Non-printable characters

21st July 2006, 22:13
Hi All;

Wonder if I might enlist the aid of some knowledgeable person with WORD or other word processing software.

I am familiar with the following:
If I want to replace a TAB with something else I insert ^t to address the TAB. I assume that is a DOS Command ^t. If that is correct then what command do I use for the two attached non-printable characters?

The TAB is ^t what is the command for the two attached found at end of sentences.

Your help will be most appreciated here, and I thank you for your time.


21st July 2006, 22:23
I seem to remember from ASCII days that these were
CHR$(10) and CHR$(13) for end of line and line throw.
Pardon me for asking, but in what context do you need
to print these characters, rather than being operational?

21st July 2006, 23:03
Hi Treeve;

I don't want to print them I want to get rid of them in certain instances.

If I am doing some OCR work, or I get some material from an email or off the WEB. Sometimes [most times] these characters show up, and restrict the document size [width]. I would like to change all [or at least where I highlight] to a space [let's say] rather than either of these characters. Then I will have full page width, and I can go back, and set the paragraphs manually. Perhaps there is an equally easier way to do this, but I use the TAB business quite a lot.

When you type ^t you address the TABS. What do I have to type to address either of these little buggers [we do run a clean site].

I use MS WORD as my word processor.

Any help or direction will be appreciated.

22nd July 2006, 00:42
I see, different than what I thought .....
I'll have a look, I think I saw soemthing about being able to strip
line returns, somewhere.
But, I will point you to this system I use ....
If I need to re-format text, the simplest way is to copy it
all, and then to paste it into Windows Notepad; all extra
characters and formatting disappear,
then you can copy it back to Word, and it fits just the way you
format it, your own font, size line spacing, paper width etc....

Best Wishes

22nd July 2006, 00:48
Just checked ... formatting characters can be hidden or shown
with Word, but to remove them requires individual line end
deletion ..... my way is simplest and quickest.
Best Wishes

22nd July 2006, 00:58
Hi Raymond;

Pure genius. Use the simple WP [Notepad], and it makes the 'buggers' disappear. Works like a Charm, Raymond. Have just tried it, and it does work for sure.

Thanks a Lot.


22nd July 2006, 14:19
Raymond's solution works of course but is a bit extreme and there are more subtle ways. If you have a short chunk of text this is fine but if you have a long document and you only want to remove certain characters this is possible using the Replace option - at least in Word 2002 - but I don't think this has changed much over the years.

Open the Replace tool (which is on the Edit menu) and you will see a button with More on it - press this and you get a load of extra options. One is a Format button - if you press this one you can select items with a particular format (e.g. font or style) and use that to find things. There is also a Special button which lets you select things like Tab characters.

So to replace Tab characters with nothing (assuming that is what you want to do), position the cursor in the Find What field, press the Special Button and select Tab Character. Leave the Replace With field empty and press the Replace All button.

If there is a set of control characters in the file you want to deal with you can reveal them first by pressing the Show/Hide button which is normally next to the magnification key on the Word Standard toolbar, then cut and paste the set into the Replace tool and proceed as above.

By the way I suggest you save the file first just in case - though you can always back out the change you make by using CTRL-Z.

You can replace more or less anything like this and it is not as complicated as it may sound.



22nd July 2006, 18:51
Hi Brian;

Thanks for your direction for getting rid of and or changing these special non-printable characters. The WORD programs I have do not allow me to paste directly into the dialog box, however, that is no longer a problem. I did follow your instructions, and use the special characters sets in the “replace special” box. When I indicate a particular "ITEM" the CODE [for that item] is shown in the upper box [that which I want to find/replace].

I always new the TAB CODE was ^t

Now following your neat instructions I know the names of, and the codes for the two sets I sent in the jpg I attached'.

The reverse P is Paragraph Mark, and the code is ^p

The "Bent Arrow" is Manual Line Break, and the code is ^l [the vertical line is lower case L].

So gentlemen Thanks to your input, I am now in full control of these two very annoying "Little Buggers"