Receiving Invalid Character message from web.config file when asp.net app loads

Ok, I added a new page to an existing application running on a dev server.   There is a string of special characters I added as one of the appsetting values in the web.config.  The new page reads this string and performs a function to dycrypt it to a password which it needed for other functionality.   Everything is working great in DEV.  
Today we moved the page and the web.config settings to QA.  Now there is a problem.  The app wont even load.  Getting a messsage 'There is an invalid character in the given encoding line 31 position 34.   This is the first special character in the new appsetting value.   I verified that the header of the web.config in both DEV and QA match:   <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>.  I also verified the special characters are the exact same on both servers.
So why would the special characters load ok on one server and not the other?  
smolakmAsked:
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smolakmAuthor Commented:
THis has been resolved with a bit more investgation.   The web.config on the QA was edited with Notepad and when saved, saved in ANSI format.    I opened the web condif and did a Save As with the UTF-8 format....fixed the problem.
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