Catalog Punctuation and Formatting Issues

This article describes the process for correcting punctuation and formatting issues displaying in a catalog that has been exported to an online bidding platform or imported from another source.



Punctuation and formatting issues may appear in a catalog when the operating system's characters or formatting use different coding than those recognized by the auction platform. While Wavebid can generally read these characters without issue, the punctuation may be converted into question marks once the catalog is exported to a bidding platform. This generally occurs with commas, apostrophes, and quotation marks. Formatting that was done to the text (ex. spacing, bolding, and italicization) can also be lost. 

Copying and Pasting

Formatting issues can occur when data is copied from another source and then pasted into Wavebid. This is more likely to happen when extensive formatting has been done- such a lot description that contains a lot spacing, bold words, hyperlinks, etc.


Smart Punctuation

Many Apple devices and Microsoft products are enabled with Smart Punctuation today. The quotation marks and apostrophes generated by Smart Punctuation are read by Wavebid, but are not read by Proxibid and may not be read by other bidding platforms.

The difference between smart punctuation and its more generic punctuation is not always seen; but please review the example to better visualize smart punctuation in a catalog. While the smart punctuation for a quote will appear correctly in Wavebid, it appears as question marks in Proxibid after exporting.


Wavebid Description with Smart Quotes


Proxibid Description with Smart Quotes


To correct this, users should turn off Smart Punctuation on any device that may be used for cataloging.

To turn off Smart Punctuation on an Apple mobile device, access Settings > General > Keyboard and turn off the Smart Punctuation feature. This will correct any cataloging done in the future but will not correct cataloging that has already been done with the device. See below for information on removing Smart Punctuation from a catalog.


To turn off Smart Punctuation in Microsoft Word, please refer to this Microsoft support article. 

Correcting Punctuation and Formatting Issues

There are two ways to correct punctuation and formatting issues with imported catalogs or catalogs exported to a bidding platform. 

Correcting Punctuation Using Excel 

To correct punctuation issues across a whole catalog, the catalog can be exported to a comma-separated value (.CSV) spreadsheet. The punctuation on the catalog spreadsheet will need to be replaced and then the catalog will need to be imported back into Wavebid.

  1. Navigate to the applicable auction from the Wavebid Dashboard (via the desktop version), then select Auction > Preview Auction.
  2. Click the Download button in the top right corner of the page and select .CSV.
  3. Once the .CSV downloads, compare the quotation marks/apostrophes in the .CSV with those that produced question marks in Proxibid or with other quotation marks/apostrophes within the document. 
    • Smart Punctuation quotation marks and apostrophes curve slightly, while those entered via Excel are straight.                                                                                                                                                    SmartPunc6.jpgSmartPunc10.jpg
  4. Perform a Find and Replace action, copying and pasting the incorrect quotation mark/apostrophe in the Find What field and typing the correct quotation mark/apostrophe (the one on a PC keyboard) in the Replace With field.
    • Click the Replace All button to ensure all instances of the punctuation are replaced.                               SmartPunc9.jpg                         SmartPunc4.jpg
  5. A confirmation pop-up will appear. Click the Ok button.                                                                                                          SmartPunc8.jpg
  6. The Find and Replace action will need to be done for both opening and closing quotation marks and apostrophes- meaning that the action will need to be done at least three times.
  7. Once all the offending punctuation has been replaced, save the .CSV and close it.
  8. The updated fields will now need to be imported to overwrite those that are incorrect. Navigate to the applicable auction in Wavebid, then select Catalogs > Import Catalog.
  9. Click the Choose File button and select the updated .CSV.
  10. Click the Upload button.
  11. Delete all of the headers from the Mapped To column except for Lot #, Lot Name, Description, and Additional Description
    • Additional fields (such as Location) may need to be mapped only if they contained punctuation issues. 
    • Importing the Seller field from an export of the Auction Preview will alter all of the seller codes.           SmartPunc5.jpg
  12. Click the Import button at the bottom of the page. A confirmation will appear once the import is complete.
  13. The catalog can now be exported to the applicable bidding platform.
    • Be sure to uncheck the New Photos Only box under Photo Options when exporting.                                                           SmartPunc7.jpg
    • Review the catalog in the bidding platform (if possible) after export to ensure the punctuation issues have been corrected.
    • Users may need to clear cache or view the catalog through an incognito window to see the changes.

Correcting Format Issues Using Source Button

The Source button in can be used to remove all coding from a lot, which can then be reapplied by making edits directly via Wavebid's lot editor. This is ideal when correcting extensive formatting issues within one or two lots (ex. real estate).

  1. Navigate to the applicable auction from the Wavebid Dashboard (via the desktop version), then select Auction > Preview Auction.
  2. Click on the Description field for the impacted lot. A pop-up window will open.
  3. Copy the entire lot description.
    • It may be beneficial to paste this content in a Word document to ensure it is not lost.
  4. Click the Source button in the top left corner of the pop-up window to activate the code editor. SourceEditor3.png
  5. Delete the entire lot description and paste in the description that was copied in step 3.
    • This will paste text only- all formatting, special characters, and hyperlinks will be removed. SourceEditor2.jpg
  6. Click the Source button to deactivate the code editor.  
  7. Manually edit the text using the editor ribbon to reapply the desired formatting and any hyperlinks. SourceEditor1.jpg
  8. Click the Update button in the lower right corner of the pop-up to save the changes.



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