The Smallville Slash Archive: Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Get My Word Processing Program To Stop Putting In Accented Characters In Words Like "Naive" and "Cliche?"

[This answer was sent in by Linda, and has been slightly edited by Livia. Thank you, Linda, for writing in with this fix for a common problem affecting SV authors!]

Many of the common Smallville archives use an interface called Automated Archive. It is a program that can only translate text files. Unfortunately, it can not deal with accented characters. This causes problems when archiving files that are created on Word. Word tries to be a "helpful" editor. It places accent marks on words that require them, words like naiveté. Unfortunately, the archiving software does not recognize the accented characters and so it drops them.

So in a story, when you describe Clark as being naïve, he ends up being nave when archived, because Word adds an umlaut over the i and the Posting Interface does not understand that. Other words this commonly happens with are cliché, naïveté, façade and café. If you happen to want to write a sentence where "Clark spouts clichés in order to maintain his façade of being naïve, while ordering from the café" You will instead get a sentence where "Clark spouts clichs in order to maintain his faade of being nave, while ordering from the caf" This will confuse the heck out of your readers.

In order to prevent this, go to the autocorrect portion of Word. There you will find a list of words that will automatically be changed as you type them. Scroll down to the words with the accents, highlight them and then delete them. From then on, you should have no problem with the posting interface. (You also won't get fancy accent marks for anything else you may write.)

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