Warning to MS-Word Users

If you create your press release in MS Word, you need to know that by default, MS Word documents are NOT friendly with the internet and are NOT compatible with most software or websites. In fact some of the characters that MS Word creates have been known to crash entire websites and very large networks because the web page development software does not know how to handle those unrecognizable characters.

The forms in the control panel of PRBUzz have been programmed to replace some invalid characters with the correct characters, but the wide range of problematic characters makes it virtually impossible for us to catch them all. To make matters worse, the code generated by MS Word and other word processors must also be removed in order to allow news sites to use their own CSS (style sheets) and proprietary formatting. Once again, we have programmed our system to eliminate most php and html code, but you still need to make sure you are not inadvertently pasting any hidden code when using any internet form.

The danger is that if you are not careful with the text you are pasting, the systems that receive this data may turn some of your invalid characters into question marks, erase large sections of your text, or worse, prevent your page from loading at all.

Here are the steps you should follow to save a MS Word document as a more Internet-friendly "plain text" document that it can be used without problems on the internet or by other software programs. When you have completed your document in Word:

1. Click "Save As" and select "Plain Text" in the "Save as Type" window, as shown in the image below.

2. Next, click the "Save" button at the bottom of this window (see image above). A new screen will now pop up in MS-Word labeled "File Conversion...". In this new window, you should select "Other Encoding" and "US-ASCII" as indicated in the following screen shot. MS Word will indicate which characters that are not compatible with the new encoding type that you have selected See following graphic). Most of these appear to be very common characters like hyphens and quotes, but carry some of that problematic, Microsoft-specific code.

3. Now that you have completed the first two steps, you have a new document that you must open and edit. MS Word has flagged most of the invalid characters with question marks. You must be careful to replace each question mark (?) with the correct replacement character. Since this is now a US-ASCII document, the new characters will be compatible with the internet. Save again to make sure you don't lose all your changes.

4. Finally, you can safely use "copy and paste" to paste your document into other software or any form on the internet that uses English language.

NOTE: To make things simpler for you, you should only create your documents as "plain text" with US-ASCII encoding.

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