Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Click here to return to the 'Add more Text Encoding options to Apple's Mail' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Add more Text Encoding options to Apple's Mail
Authored by: basilbourque on Nov 19, '06 11:21:44PM
There is no single default. chooses the simplest encoding that accommodates the text you have typed.

So, if you type "good day", Mail uses US-ASCII. If you type "good • day" (the Option+8 bullet character between the words), then uses "WINDOWS-1252". If you type a Japanese character, you are likely to get a Japanese specific charset.

You *can* override that choice of a fancier charset. For example, I want to use UTF-8 instead of "WINDOWS-1252" or any number of other charsets. I need to add a property to the file. Do this in either of 2 ways, via the command line or using the GUI program "Property List Editor" bundled with the 1 gig download of Apple's Xcode Developer Tools from:

On the command line in Terminal, type:

defaults write NSPreferredMailCharset "UTF-8"

Make a back up copy of first. I found mine at:

Now when you send a message with "good • day", the message will be in UTF-8. However, if you type "good day", will use US-ASCII. is biased towards US-ASCII because that is one of the simplest and most common encodings (Latin-1 and Unicode/UTF-8 are supersets of US-ASCII). Once you add the bullet, Mail needs a fancier encoding, but now it will choose UTF-8 rather than something else.

The info above is based on my own experiments in Version 2.1.1 (752.3) bundled with Mac OS X 10.4.8. I simply sent messages to myself with and without the changed plist. To see the encoding of a message, choose View > Message > Raw Source. Then look for the word "charset".

--Basil Bourque

[ Reply to This | # ]