A Windows clipboard helper for sanitising web content
You work with the internet.
Your job involves copying and pasting content from Microsoft Word.
Funny characters like â€™, â€˜ and âˆÀˆÙ show up on your webpages.
This is a small program which runs in your system tray and monitors your clipboard for the presence of "smart quotes" and other characters normal HTML documents may have problems with. These are automatically fixed without any action on the user's part, leaving you able to go about your work error-free.
Simply copy CP1252Fixer.exe somewhere appropriate and run it - its icon should now be visible in your system tray.
Right-click the system tray icon to set the various replacement options or toggle replacements entirely. Left clicking the icon shows the main window, with help tooltips for each option and a display of the current clipboard text.
You can download a compiled Windows executable here (sorry, github's removal of the 'files' section made that disappear...)
- Keep your webpages safe from potentially damaging markup
- Various levels of escaping, all independently toggleable:
- Replace smart quotes with ASCII equivalent characters (‘ -> ' etc)
- Replace smart quotes with HTML entities, to retain their presentation safely (‘ ->
- Replace any characters with named entity equivalents. This keeps most potentially unsafe characters from any source appearing incorrectly in ASCII output. (replaces any characters listed here)
- Replace all high ASCII characters with entity number references. This will ensure maximum compatibility by replacing any nonstandard characters at all. This is useful for converting Asian texts to HTML content, but would obviously not be desirable when working with internationalised character sets.
- Optionally convert rich text data to plain text. This is useful if you wish to remove formatting from copied text. By default, rich text data copied is retained along with its original formatting.
- Persistent settings
Microsoft Word, Outlook, Powerpoint and some other Windows programs use a feature called "smart quotes", which is designed to automatically substitute different characters for keys on your keyboard as you type. This is in an attempt to promote readability via the use of typographer's quotes and punctuation marks. As a result:
|When you type...||this appears:|
|- text||• text|
When pasted into a normal HTML document encoded as ASCII text, the character set of the document doesn't know how to display these characters. Instead, they are spit out as the combination of ASCII letters which make up the longer number of the extended character, resulting in broken text. For example, ‘ is
0xE28098 = 0xE2 0x80 0x98 in ASCII: â € ˜
These problems can be avoided by:
- Disabling "smart quotes" in Word (which doesn't help unless you are the original author of the document)
- Using a UTF-8 encoded webpage (which doesn't help unless you have control over the website's design)
- Running search/replace algorithms in your text editor before uploading (which is damn time consuming!)
However even then, you should keep your text portable! Anyone copying these characters off your webpage onto a Linux or Mac computer will not be able to read them reliably, as they are Windows - only characters and have no equivalents or goddamn place elsewhere in the digital world. Seriously. Even Microsoft's own file formats encode them as escape sequences. Guys.
This software is provided under an MIT open source license, read the 'LICENSE.txt' file for details.
- Seems to lose its handle on the clipboard after a computer hibernation, probably needs to intercept an ACPI event and re-register?
- Copying & pasting lists within Word will lose the bullet formatting when those replacements are active. I consider this a non-error, as quotes and such only work seamlessly because they are converted back to Word-style quotes on paste. In any case, just disable the feature when working like this.