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Non-Printable Characters displaying (or NOT!) under Windows 7? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Need some help please!

    We have an application running under Windows XP.  When bogus data (i.e. Non-Printable Characters, such as Carriage Return/Line Feed) was entered into a field under WinXP, we could see the bad data because it would display as little "blocks".  I have a picture of this at http://fileserver1.kimco.net/PublicDocs/pic3.jpg -- for some reason I can't seem to paste a picture in here directly.

    However, now that we have ported the app to a few Windows 7 machines, the same data in the same app displays as nothing at all, like the characters aren't even there.  This is terrible because we need to see that this bogus data is there, so that we can fix it.

    Does anyone know how to make Windows 7 display non-printable characters the way Windows XP did?  I've Googled this until my brain is drowning and I would appreciate it if someone could throw me a life preserver...  Is it a registry entry?  Language Pack? Code Page? Local Policy? Font? I'm stumped.

    I'm running Windows 7 Professional, both 32-bit and 64-bit.

    Thanks,

    Ralph Edington
    it@kimco.net

     

     

     

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011 6:00 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

     

    Windows 7 edit boxes display non-printable characters (ASCII 1 to 31) differently from previous versions. It will display as a 'bar' or 'box' for fonts.

     

    In addition, I find using Excel to Clean Data. Hope this blog helps.

     

    http://msmvps.com/blogs/jeffloucks/archive/2010/02/25/dynamics-crm-data-import-removing-non-printable-characters.aspx

     

    Note: Since the website is not hosted by Microsoft, the link may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.

     

    Regards,

    Niki


    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" on the post that helps you, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    • Marked as answer by Vivian Xing Friday, March 25, 2011 6:41 AM
    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 9:46 AM

All replies

  • Hi Ralph,

     

    Would you please let me know what application you use to see bad data? Did the issue only occur in this application? I suspect it is not compatible with Windows 7. You can check it in Windows Compatibility Center.

     

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/windows-7/en-us/default.aspx

     

    I suggest installing the application in compatibility mode.

     

    Right click the install file -> properties -> compatibility tab -> Run this program in compatibility mode for: Windows XP (SP3), check the Privilege Level as well.

     

    Best Regards,

    Niki


    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" on the post that helps you, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Friday, March 18, 2011 8:55 AM
  • Thanks Niki, not quite what I'm looking for though.

     

    The program is a 10-year old ERP program that would cost $$$$$$$$ to upgrade to the current rev.  And the program does work, and yes, I did have to install it in compatibility mode.  The program runs fine, it's just a question of how the OS displays non-printable characters.

     

    I'm just not finding the same options for displaying different code pages and character sets under Windows 7 as I had under XP.

     

    Thanks anyway...

    Monday, March 21, 2011 3:11 PM
  • Hi,

     

    Windows 7 edit boxes display non-printable characters (ASCII 1 to 31) differently from previous versions. It will display as a 'bar' or 'box' for fonts.

     

    In addition, I find using Excel to Clean Data. Hope this blog helps.

     

    http://msmvps.com/blogs/jeffloucks/archive/2010/02/25/dynamics-crm-data-import-removing-non-printable-characters.aspx

     

    Note: Since the website is not hosted by Microsoft, the link may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.

     

    Regards,

    Niki


    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" on the post that helps you, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    • Marked as answer by Vivian Xing Friday, March 25, 2011 6:41 AM
    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 9:46 AM
  • Hi Niki,

    I'm having the same problem but with an application that draws the text itself (not in an edit box).

    XP shows black bars for carriage returns, but Windows 7 hides them, so two lines of text run together without any break.

    Is there any documentation on this behaviour change?

    Regards,

    Ger

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012 5:07 PM
  • We've run into this problem as well.  We develop a software application where we need to track and store Unicode characters U+0080 thru U+008F in documents edited by our application.  On Windows XP, this range of characters would display as little square boxes, arrows, vertical lines, or other such special characters, which would indicate their existence.  On Windows 7, though, nothing displays at all.  The characters are still there, and being tracked and saved by the application, but when it renders on screen, it's a zero-width character.  So you can't tell it's actually there, even though it is.

    Here's what a document with those characters looks like opened by our application on Windows XP.  The non-printable characters can be seen in red.

    The same file, opened in our application, on Windows 7:

    It's not just an issue with our application, either.  Opening the same text document in Notepad on XP with this range of characters, the characters are visible.  Then opening the document in Notepad on Windows 7, and they're not there.

    My guess is that this is a font issue.  If we switch the application's font to Terminal, the non-printable characters get displayed again as boxes.  None of the other fonts installed with Windows 7 work, though.  And frankly, Terminal is a pretty ugly font.  Our users deserve better than that. :)

    My company engaged Microsoft's support team by opening a problem ticket.  The response we received is that this is working by design, beginning with Windows Vista.

    This is a issue that's caused us and our users no end of frustration.  Like you, I've googled everywhere, but this change doesn't appear to be documented.  We'd be willing to try an unsupported workaround, but as of now there appears to be none.



    • Edited by emchan Tuesday, January 31, 2012 9:54 PM
    Tuesday, January 31, 2012 8:38 PM
  • We encountered a very similar problem as described by the original poster. The solution marked as answer didn't help at all.

    We have certain files that contain control characters. Under Windows XP these Characters were displayed in all editors (Notepad, Word,..) with little squares for placeholders which was sufficient for our needs. When opening the same file under Windows 7 these characters aren't displayed at all.

    We tried installing XPs fonts under Windows 7, but the characters are still not shown. So, this doesn't seem to be a problem with the fonts itself.

    Only when using the font 'Terminal' as reported by emchan the characters are displayed. Unfortunately this font doesn't contain certain other characters we need.

    Is there a registry key, windows setting or group policy we could use to bring back the behavior we are used from XP? Or are there any other fonts like 'Terminal' which show control chars?

    I wanted to include a Screenshot for reference, but it seems my account isn't yet verified :/

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014 11:59 AM
  • "We encountered a very similar problem as described by the original poster. The solution marked as answer didn't help at all."

    The same thing for me. The binary view in Windows Commander (Total Commander) lister displays lines randomly, because some non-printable characters are not printed. Formerly, in XP, it works fine, small "blocks" were displayed for them.

    "Is there a registry key, windows setting or group policy we could use to bring back the behavior we are used from XP?"

    Or a registry key to set the replacement character for non-printables for GDI text outputs?

    Friday, August 9, 2019 9:19 AM