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Introduction

WordStar for Windows Mail Merge Doesn't Retain Special Characters (accents, true apostrophes, em dashes, etc.).

Using mail merge addresses, or other data, looses true apostrophes, em dashes, and accents from characters, etc. This is because, by default, WordStar for Windows uses the DOS OEM character set for mail merge imports and this character set does not support these characters.

Solution

The solution to this problem involves changing the import character set setting to use the Windows ANSI character set instead of DOS OEM. This setting is held in the WordStar for Windows ini file and can be changed using any plain text editor such as Windows Notepad.

  1. In Notepad, click File, then click Open
  2. In the Files of type box select All Files (*.*)
  3. Browse to your Windows directory (folder) - usually C:\WINDOWS, or C:\WINNT
  4. Click on the file called wsw.ini, and then click Open, the file will be opened in Notepad
  5. Click Search, and then click Find
  6. In the Fine what box, type oem, and then click Find Next, and then click Cancel

    The find will have put the cursor at a line that starts with ; OEMData=1

  7. Scroll down the file until you get to the end of the block of lines that start with semi-colons, these represent comments in the file. Following the comments will be a block of settings (lines that don't start with a semi-colon), at the end of which will be a blank line followed by more comment lines that start with semi-colons.
  8. Make sure the cursor is on the blank line following the comments, and then type OEMData=0 in the blank line
  9. Press ENTER to create a new blank line below the new value
  10. Click File, and then click Save
  11. Click File, and then click Exit
  12. Restart WordStar for Windows.

A mail merge should now contain all the ASCII extended characters