When I try to type certain characters into MasterCook for Windows, I get an error message.
The below applies to MasterCook 15. MasterCook 2020 is getting a new sync feature in March 2021, and it will allow these special characters to be typed in that March 2021 update.
Those characters are no longer allowed in any titles (category, recipe, menu, etc.) because they cause a great deal of problems for our online servers and those who sync with their MasterCook.com account. Some characters cause a more critical problem than others. For example, when a backslash character is used in a cookbook or recipe name, it prevents the Sync screen from loading at all. It's just blank. It's been a huge headache for many users. When other characters are used such as the forward slash and colon they will partially sync but then get stuck in the server and can't be synced or removed later and they remain in the Sync screen and online even though they have been deleted and removed from the program on the computer. It's because the internet can't handle these special characters.
If you want to bypass it and take your chances, you can always paste the character in. It just prevents you from typing them in.
Additionally, John Shotsky (a long-time MasterCook user and the developer of RecipeTools which is used with MasterCook) explains it further this way:
It's because syncing requires internet processing, and those characters must be converted to named or numbered entities before they are sync'd. You will also find that just syncing with OneDrive and Google drive will have problems with these entities in titles. MasterCook understands those characters, but they have to be encoded in the XML of the recipes to properly import. I suspect they are not being encrypted by the MasterCook servers, or if they are, the local file isn't or something in the sync software isn't matching them.
An apostrophe in 'internet' code is: ' or '. XML, which is what MX2 is, cannot use the named codes in some instances, but requires only the numbered codes. So, even if it is encoded, there are two different 'legal' ways to encode the apostrophe, and the sync might fail if they are not coded the same way.
To make matters worse, there is a whole set of characters that cannot be used in file or folder names in Windows. The following lists characters and names that are illegal in Windows:
The Mac system has only the colon as an illegal character, but there are other limitations of file and folder name lengths that do not match Windows.
The safest thing is to just not use those characters in recipe titles. Keep it simple.