Strange characters in text export

I exported a document from Scrivener as a Plain Text document to the desktop of my MacBook, moved it to an iBook using a FireWire connection, then opened it on that iBook using Text Editor.

On the iBook, the document had strange characters in place of the apostrophes and quotes, and any accents were also replaced by a scatter of odd characters.

On the MacBook the same documents, as opened in Text Editor, have normal apostrophes and quotes and accented characters.

The MacBook is running Mac OS X 10.5.8; the iBook is running Mac OS X 10.3.9.

Actually, as I look at this I realise that it’s obviously not a Scrivener problem but a problem either with transferring by FireWire or with the two operating systems.

Your problem is almost certainly that 10.3 does not like the 10.5 generated file. You can fix the quotes issue with settings to straighten typographers quote in compile draft. Not sure about the accents.

Thanks, Jaysen, I’ll try that. The accents are few, and not really a bother.

You might try opening the file into the free Text Wrangler program and see if that works, copy and paste into TextEdit or something. This sounds like an encoding glitch (it’s really not possible for FireWire to make special characters like quotes malfunction.) That is just a technical way of saying, there are lots of ways to print a quotation mark, and sometimes the computer gets confused over which method is being “said”, and it ends up looking funny. This can make accented characters mess up, too. The more modern OS X is probably generating a file that the older OS X cannot understand by itself.

Straightening quotes will help, but another thing that might help is to use RTF next time instead of plain text. It has more “helper” information in the file and is thus more resilient to miscommunication like this.

Thanks, Amber, I’ll try RTF, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll try Text Wrangler.