Word html opened in Dreamweaver now has odd empty boxes, like spaces

I opened what apparently was a html that had been created in word in Dreamweaver. I tried to preview the doc and it shows some weird empty boxes (likes spaces maybe?) at the top, between the menu items. The weird thing is, if I test it in Firefox it looks fine. It also looks fine in the design part in dreamweaver, but now the saved version has those boxes in Internet Explorer. Any ideas what happened or how I can go about fixing it? Any help would be greatly appreciate!!!
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
The empty boxes could be Word's "fancy quotes" or other punctuation that DW and IE can't display.  It could also be tabs...those sometimes leave crap behind.

One thing you can do Commands | Clean Up Word HTML and see if that improves it.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Word HTML is intended for printing, not viewing in a browser.  It probably also uses the Windows 1252 character set which is not the same as UTF-8 or Latin1.  And there are a lot of 'Microsoft Office' functions included in the file that most web design programs don't understand.
savache27Author Commented:
I tried the clean up and it didn't seem to help (other than the actual code looked much better), but there are some <span> tags that seem to have some tabs in them. I removed the tabs and it go rid of a lot of the boxes. But there are still some in between the menu items, where spaces would need to be. Also, this character is showing as one of the boxes:


There's also a picture that shows in dreamweaver design, and Firefox, but shows broken in IE.
Bootstrap 4: Exploring New Features

Learn how to use and navigate the new features included in Bootstrap 4, the most popular HTML, CSS, and JavaScript framework for developing responsive, mobile-first websites.

Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
Can you post the link to the page or the page code here?  If you post the code here, please use the Code button in the editor to get it as a code block.
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
If you've been stuck with someone else's Word HTML, I sympathize.  When I get a Word file, I export it to text to avoid all that 'stuff' anc create the HTML from scratch.  It's much easier and faster.
did you just open the html in dw you should have done import instead
It would be very helpful to actually see what you are describing, to better help you.  Are you able to either provide a link to the actual web url for the doc, or provide a screenshot of both the design view, ie appearance, and the code itself?
savache27Author Commented:
Well, see, they put their work on a web draft server and we are supposed to review it and put it in the production server. The only reason I even opened it was to see why the picture wasn't showing. The weird thing, if I go to the site, it looks like whoever was previously in charge of the site must have used dreamweaver or something for an actual html page. But some of the pages have been either created or edited in word, and those are the pages that do not look right at all.
Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
Anything created in Word and not normalized to best practices for HTML and CSS will look awful.  Word is not an option for serious web design.  

You should be copy/pasting from Word to whatever you use to write HTML and add your own markup.  Never let Word markup go to production.  
savache27Author Commented:
Well, I agree, but I'm not sure what to do when it's really not my job to edit it for them, but just to post. But my opening and previewing it in dreamweaver messed with their code.
Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
So I'm unsure as to what the question is.  If you have code with invalid characters in DW but it looks ok in the browser, ignore it.  If you have invalid characters in the browser, there is no magic bullet that fixes it.  You are going to have to replace the invalid characters with proper HTML.
savache27Author Commented:
Well, it looked right until I opened it in dreamweaver, but now it doesn't. I guess I just didn't want to change it up because then when they tried to edit it they wouldn't know what was going on. But they probably won't anyway at this point. I'm not really sure how it's changed what they will see if they open it in Word.
Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
It sounds like there are issues in your production environment and your teams need to meet to figure out a process.  As we have all noted above, Word is not the right tool for this job.  It's okay to provide page content in Word format, but someone on the web side of things needs to take on the responsibility to convert the Word doc to valid, standards-compliant HTML and CSS.  

Until you put that into play, you're going to suffer issues like this.
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I agree with Jason.  I would point out to your people when the subject comes up that you can't maintain the web site when they submit files in Word HTML format.  Word HTML format is intended for printing, not web display pages.  This is a common problem with non-technical users.
Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
>> Well, it looked right until I opened it in dreamweaver,

It probably had invalid markup.  DW will autocorrect invalid HTML to the best of its ability but depending on how bad the markup is, the cure can be worse than the disease.  If the tags from word are nested improperly, the autofix will create more problems because it can't follow the code.
like I said it does work if you import it works
Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
>> like I said it does work if you import it works

No, Ian, it doesn't always work on import.

The importer will frequently crash and burn, especially if the Word users are actually trying to use Word as a design tool and laying out tables, text boxes and other positional elements.

The importer can sometimes handle a straight content conversion but images and other elements are frequently screwed up or left out.
savache27Author Commented:
Thanks for the information everyone. I really appreciate it.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Adobe Dreamweaver

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.