapping, and it will not break strings after a symbol/number combination, which is great for those who use brackets, underscore, or other symbols to enhance parts of their FAQ that they want to bring attention to.

Adjust the margins so that it's the correct amount of characters wide (using the number string below), then run the script below that in VB (press ALT+F11, then insert the code into the "ThisDocument" Word Object. Once it's been inserted, hit the "Play" button in the toolbar to run it, or press F5, or use the run command under the Run menu; be patient, as it can take some time). It wraps the document EXACTLY as it's supposed to (the unbreakable spaces are still needed though, even with Word).



Sub FixLineBreaks()

Dim rngWord As Range
Dim rngTemp As Range

For Each rngWord In ActiveDocument.Words
If rngWord.Information(wdFirstCharacterColumnNumber) = 1 Then
Set rngTemp = rngWord
rngTemp.Start = rngTemp.Start - 1
Select Case rngTemp.Characters(1)
Case vbCr, vbLf, vbVerticalTab

Case Else
rngTemp.Collapse Direction:=wdCollapseStart
rngTemp.InsertAfter vbVerticalTab

End Select
End If
Next rngWord
End Sub

Thanks to:
> Zylicyde (idea for article, list of special characters, transformations of special characters, MS Word chapter)
> The MS Word Macro Code was originally found at this thread

Last modified: 2012-04-10

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