Strange foreign characters
I have some old files from a very old Mac which contain the early drafts of a book I was writing. They were created as ordinary text files, and saved on 3.5‑inch floppy disks. With considerable effort, I have managed to get them transferred to a memory stick so I can read them on my 2012 iMac, running Yosemite. However, I think the files might have been corrupted, either during conversion or as a result of sitting in a dusty drawer for 15 years.
The text is basically readable but it contains a lot of garbled characters. All of the dialogue is bracketed by an accented capital ‘O’ on either side, for example. I dare say I could do a search and replace on every file for each character, but this would be very laborious. Is there a simpler way? Tony Westacott
Your files aren’t corrupted, they are just using the old Mac Roman character set. The open quotation mark is character 210 in this character set, but in the modern Unicode encoding standard, character 210 is Ò, so that’s how it appears to you. You can convert your files to UTF in Terminal by using the following command: iconv -f MACROMAN -t UTF-8 your_original_file. txt > converted_file.txt