Strange Characters


Do you have strange Latin characters (such as Â) appearing where there should be punctuation in your iWeb site?

It seems that some older web serves are setup in such a way that browsers interpret pages they host as being encoded in something known as Latin-1.

iWeb, encodes pages in the more modern UTF-8, to accommodate all languages, unlike the English only Latin-1 encoding.

To remedy this situation you need to upload a text file to the folder containing your web site on your host’s server.

Here’s how...

  1. 1.Download the TextWrangler application from:

  2. 2.Create a new text file in TextWrangler, containing the following text:

    AddDefaultCharset UTF-8

  3. 3.Save the file with the name htaccess.

  4. 4.Download an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program, such as Transmit, or CyberDuck.

  5. 5.In the FTP program connect to your web server site, using the settings listed on the iWeb FTP page.

  6. 6.Open the folder on the server that contains your web site. This may be called public_html. (In the case of NSW DET schools, this folder is called internet.)

  7. 7.Find the setting in your FTP program that enables the display of hidden files.

    eg - in Transmit this is under the View menu.

  8. 8.Examine the files in your site’s folder, on the web server.

    If there are any files called .htaccess, or .~htaccess, delete those files. (It is important to remove both versions of the file.)

    In Unix-based systems (including OS X) the “.” in front of a files makes those files invisible.

  9. 9.Navigate to the htaccess file that you created in TextWrangler.

    Copy this file to the “root” folder containing your web site on the host server.

  10. 10.In your FTP program, rename the htaccess file on the web server to .htaccess - ie include a “.” in front of the file name.

  11. 11.You can now choose to Hide Invisible Files in your FTP program, and the .htaccess file will no longer be visible.

  12. 12.Quit the FTP program.

  13. 13.Load your web site in a browser.

  14. 14.After a couple of reloads the site should be displayed without the Latin characters.

    It may take a little while for the “new” version to be available, especially on corporate networks that make extensive use of proxy servers.