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strange characters display instead of letters

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trolly
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Post Posted July 1st, 2008, 4:40 am

One possible cause FF2 does not have this problem:
FF2 had/has a bug when multiple fonts are in the font style list. If the first one is not available FF2 switches to the default font ignoring the others. FF3 has this bug fixed and searches all given fonts. So the chance of running into a wrong or broken font is much higher.
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Post Posted July 1st, 2008, 7:21 am

Hmm...I've just encountered a similar problem. I started a thread on the MacMinute Forum (as user "Phosphor") when I first noticed the Apple characters in another user's signature file started appearing differently.

Copy/Pasted below this line:
     

FF3 prefs setting has always been Western (ISO-8859-1).
Then, under the View menu, I have Auto Detect set to "Off".

These are the same settings as I'd always had in FF2.

I first noticed the problem after visiting a blog where some characters that I'd always been able to view before (notably, accented "e" as described above, in "résumé," along with em dashes) were being replaced by the "question-mark-in-a-black-diamond" substitute. I played around with character encodings then, and now, even after returning to my de facto standards, I'm still getting the odd substitutions.

I've experienced odd character encoding issues before—most notably on the Adobe Forums—but it was finally figured out that the fault lay in Adobe's forum coding, and not because of users' character encoding choices.

This may turn out to be a nasty little sticky wicket.

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Post Posted July 2nd, 2008, 6:53 am

SparkCollector wrote:Copy/Pasted below this line:
     

I see a rectangle with F8FF inside it, repeated six times. U+F8FF is part of the Unicode private use area. It's possible that Firefox doesn't support characters in this range. Test U+F8FF in your browser, or test the whole Private Use Area.

Conversely, I have no problems viewing the characters under Unicode web browser support. See screenshot.

SparkCollector wrote:I first noticed the problem after visiting a blog where some characters that I'd always been able to view before (notably, accented "e" as described above, in "résumé," along with em dashes) were being replaced by the "question-mark-in-a-black-diamond" substitute.

That's a separate issue. It's caused by a page saved as "Western (ISO-8859-1)" being displayed as "Unicode (UTF-8)".

teoli2003
 
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Post Posted July 2nd, 2008, 7:06 am

Do you have a font with the needed characters? If not, that's likely the problem.

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Post Posted July 2nd, 2008, 8:11 am

teoli2003 wrote:Do you have a font with the needed characters?

Who, me? Yes, I do.
  • It looks OK on the test page, because it specifies the font I have installed on my system (among others).
  • There's no font specified for the input field on the test page. It displays the rectangle with F8FF inside.
  • The aforementioned post here looks the same way. In order to make the character appear in this thread, I have to set a font that supports it as my default sans serif font for the Western character set.

Yumble
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Post Posted July 2nd, 2008, 8:52 am

Just to add that I have the same problems too on FF3 (these problems started appearing when I updated FF2 to v2.0.0.14) and now they are still present in FF3.

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Post Posted July 2nd, 2008, 10:39 am

This thread is getting ridiculously long. For anyone experiencing problems, here's a recap along with the information you should include to clarify the problem you're having.

  1. First of all, configure your system as previously indicated.
  2. Image
    If you see question marks inside a black diamond, you're most likely viewing as "Unicode (UTF-8)" a page that has been saved as "Western (ISO-8859-1)". Even if you've followed the steps at 1., this can still happen if the site instructs Firefox to use an incorrect encoding. Going to View > Character Encoding > Western (ISO-8859-1) should display it correctly.
  3. Image
    If you see garbled characters, you're most likely viewing as "Western (ISO-8859-1)" a page that has been saved as "Unicode (UTF-8)". Even if you've followed the steps at 1., this can still happen if the site instructs Firefox to use an incorrect encoding. Going to View > Character Encoding > Unicode (UTF-8) should display it correctly.
  4. Image
    If you see letters and numbers inside a rectangle, that particular font probably doesn't support that particular character. On Windows, you can test this by starting Character Map and enabling Advanced View (see screenshot). The status bar shows the Unicode code point; if you can't find the one you saw inside the rectangle, then that particular character is not supported by that particular font.
    It's also possible that the font is corrupt. To check if that's the case, you can use FontDoctor or FontExpert on Windows. On a Mac, see Checking for Bad Fonts and clear your font cache with something like FontNuke.
  5. If the problem still occurs, try starting Firefox in a new profile.
  6. If you're still having trouble, post mentioning which type of problem you're having (e.g. letters and numbers inside a rectangle where a certain character should be), the link to the site where the problem occurs, and a screenshot of the text as you see it.
    To take a screenshot in Windows Vista, use the Snipping Tool. In older versions of Windows, press the Print Screen key on your keyboard then paste the image into an image editing application. On a Mac, press Command+Shift+4. Once you have your file, upload it to http://tinypic.com and post the "IMG Code for Forums & Message Boards" here.

Anonymousss
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Post Posted July 2nd, 2008, 11:07 am

Just found this thread via a Google search. For whatever it's worth, I think this is a bug in Firefox 3 (I'm running Windows XP Pro, Service Pack 3). I had never before seen those little squares with numbers in them, but now they're popping up on all sorts of web pages -- including, sadly, on pages that I'm supposed to maintain. What a pain in the butt. Now I have to go in and change all the curly apostrophes, curly quotes, ellipses, etc. to their character-code equivalents.

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Post Posted July 3rd, 2008, 12:21 am

I too have been having this problem (Fresh XP and Firefox 3 install).
Whether is considered a real bug of not, it is still a problem that should be addressed with a fix and not attempting to make users jump through hoops that do not work for them.
I have no such issues when using Firefox 2, Internet Explorer or Opera.

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Post Posted July 3rd, 2008, 1:26 am

This is the Firefox Support forum, where users try to help other users. If you're not willing to try the troubleshooting steps or provide any useful information, then there's no point in posting here. MozillaZine is not run by Mozilla and the Firefox developers don't read this forum.

If you believe that you're dealing with a bug, go to Bugzilla, search to see if the problem has been reported, and if it hasn't, file a new bug report. If you'd like to send feedback concerning a Mozilla product, head over to Hendrix.

Ohio Guest
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Post Posted July 3rd, 2008, 10:12 am

I just searched for an answer to this same problem; the Firefox 3 browser has been doing the same thing to my fonts. The older vs. of Firefox gave me no problems. Clearly I don't think that I should have to mess with fonts or unicode or whatever. Never had to before during a browser upgrade. There must be a bug in the program. I hope that Mozilla will fix this bug soon.

Yumble
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Post Posted July 3rd, 2008, 1:43 pm

Hi Gingerbread Guy,

After following all you tips, troubleshooting and starting with a new profile. Nothing has changed, Suddenly (actually starting from v2.0.0.14 before I installed FF3 over it) almost all sites I regularly visit start to have either one of the weird effects you mentioned.

Here's the first site with troublesome chars : http://forum.zappybaby.be/viewforum.php?f=53

http://i25.tinypic.com/b8r2hl.png

The "weird" character should be "é"

.... with such a large amount of users suddenly starting to encounter these kind of problems (only in Firefox btw) it think it's getting quite clear that we're talking about a bug here (probably introduced with version 2.0.0.14) :wink:

trolly
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Post Posted July 3rd, 2008, 1:49 pm

Yawn. Page sends UTF-8 as encoding but the name contains a ISO-8859-1 character.

Cath�rine (displayed with UTF-8)-> Cathérine (displayed with ISO-8859-1)

IE for example usually ignores the sent character encoding and guesses what encoding it should be.
Think for yourself. Otherwise you have to believe what other people tell you.
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Yumble_OUT
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Post Posted July 3rd, 2008, 2:55 pm

OK, sorry for bother you trolly, if the only solution to people posting their problem is "Yawn" then I'm gone.

If IE correctly shows the pages and Firefox doesn't and mods aren't willing to take the problem seriously then I'm outta here, just like MANY people after the crappy FF3 release.

Goodbye !

trolly
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Post Posted July 4th, 2008, 1:33 am

The explanation has been posted already several times. Answering the same question over and over again just annoys me. Yes, i admit that.
And we mods can take things serious or not but it will not change anything because we are just mods in this forum and not developers for mozilla. So there is nothing we can do except pointing out that the character does not match the sent encoding.

I'm using FF3 builds since alpha and never had any serious problems in the last year.

And to make it clear FF2 shows the same behaviour on that page and Safari and Opera too.
Think for yourself. Otherwise you have to believe what other people tell you.
A society based on individualism is an oxymoron. || Freedom is at first the freedom to starve.
Constitution says: One man, one vote. Supreme court says: One dollar, one vote.

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