Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: Accented characters = white ?'s in black diamonds in some i/c messages

05 Sep 2011   #1
HandsomeP

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Accented characters = white ?'s in black diamonds in some i/c messages

When I receive some french emails, each accented letter is instead replaced by a white question mark inside a black diamond (). This happens only with some incoming messages. Here is some data from the email header for one such message:

X-Mailer: AtMail 1.02
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

From what I've read, this is likely due to improper encoding by the mail program used to send the message, is that correct? Can this be rectified on my end?

With the message displayed, if I go to Other Actions -> Encoding and change the encoding from Unicode to Western European, the question marks are replaced by "é".

Thank you in advance for any help!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
06 Sep 2011   #2
GEWB

Linux (Mint is primary) / XP, Win7 Home / Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Win8.1 / Win10 archived VM
 
 

The problem is you are not using the same character set as the sender.

If there's no equivalent for the code point they're trying to represent in the encoding you're trying to represent it in, you usually get a little question mark: ? or �.

Regards,
GEWB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2011   #3
HandsomeP

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GEWB View Post
The problem is you are not using the same character set as the sender.
So even though I have configured Office to install/include the French "language pack" that won't help? I guess there's a fixed character set that is active, and Outlook cannot switch it on the fly before displaying an email based on some entry in the header of the message?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

06 Sep 2011   #4
GEWB

Linux (Mint is primary) / XP, Win7 Home / Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Win8.1 / Win10 archived VM
 
 

This is the first time you said that Outlook is your email program - Outlook has been around about 15 years, what version are you using?

Can you open your email as Webmail (from your email provider)? If so, how do those emails look?

Regards,
GEWB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2011   #5
HandsomeP

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I am using Outlook 2007. I'm not sure whether I have access to Webmail, I'll check.

Note that this issue affects approximately 10% of emails with accented characters. From what I can tell, the affected emails typically have UTF-8 at the start of the Subject line within the header file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2011   #6
GEWB

Linux (Mint is primary) / XP, Win7 Home / Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Win8.1 / Win10 archived VM
 
 

(I hate Outlook, always have - I only use it for one mail account because I have to.)

Next, just to be sure, check to see that Outlook is indeed using unicode as upgrading from pre-2003 Outlook would use ANSI. From the Help:

Beginning with Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, a new Outlook Data File (.pst) format was introduced that supports multilingual Unicode data and offers greater storage capacity for items and folders. You can determine whether your Outlook Data Files (.pst) are in the current or earlier format.
  1. Click the File tab.
  2. On the Info tab, click Account Settings, and then click Account Settings.
  3. On the Data Files tab, select the data file that you want to verify, and then click Settings.
  4. Check the Format box to see if it contains the text Outlook Data File or Outlook Data File (97-2002). Outlook Data File indicates the new format that supports multilingual Unicode data and offers greater storage capacity for items and folders. This file format is incompatible with Outlook 97-2002. Outlook Data File (97-2002) indicates the earlier format that is compatible with all versions of Outlook.
From there one goes into user policies/settings and I'm not well versed in that related to Outlook.

Regards,
GEWB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2011   #7
HandsomeP

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

You're hunch was correct, I checked and the .pst file is in the earlier format (Personal Folders File (97-2002)). I just recently finished migrating my four PST files (different identities) from my old to my new computer, not sure if I'm up for the challenge of creating new ones again, importing each of the four PST's, configuring the four email accounts, etc. I also like having the pst files named a certain way (I have OCD)... In any case, I found the instructions to do it here:
Convert a non-Unicode data file (.pst) to a Unicode data file (.pst) - Outlook - Office.com

I'll post back again if I do the conversion. Thanks for your help in identifying the likely cause.

PS: Method 3 on:
http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/ansi-to-unicode.asp

might be a little more pain-free
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2011   #8
GEWB

Linux (Mint is primary) / XP, Win7 Home / Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Win8.1 / Win10 archived VM
 
 

Great, I hope it works for you! If it does work, mark the thread as solved.

Note: close Outlook and copy your PST to a "safe" place just in case the conversion doesn't go as planned.

Regards,
GEWB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Accented characters = white ?'s in black diamonds in some i/c messages




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Printing to PDF in Black & White?
Hi Everyone, I am looking for the ability to print to PDF (file) in Black & White - even when the original document that I am printing / saving is actually in colour. I have installed FREE PDF Printer; however there doesn't appear to be any setting for printing to file in Black & White. If...
Software
display black and white only
I have macular degeneration and cannot see colors well. Is there a way to make everything display in black and white only. I need white text on a black background. I have tried reversing the display to this but some pull down menus are then displayed in blue which I cannot see.
Themes and Styles
After first reboot, black screen with scattered alt characters
:) Laptop: Toshiba satellite C660 12 t It is the first time I encountered such a strange problem. I simply used "Windows 7 USB/DVD" to burn ISO Windows 7 (64 bit/ 32 bit - Both versions contained in the same ISO file) to a DVD disc and to a USB Flash. Before installation, I used...
Installation & Setup
Black and White - actually works!
Being bored yesterday I decided to install Black and White. The game is old - it only supports in the readme Windows 2000 and seems locked to 1024x768 screen resolution. So after the install the game naturally crashed.:p This was easy to fix, the case was DDRAW.dll, obviously due to the DWM. So...
Gaming
Black on White?
It's on the Mac's. An option to make your screen like a negative picture, white is now black, people are ghostly. Any way to do this on the PC?
Customization
hdmi in black and white
posted this on microsoft answers too... nothing useful yet. built myself a screamer, core i7 920, gigabyte x58, 6gb triple channel ocz ram and a powercolor (ati) 5770. got it running, hooked it up via hdmi to my sony bravia 40" and everything was sweet. after about a week, the color...
Graphic Cards


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 23:48.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App