Plone: Foreign Characters

I have nothing against languages other than English – I have attempted to speak a few of them, to no avail. But the other day, when I started adding content to my site, I started to see an odd international character appear. First, it was not native to English and, second, it was not in my text – Plone was interpreting something as a foreign character.

Normally, when I see odd characters appear in text on a Web page, I assume that the author has pasted the text in from a Microsoft Word document and some of the “smart” characters aren’t. I kept getting the  immediately after a period (full stop) but only in the text section of my postings.  If I toggled over to the HTML, there was nothing but a period and two spaces.  Very strange.

I finally tracked it down to the default character set for the site.  If you click into your Plone site, and scroll down to the portal_properties link, and select site_properties, you’ll see the default charset.  Mine was set to UTF-8.  I did a bit of Web searching and found that an alternative might be ISO-8859-15.  When I substituted that for UTF-8, I found my problem was fixed.

What I have not figured out is why I suddenly had the problem.  Although I had migrated to a new install of Plone, I’d brought over my old data.fs file and, I’m pretty sure, the settings would have been in there.  Perhaps there was an enhancement in the new Plone installation that caused the international characters to appear.  In any event, all fixed!