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  1. #1

    Default Which Font/Format for Cut & Paste Product Captions

    I write my captions in MS Word and then cut and paste them over into the product description in "Add Product."

    As I type in Word:
    - I use quote marks for the sizing (inches) of products
    -Word automatically corrects certain things--like a single one-em dash when you have two dashes together, and accent marks for foreign words like "etagere" (accents not showing here).

    This used to work fine but lately, when I cut and paste the caption, weird Greek-like symbols are showing up on my store pages, and I have to go back in to Admin and retype in corrections, like retyping in the quote mark for the inches symbol. I update, and then some of the changes are fine--but the dashes are coming out broken and the accents are missing!

    In Word, I've tried changing the typeface, the formatting style--have tried html typewriter, html web (which is really annoying because it double-spaces everything and the Greek letters still appear), plain text formatting, cleared formatting, etc. Someone suggested I first cut and paste to "Wordpad" to try to fix formatting issues. That didn't work either.

    It seems to me, I should be able to cut and paste and have the type go in just as I have it written without things converting over in Miva's product captions. Does anyone know how to properly set the font/formatting in Word--or suggest some other way--I can write my captions as I want them to appear then cut and paste and have them retain the correct formatting?
    Many thanks,
    Amy
    The Wear-with-All - Online Boutique
    http://www.thewearwithall.com
    One-of-a-Kind, Handcrafted, Art-to-Wear Jewelry. Exclusive Apparel--Including Fine Knits, Baby Boutique, Fun Fashion Accessories. Home Decor Art objects & more...

  2. #2
    Senior Member rispku's Avatar
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    You'll have to replace those "special" characters Word is inserting into your document with the proper character references.

    Here are a few links to help you:
    Explains how and why you have to use character references.

    Character table on same site.

    Another character table, with some additional unicode characters

  3. #3

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    Oh, finally--you came to my rescue!! Thank you, thank you.
    Amy
    The Wear-with-All - Online Boutique
    http://www.thewearwithall.com
    One-of-a-Kind, Handcrafted, Art-to-Wear Jewelry. Exclusive Apparel--Including Fine Knits, Baby Boutique, Fun Fashion Accessories. Home Decor Art objects & more...

  4. #4
    Senior Member rispku's Avatar
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    No problem!

    It may also interest you to know that you can use HTML Tidy to replace those characters automatically. http://tidy.sourceforge.net/

    It may turn out to be more trouble than it's worth, but if you have long descriptions with lots of those "special" characters, it could be a real time saver.

  5. #5

    Default

    I went to the link and read the pages, but it's too advanced for me to get what's involved in placing it somewhere and then using their method. So, for now I'll stick with typing in — for a one-em dash, etc. I went back in and tried to catch and change out every weird undecipherable symbol on my website. I think I got them all.

    Again, I am most grateful to you for helping me find a solution. I printed out the Document Character Set and keep it handy when I'm entering product descriptions.

    What's strange is that before Open UI and some other page template modules were installed, everything cut and pasted from Word worked fine. Now, I'm in the process of changing out many photos (bought a full-size clothing mannequin), and when I update them, suddenly the type that was showing up perfectly before, changes out to symbols. It's like the update button updates the everything and moves the type over to make Word autocorrect symbols unreadable. Not sure what it is about Open UI or anything else they coded in there that's causing this to happen, but I'm relieved you told me how to deal with it.
    Many thanks,
    Amy
    The Wear-with-All - Online Boutique
    http://www.thewearwithall.com
    One-of-a-Kind, Handcrafted, Art-to-Wear Jewelry. Exclusive Apparel--Including Fine Knits, Baby Boutique, Fun Fashion Accessories. Home Decor Art objects & more...

  6. #6
    Senior Member rispku's Avatar
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    I went to the link and read the pages, but it's too advanced for me to get what's involved in placing it somewhere and then using their method. So, for now I'll stick with typing in for a one-em dash, etc. I went back in and tried to catch and change out every weird undecipherable symbol on my website. I think I got them all.
    Perhaps you're right, it is a bit overkill for such a task. Another solution would be to use a macro to automatically search and replace all of the "special" characters you commonly use. I haven't used Word in quite a while, but I seem to recall it being a simple matter to create a macro.

    What's strange is that before Open UI and some other page template modules were installed, everything cut and pasted from Word worked fine.
    It's possible the problem existed even before then, and that it just never manifested itself due to the forgiving nature of some browsers/OS combinations.

    I've never used OUI, but I do believe it uses its own database? It may be that the character encoding for their database is different than Merchant's default db. Do those weird characters show up in the description's edit field in the admin area?

    Further, your template is declaring the charset the page is using (which is good!), so this is forcing the browser to conform to the characters available (as typed) in that particular character set (if available, else ISO-8859-1 I believe).

    In short, you're probably better off referencing those characters with the proper entities anyway.

    A few more things...

    Your 'product list' page is brutal! My browser locks up for a good 15-45 seconds when loading just the text. There's almost 800KB of text/markup on that page! It might be a good idea to break it up just a bit. Well, for my sake at least.

    Now, I'm in the process of changing out many photos (bought a full-size clothing mannequin)
    I like your picture browser! It's really neat. Although, I encountered a few images that were apparently too big, and ended up loading under the product details to the right of the pictures. This naturally makes it a bit difficult to read until you change the picture. Here's one that does it (the fourth picture): http://www.thewearwithall.com/Mercha...t_Code=CP-6009
    I'm using Firefox with the window sized at about 800x600, fwiw.

    Also, is that a wig on the mannequin or did you paint those highlights on its head?

  7. #7

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    Hi, Ripsku: I forwarded your message on to my web consultant. I was aware of some full-size photos stretching out over the type. She thinks it's a thumbnail glitch and had no comment on how to correct it. Since we don't know how to fix it, I have to suppose if person wants to order, they'll hit back to get to the original description page.

    So far, my site continues to get almost no hits--although I purchased and used Traffic Blazer to get it into search engines and just bought the module to upload data to Froogle Shopping (getting some Lookey-lous from that). I'm starting to feel like my website, instead of being a retail business, is just a hobby I've paid a fortune for just to amuse myself. (( I'm apparently completely failing to reach my target audience. I got several items into a lovely boutique last week, and I'm thinking that, and the craft fairs I've been doing to get my name out there, are much more effective tools than my website.

    I also don't know how to improve my product list page. My products are my products. I never click on that. I click on the top headings: Jewelry, Exclusive Apparel, etc. to get where I want to go, and it works pretty fast--although when I check my stats, I see some people leave at "O" minutes, which means they're not bothering for wait for pages to open. I feel I've got to have very complete descriptions in--especially for the knits and sewn items--because I want the shopper to know EXACTLY what they are getting so that there's no disillusionment or disappointment when they open the package. I don't want knits that have been tried on coming back to me if at all humanly possible...

    According to my web consultant, she feels a huge hindrance to my website success has been the speed factor--and this she says is due to the WestHost server issues and not my products. She's wanted me to jump ship, but I can't afford to, and the thought of re-learning a different admin is somewhat terrifying to me since I'd probably have to pay her to reconfigure it all and explain everything to me.

    Isabelle (my mannequin) has an innate highly-developed avant-garde personality--so she was born with her hair very obviously streaked. I didn't persuade her to change it or anything...she has a strong mind of her own. ;-D
    Amy
    The Wear-with-All - Online Boutique
    http://www.thewearwithall.com
    One-of-a-Kind, Handcrafted, Art-to-Wear Jewelry. Exclusive Apparel--Including Fine Knits, Baby Boutique, Fun Fashion Accessories. Home Decor Art objects & more...

  8. #8
    Senior Member rispku's Avatar
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    I was aware of some full-size photos stretching out over the type. She thinks it's a thumbnail glitch and had no comment on how to correct it. Since we don't know how to fix it, I have to suppose if person wants to order, they'll hit back to get to the original description page.
    Well, when I noticed it, the picture didn't cover the "Add To Basket" button, so it wouldn't have hindered my ability to buy the product.
    That's the picture browser the Image Pro module creates, right? There are a couple of things you can do to fix this (short of resizing all of your larger pictures).
    • Image Pro can open your large images in a popup-window. This method is probably best since it won't require you to tinker with your layout or change the image size with the <img> tag.
    • Image Pro can also set the size of the image in the <img> tag. This can result in your pictures appearing distorted, and it defeats the purpose of having a larger image (added detail).

    Alternately, you could alter the layout a bit, such as increasing the width of the main table so there'd be more room for the images to expand. This is a bit drastic, and you'd probably have to increase the width a great deal to get a good fit for that 567px-wide image in the example I posted.
    I would suggest using the popup windows if you decide to do anything about it.

    I also don't know how to improve my product list page. My products are my products.... I feel I've got to have very complete descriptions in--especially for the knits and sewn items--because I want the shopper to know EXACTLY what they are getting so that there's no disillusionment or disappointment when they open the package.
    Everything looks great, and you should definitely keep the descriptions! I only meant that it'd be a lot easier to browse the product list (i.e. without my browser locking up for 30 seconds) if you didn't list so many products on that single page. You can use Merchant's pagination settings (Stores >YourStore:Pagination to dictate how many products are displayed per page.

    ...when I check my stats, I see some people leave at "O" minutes, which means they're not bothering for wait for pages to open...
    Where are you getting these stats? These are likely just people who've clicked a link to your site, only to find that it wasn't precisely what they expected it to be. It could also indicate a problem with your site's navigation. If a lot of these hits are appearing on your product pages, you should think about adding the category tree and try adding some cross-sells ("related products" in your add/edit product window) to these pages. If these are appearing on the product/category list pages, where your site has some considerable lag time, it could be that they're just getting frustrated and closing the window.

    According to my web consultant, she feels a huge hindrance to my website success has been the speed factor--and this she says is due to the WestHost server issues and not my products. She's wanted me to jump ship, but I can't afford to, and the thought of re-learning a different admin is somewhat terrifying to me since I'd probably have to pay her to reconfigure it all and explain everything to me.
    I do notice a bit of lag when browsing your store, and your OpenUI parse times are pretty bad in some areas (mostly the large category/product list pages). You'll likely notice a significant speed increase on these pages if you limit the amount of products displayed on them using the pagination settings.

    I do wonder, however, if this really is the cause of your poor sales, and if moving will rectify or improve that situation at all. While it can certainly hinder your sales, it's not likely to be the sole factor behind the store's total lack of business -- your site isn't that slow.

    So far, my site continues to get almost no hits--although I purchased and used Traffic Blazer to get it into search engines and just bought the module to upload data to Froogle Shopping (getting some Lookey-lous from that)
    That's not a bad start. It can take some time for the search engines to really notice you and improve your position in their search results, though. Also, you should hand submit your site to dmoz.org and any of the various jewelry/crafts/apparel shopping directories that exist:
    dmoz' list of shopping directories
    Yahoo's list
    Furthermore, you might also consider adding an html index of all of your products with links to their corresponding page in Merchant. After doing this for our store, we noticed a significant increase in hits coming from Yahoo. They also included our stock in their shopping/product search (albeit below those who've actually paid for inclusion).

    I got several items into a lovely boutique last week, and I'm thinking that, and the craft fairs I've been doing to get my name out there, are much more effective tools than my website.
    We run a brick-and-mortar arts and crafts store, and the craftspeople we deal with tend to do best at the craft fairs/events too. Although, some of them include a small card or brochure with the items they leave on consignment with us. They usually have some information about themselves and their products. Quite a few of them also include their website or email address. This may be an effective way for you to gain some additional sales from the people who've already expressed interest in your products.
    Last edited by rispku; 12-06-2005 at 03:14 AM. Reason: way too early

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