Frequently Asked QuestionsIllegal Character in Input Form


My attempts to provide input in a form resulted in an error message telling me that my input contained an "illegal character". What are illegal characters, and how can I avoid them in my input?


An illegal input character is usually the result of a copy-and-paste from an offline word processing program into an online form. This can happen when the offline application is using a different character encoding than our website uses (which is Unicode). It may happen, for example, with MS Word "smart quotes" because MS Word converts a keyed-in quote to a "smart end quote" that does not translate correctly to Unicode.

The usual solution is use your keyboard to replace such characters in your input.

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