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Files from Windows 7 are not alphabetized correctly on OS X, and can match identically named files in the same folder

199 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Jan 27, 2013 8:00 AM by Tom Gewecke RSS
JML54 Calculating status...
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Jan 25, 2013 6:34 PM

I receive MS Word files from students using Macs or Windows-based computers.  This year, files prepared by students using Windows 7 are not alphabetized correctly on my Mac (under Snow Leopard or Mountain Lion).  The same four students keep having their files put at the END of the alphabetical sort by name, even though the files should appear earlier in the list.  I have to copy the file contents and paste the contents into a new document to get the new document to appear in the right order, and if I do so, then BOTH the old and new files appear in the Finder, even though the names appear to be identical!  So can have to files with the same name in the same folder, which ought to be impossible.  Does anyone have any idea what's going on?

  • Barney-15E Level 7 Level 7 (33,370 points)

    In your finder Window, what is the View and what is the Arrangement and Sort?

    What extensions do the files have after you save them? Are they the same as the original file (.doc or .docx)?


    If you Get Info on each file, you can see the full name. If you triple-click on the name, it will select the whole name. Copy those and paste into TextEdit on separate, but adjacent lines.

    Select all and set the Font to one of the Fixed Width fonts like Monaco.


    Do all the characters line up exactly?

  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,850 points)

    JML54 wrote:


    Windows must do something to style the non-letter characters differently than a Mac.  Is there any place in Windows Explorer or the OS X Finder that styles characters this way? 


    It is not uncommon for word processors to have a setting which automatically converts straight quotes to curly ones (e.g. "use smart quotes").  But in my experience on Apple apps these settings never carry over to the naming of files when you do File > Save.  So I think it must be the Windows machine which is doing that.   If so, I think it is a very bad idea.


    Of course it is always possible to put curly quotes in a file name by using the appropriate key combo, e.g. option/alt plus [ on a Mac.


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