Content Type Character Encoding Errors in Web & Email + ASCII Character Reference Guide

I come across this problem often and I’ve fallen victim to it myself a few times. It’s the display errors you get when you use special characters on the web and in email. Special characters are most commonly copyright, registered trademark, trademark and ampersand.

The mistake happens when you copy and paste text across from its original source (eg. Microsoft Word) without substituting in the proper ASCII HTML symbols for the special character components.

You want a copyright symbol with the date © 2011, but you end up getting this: Â© 2011.

I find that Google Chrome and the newer versions of Microsoft Outlook have a particular dislike of non-ASCII special characters.

HTML ASCII Code Special Characters Reference

To stop the error from happening, insert the HTML/ASCII equivalent via the code view mode of your editor (if you’re using something like Dreamweaver).

HTML / ASCII Code Display View
© ©
® ®
& &
&lt; <
&gt; >

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