Accented character display on Macs


When I transfer Spanish accented references from EBSCO’s MLA database to the Mac, the accented characters are not displaying properly. In Windows, the characters do display correctly. I’ve tried using Safari and Firefox and I tried changing the font from Helvetica to Arial Unicode MS and neither of these changed the display. When I viewed the export data file in TextEdit, it was showing the same display errors (not showing the accented letters correctly), however, I don’t know if TextEdit can be used to display Unicode. I couldn’t get my copy of Pages '08 to open the data file. I sent a copy of the export file from my Mac at home to work where I will check it in Word (where the PC export file displayed correctly).

In another related forum discussion, someone recommended changing the Connection file settings to transfer the data as Unicode. Is that an option? How would I do that with the EBSCO direct export file?

The direct process that I’ve been using with Safari (probably at least one step easier if I used Firefox) is

start direct export

right-click downloaded export file in download window and select “Show in Finder”

right-click file in Finder and select Open + Other

select the EndNote program to open the export file

I’m using EndNote X4 and have seen this on OS X 10.5

I also have a conversation with technical support about this same question.

Have a nice day

John Paul Fullerton

TextEdit will display unicode.  It sounds like the file is not encoded properly, my guess is that it is lacking the byte order mark (BOM). The BOM tells programs how the text is encoded.

I would try saving the file and go to “File > Import” and set the Text Translation to UTF-8.  Then set the Import Option to the filter that mathes where the file was downloaded from and choose the file.  When you use the Import window you can specify the encoding by using the Text Translation setting.

BOM is “missing” from most of the UTF-8 files I work with. It is an optional mark, and not a requirement for a “properly encoded” UTF-8 file. In most cases it does more harm than good.

Still UTF-8 without BOM is one of the most common export encodings from our reference databases. It would make sense for EndNote to provide an option to use UTF-8 parsing as the default, even when no BOM is present. It obviously does so in the Windows version as the same file, without BOM, works there. Having to resort to manual import for any file that might contain non-ascii characters is tedious.

The character encoding assumptions are slightly different across Windows and Macintosh versions of EndNote. We are tracking improving the Macintosh version and hope to get to this soon.

Jason Rollins, the EndNote team

That is great news, Jason. Thanks.