Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Java Urgent - Single quote character appearing as æ (Java)

  1. Oct 2, 2013 #1
    Hi, I am programming a command line program in Java. When I try to use System.out.print to print a single quote character, it outputs æ instead. So I get output like

    Johnæs height is 1.72 m

    instead of John's height is 1.72m

    I tried using escape sequence and i get illegal escape character error.

    Previously it was working fine but I don't know what happened. Please help, thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2013 #2
    Ah yes, this does happen sometimes. Can you post the code so that I may take a closer look?

    System.out.printf("John's height is 1.72 m");

    That should work, however sometimes it seems like the encoding gets messed up for some reason. An alternative would be for you to use the unicode value for the apostrophe. It's not the best method, but it'll work. The unicode value for the apostrophe is \u2019

    System.out.printf("John\u2019s height is 1.72m");

    If you can post the code, I'll take a closer look at it, but for now, the aforementioned solution works.
  4. Oct 2, 2013 #3
    Thanks! think i figured it out...

    I realized I was copying to and from Microsoft Word, think the formatting got copied over too... I deleted the character and keyed in via keyboard myself and it works fine now
  5. Oct 2, 2013 #4
    You're welcome.

    Writing code in Microsoft Word is a big no no. You can change the format of Microsoft Word to Plain Text format, but you're better off writing your code in notepad if you have a Windows, or whatever Notepad's equivalent on the Mac is.

    I personally prefer writing my code directly into my IDE, for Java, I favor Eclipse.
  6. Oct 2, 2013 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't think it was a matter of formatting, more like Word changed ' to something else, just like it automatically changes between dash and hyphen in some cases. There are several similarly looking punctuation marks - apostrophe, prime and single quotation mark (perhaps even more).
  7. Oct 2, 2013 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You probably have "smart quotes" switched on in MS Word (the default setting is on). That will turn the ' and " characters you typed into opening and closing quotes like ‘...’ and “...”, which is a good idea when writing a report, but not when writing program code!

    If you really want to edit your code in Word, the best way is to save it as a text file. But using an editor designed for writing programs, that doesn't mess with what you type, is a better way to go.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook