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  1. #1
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    [attachment=86043hon.jpg]Hi,

    I have an old Word dcoument (circa 1997) which contains some IPA characters. These are special phonetic characters which are inserted using the Insert Symbol function. It would take me quite a bit of time to re-write the document. The problem is the IPA characters don't display corectly now (I'm using Vista with Word 2007) - see attachment.

    Does anyone know how I can get the document to display as it did when I wrote it. I can't remember the name of the font set I used when I originally wrote the document.

    Thanks.
    Mike
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    If you open the document and click on one of the symbols, does the Font dropdown on the Formatting toolbar show the name of the font?

    There are free legacy IPA fonts available for download, but there's no guarantee that the character mapping will be the same as the one you used.
    See SIL Encore IPA Fonts

  3. #3
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    If I click on the character, Word just displays Times New Roman. If I double click on the character, the Insert Symbol box opens and a font named 'SimHei' is displayed. I don't think this is the original font I used however. It doesn't have the full IPA set. Also, I can't find the character displayed in the SimHei font set.

    I just wondered if from the characters displayed there was anyway to find the character code? For example, in the character displayed just after the word 'bump' in my attachment, how would I determine what character code this was? If I select the character and then try and change the font to say Arial or Lucida Sans Unicode, the character never changes, even though this character doesn't seem to appear in these font sets.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    The way Word treats symbol characters has changed since the '90s, so it may not be easy, if it is possible at all, to retrieve the original characters. You might try installing the IPA fonts from the link I posted. If that doesn't help...

  5. #5
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    No luck unfortunately. I downloaded SIL IPA93 but the characters displayed didn't change even when I applied this font in Word. I've tried the IPA-SAMM fonts too.

    It just seems as if the characters displayed are stuck and no matter what I do with them they won't change. There must be some code or number lurking underneath them but Word doesn't seem like it wants to reveal this.

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    You can find them as follows:
    - Select a symbol character.
    - Press Alt+F11 to activate the Visual Basic Editor.
    - Press Ctrl+G to activate the Immediate window.
    - Type

    ? AscW(Selection)

    - Press Enter.
    - You will see the (decimal) Unicode number for the character.

    But I fear that won't help you...

  7. #7
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    Thanks for that Hans. Every character returns 40 though when I use AscW. Not sure why this is like this.

    I think I've figured out what has happened. The characters displayed are Wingdings and their code (taken from InsertSymbol) is the same code as SIL IPA Doublos. This is probably the font that I used back in 1997. The problem is I cannot convert from Wingdings to SIL IPA.

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Perhaps it can be done using VBA - see Finding and replacing symbols on the Word MVP site.

    If you'd like help with the code, could you post a small sample document? Take care to remove or alter sensitive information.

  9. #9
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    [quote name='HansV' post='798903' date='20-Oct-2009 06:06']Perhaps it can be done using VBA - see Finding and replacing symbols on the Word MVP site.

    If you'd like help with the code, could you post a small sample document? Take care to remove or alter sensitive information.[/quote]

    The MVP code worked well - it took about an hour to search and repace all the characters (compared to the 10 hours it would have taken me to retype the characters) so I can now see the original. Thanks for that.

    However looking forward, I suppose the solution is to only use IPA characters from a Unicode based font such as Lucida Sans Unicode. The font I used 10 years ago I believe was SIL IPA93 which if not installed on the system means the characters don't display properly. I've noticed that Word has 'Embed fonts in file' under its Word Options which I think is useful. It enables me to take the file into the classroom and the characters display properly.

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger
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    The SIL IPA fonts date from before the use of Unicode became widespread; as the SIL Encore IPA Fonts web page states:
    "The SIL Encore IPA and SIL IPA93 fonts are obsolete, symbol-encoded fonts. Their use is discouraged."
    .Several modern computer fonts contain IPA characters; I think Arial Unicode MS is the one you're most likely to encounter on Windows PCs.

    The embed font option is a way to make a document indepent of what's installed on the PC where it's viewed, but it increases the file size of course.

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