On 10 May 2006, at 12:30 , Roger Howard wrote: My sister is
encountering a lot of negative feedback directed at her and her Mac-
using office. They send out press releases and other communications a
dozen times a day to a wide variety of media outlets. Some percentage
of the recipients are complaining of nasty "?" characters appearing
frequently throughout the body of her text.
As I suspected initially, I've been able to trace this back to use of
characters like curly quotes, em dashes, and other extended
characters. Some number of the recipients are on systems where they
aren't correctly displaying these characters.
Since she can live without these chars my question is whether anyone
knows of a service, script, or other easy tool for her to simplify or
strip out such characters from emails, either while composing or
outbound from Mail.app? I can whip together an AppleScript to do it,
but if there's an easier (or existing) tool that'd be ideal.
Erm... is she sending attachments? If not, just set mail to plain
FYI, she doesn't want to just select Plain Text, so that's not an
option (if it would help). We need to allow Rich Text, but just
convert or strip characters - for instance, em dashes should become
hyphens, curly quotes become straight quotes, etc.
Well, that is odd. Rich text, but not quite as rich as other text?
Well, there's always WordService, it seems to do everything (Services
- Format - Reformat, or Command-Shift-7). Are services scriptable? If
so, you could have them run a script before they send out these mails.
Or, you could tell them to ignore the whining from the out of date
windows clients who's mail programs can't handle text-encoding. But
that would be MY solution, and so unlikely to be workable for the non-
Or, if you have control of the mailserver you could run some sort of
filter on outgoing mail that "cleaned" the email for the
retards^WWindows 98 users on the distribution list.
OK, wait, here is what I would recommend:
Have them paste all their text into Text Wrangler, run clean text
(Convert to ASCII, straighten quotes, zap gremlins--all scriptable),
then paste it into mail, THEN add their RTF kruft.
Text-Wrangler is even freeware.
"You're an elf and you're going to wear panties like an elf." David
Sedaris, Santaland Diaries