MS Word Special Characters “MAY” break SharePoint Web Services

Today I was working with a client to resolve an issue with a jQuery solution we provided several months ago. The solution is a policy and procedures site that makes use of several filtered views with jQuery providing some “enhancements”. The “enhancements” were being handled dynamically with jQuery and the SPServices library by Marc Anderson.

Suddenly, queries that were working would no longer work and users were getting error messages. Once the investigation was underway, we discovered the following error in the XML parsing using Firebug:

XML Parsing Error: reference to invalid character number Location: moz-nullprincipal:{3da9cb2f-1ded-400f-bb9e-3c38e76f6474} Line Number 1579, Column 36:
vti_title:SW|Installation Planning 

I began working with Marc Anderson and the supporters of the SPServices library to troubleshoot the error. After some great suggestions, I opened up the U2U CAML builder and executed my query again. I received the tell-tale error message that proved this error was occurring on the server:

XML Parsing Error with U2U
Example XML Parsing Error using U2U CAML Builder

It appears this causes a server side parsing error that cannot be mitigated since the MetaInfo field is automatically included with all web-service results from the GetListItems method of the Lists web service. The resolution was to change the Title field and remove the offending character.


2 thoughts on “MS Word Special Characters “MAY” break SharePoint Web Services

  1. I know this thread is old, but did Marc ever hear back from MS about this issue and pass on his findings? I just spent the last hour beating my head against the wall until I switched over to Firefox/Firebug to see what I could find out, same issue. Going to continue researching, but thought I’d ask anyway.

  2. Excellent work. Too bad the “IncludeMandatoryColumns” doesn’t work. Would’ve saved a bunch of time… Marc did ping M$ with this, so I’m sure we’ll hear back something.

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