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bizzybody

Revealing and removing invisible characters that print in Word 2003?

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I have some documents in RTF, created in Word 2003. Recently, in parts of the document that have not been changed since the original was created, Word 2003 has decided all the spaces should be printed as capital O, but with the same width as a space so the O's overlap the characters to either side.

I tried printing the document from WordPad in Windows 10. It printed the O's *and* added in some lowercase l's and in a couple of lines a larger number of overlapping 6's. In WordPad I deleted all those spaces and re-typed them. Printed again and the l's and 6's were gone but the block with the O's still had them.

Back to Word 2003. I deleted the bad section and retyped it completely, then applied the bold and italic. When printed the O's were still there instead of spaces. HOW?! I copied and pasted the text to Notepad then back. Re-applied bold and italic and print, still the O's are there.

Last thing I did was copy to notepad then did Paste Special *without unicode*. Printed and... O's are gone BUT now the document prints two pages, though only one is visible, and the second page has the O's. I printed it, happy to see it *correct*, then two seconds later "WTH is the printer doing?" and out comes the second, wrong copy.

It's not the printer, a LaserJet 4100DTN. I've used it for years, with XP, 7 and now 10. Once in a while since upgrading to 10 it would print those O's but immediately printing a second time they'd be gone. But today Word has put them in there *every time*.

How can I clean up this document, and the hundreds of earlier ones that are edited versions of the same document going back to 2011? Is there a program that can strip out everything that's not required to have the text print exactly as it shows?

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Do you know the paragraph sign in Word's toolbar? If you click on it, it will show all the invisible stuff (paragraph changing marks, line changing marks etc.). Check if there is something different in the area with the O's. As for the second page, it must exist in Word filled only with spaces. Find it, put the cursor as down and right as it goes, and press the Del button until the whole page extincts.

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Ctrl+Shift+8 shows the paragraph marks, a centered dot in every space and right pointing arrows for the tabs. Nothing else.

Today I edited the copy I had finally been able to get to print properly Yesterday. The O's were back, along with some U's. I finally resorted to just having the text at the bottom bold instead of bold and italic. Other text on the page is bold and italic without the problem, it's all the same font and all the same size.

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