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A Bug and workaround when copying/pasting from google docs

The other night I began a new campaign using Screenmonkey and it came to a screeching halt when we began to suffer freezing and the GM console or players screens being unable to see or type. Multiple restarts and fully rebooting on all ends fixed the problems, but they rapidly returned.

I called the game and began experimenting. The problem seemed to begin when copying and pasting into screenmonkey. A few hours of trial and error later (yes I used to work in QA) and I think I have a handle on the problem and so far, a workaround).

The problem seems to stem from the fact that Google Documents (for some amazingly stupid reason) automatically replaces some characters with a more aesthetically pleasing version. These characters include the apostrophe ' and forward slash /. when these and maybe other characters are pasted into ScreenMonkey it chokes badly. This was tested in Chrome by myself and a couple versions of IE by players. It does not help if this text is first transferred to notepad or word. ScreenMonkey hates these characters.

The workaround is to turn off this substitution as plagiarized:
1. Open any Google Docs document that was created September 2010 or later. Note that documents created with earlier versions will not have smart quotes enabled, and are safe for pasting.

2. In the "Tools" menu, choose "Preferences". (If you don't see it, try creating a new document first).

3. Uncheck the box that says "Use Smart Quotes", and click OK.

After you do this, any quote or apostrophe you type will be "plain", and will work fine in PowerSchool. This only needs to be done once, and then it will be the default for all new documents.

If you already have some smart quotes in your document, you can fix them by doing the following:

1. From the "Edit" menu of Google Docs, choose "Find and Replace"

2. Copy and paste this left smart quote into the "Find" box: “

3. Copy and paste this plain quote into the "replace with" box "

4. Click the "Replace all" button.

5. Repeat this process for right quotes: ”, again replacing with plain quotes "

6. Repeat again and replace curly apostrophes ’ with regular apostrophes '

After having done this the copy and paste works fine, though I did not try an exhaustive test of special characters to see if any others are toxic.

Related issue... it is a little annoying that when you copy a block of text and paste into ScreenMonkey it ignores all text after the first line break... but I can live with that.

Comments

  • I'm wondering if the google docs interface is using a unicode character set - that could cause SM problems.
  • Ed_NBOS wrote:
    I'm wondering if the google docs interface is using a unicode character set - that could cause SM problems.

    It seems limited to those characters so far. I found lots of other complaints of google docs mucking with other peoples software as well. It would be nice if screenmonkey could convert or ignore the nonstandard characters, but at least the workaround is pretty easy.

    BTW, session 2 was flawless and my players love the software and experience.
  • lled the game and began experimenting. The problem seemed to begin when copying and pasting into screenmonkey. A few hours of trial and error later (yes I used to work in QA) and I think I have a handle on the problem and so far, a workaround).
  • I get the same problem when I try to paste sections of text from Notepad to 1.7h. I have not found a way to correct it. If anyone has any insight, that would be cool. My players get anxious when I have to type a paragraph instead of pasting it.

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