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Topic: editing book data - accented letters

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Subject: editing book data - accented letters
Date Posted: 2/26/2009 7:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,090
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Can anyone tell me if there is a way or the best way to enter accented characters in book data (say in the book title or the author) so that they appear properly? Is the standard just to substitute the "equivalent" (if there is one) English letter, or just leave it out?

Thanks, Sara

Date Posted: 2/26/2009 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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Do you mean things like the n with a tilde over it? Things like ñ. (I'm assuming that'll still be correct when I hit submit.)

If so, then you can probably use the alt-codes. There's a list here that covers the most common ones. I'm fairly certain it'll work in the book description, but I'm less sure about the title or author. It wouldn't hurt to try.

In order to use alt-codes, you hold down the alt key and press the 4 digit code on the keypad. That's important. It has to be the keypad. And, it doesn't work on all computers. Or on all browsers. So, you basically taking a chance, but it's better than nothing.

As an example, take the ñ. You get that by holding down the Alt key and then pressing 0241 and then releasing the Alt key.

If that fails, you can always copy and paste. Find the accented character that you want, copy it (ctrl-c usually), then paste it (ctrl-v usually) wherever you want it to go.

Hope that helps. I'll check after I post it to see if the characters made it through. I've not tried it here.



Date Posted: 2/26/2009 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Most versions of Windows have a character map and you can use that to copy & paste accented letters into your text.  Depending on what version you're using; I think for 2000 & Vista, it's on your start menu under Programs > Accessories > System Tools, and the character map should be somewhere on that list.  If not, you can go to your start menu & click on "run" and when the box pops up, type in "charmap" (without the quotation marks), and it should come right up from there.  When it opens, you can just select the accented character that you want by clicking on it & clicking on the selct tab.  Then the copy tab will save it to your clipboard.  After that you just right click and select paste when you're posting here and you should be all set.

Date Posted: 2/26/2009 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,090
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Thanks, I've used the Char Map before. It's just that I have seen tons of listings where all of the special characters including accented letters, and the em and en dashes are not displayed properly and I wanted to avoid entering those characters in such a way as to cause that.

I don't know what character encoding they are using for those fields in the database? Does anyone know?

Date Posted: 2/26/2009 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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It comes up as standard Western encoding (ISO8859-1) but the DB could be in just about anything, depending on what style DB they're using.  MySQL would be my guess, probably with the default.  But if they're converting from Oracle or DB2 it can get pretty confusing.  Me, I'd go with Unicode (UTF-8) but that's just personal preference.

Date Posted: 2/27/2009 7:39 AM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2008
Posts: 836
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Thanks for posting this question.  I did not know about alt + codes either.  Thanks to the responders too!!!!