My Link Doesn't Work! When Copy and Paste Goes Wrong

Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 10.19.12 PM We were adding content from a Google Doc which was sent to us from one of our clients to a site today. One of the things we copied and pasted was a link to another page on the site.

The link was correct. I checked it. But each time we clicked on the link, we received a 404 error page.

I could type the link in the address bar and it worked perfectly. I could click on the link typed out the same way on other parts of the site and everything worked just fine. But, for some reason this one particular version of the link just wasn’t working.

After struggling with the link for a while, I discovered (quite by accident) that the link had a special, hidden character at the end of the link. I can always detect hidden characters by backspacing through the line of characters. When I press the backspace key and nothing happens, I know I’ve just deleted a hidden, binary character that my browser refuses to show me.

Sometimes these special, binary characters aren’t hidden and show up on the page as foreign characters with accents or some other funky character that I’ve never seen in the English language.

After backspacing through the hidden characters and saving the post again, everything began working just fine. So, if your link looks correct but it’s just not working, check for hidden characters in the URL. The best thing to do is to delete the copied version and type the whole thing again.

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