Our users are experiencing a very discouraging issue in regards to how MS Word (in Windows) handles non-unicode characters. This issue is confirmed in both Word 2007 and the Word 2010 Beta using Windows XP SP3; I suspect it works the same way in 2003.
1) A user creates a document using a non-unicode font, entering characters to represent scientific notations. For example, he enters a Mu (µ). Note: I pasted in a unicode-compliant Mu for reference.
2) The user opens his document and attempts to copy / paste this non-unicode character representing a Mu into a web browser for entry into our system. It pastes as an unrecognized character. This is expected.
3) The user opens his document, selects the non-unicode character and adjusts its font to "Arial Unicode MS," saving the document. He closes / re-opens the document for good measure. Once re-opened, he copies what should be a unicode Mu and pastes it into the web browser. It is still represented as an unrecognized character.
4) The user creates a new document, sets the font to "Arial Unciode MS" and creates a Mu. He copies this Mu into the web browser and it pastes over in Unicode, as expected.
Word is not actually converting non-unicode characters into unicode characters when it should, when a unicode font is selected. Instead, it is taking a best-guess for display reasons but doing no actual conversion.
How do I overcome this problem?
* Can I change some setting in Word to force a conversion? Preferable.
* Is there a "cleaner" app or Word macro that will do this?
* Other solutions?
* Re-typing the affected documents using unicode is not an option
* This is not an issue in Mac OS X using the most recent version of Word. A sample case such as in (3) results in a unicode Mu being pasted into the browser.