On the webIf you're sending from webbased e-mail like GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo or other webbased mailers, make sure that before sending the mail, you have put the encoding of your browser correct. If not this can cause your email will be unreadable for people who receive your message. Check the Howto view Chinese in Desktop Browsers on how to do this.
If you switch computers or browsers on a regular basis, you can also force GMail to use Unicode for the outgoing messages. Go to Settings > General > scroll to the bottom and tick 'Use Unicode (UTF-8) encoding for outgoing messages.
If a single message is not showing the text properly, click on the 'more' arrow on the top right hand side of the message and click 'Message text garbled ?' This will open the message in a new tab or window. Now you can adjust the encoding of your browser to match with this specific message.
- Yahoo Mail
In the new Yahoo Mail you can change the encoding for received e-mails, go to the message, click on the settings icon (wheel) and click 'Set Encoding...'
- Mozilla Thunderbird
To change the encoding of the message you're viewing, got to the View menu > Character Encoding > Auto-Detect > Chinese, or if you know the encoding you can pick that encoding.
To set the default encoding outgoing and incoming mails, go to Tools > Options > at the top choose the Display tab > below select the Formatting tab > Under fonts press the Advanced button. At the bottom in the Character Encoding section you can select the character encoding, it is recommended to choose Unicode (UTF-8).
To set the default fonts for languages Tools > Options > at the top choose the Display tab > below select the Formatting tab > Under fonts press the Advanced button. You can select the fonts for Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese (Hong Kong) and Traditional Chinese (Taiwan).
- Microsoft Outlook
To set the default encoding for outgoing messages, go to Tools > Options > Mail Format > Interntional Options > Tick the 'Auto select encoding for outgoing messages' box and select the preferred encoding (Unicode UTF-8 recommended).
To have full internationalisation support, go to Tools > Options > Mail Format > Interntional Options, select 'Enable support for Internationalized Domain Names in e-mail addresses' (more info) and tick the box for 'Enable UTF-8 support for mailto: protocol'.
If using Eudora you can't read Chinese, try under Tools > Options > Viewing Mail, uncheck/disable "Use Microsoft Viewer".
If Base64 of Quoted Printable mails arrive garbled, try these two perl scripts
if your subject contains something like =?Big5?Q? then the tekst is Quoted-Printable if it looks like =?Big5?B? then it's Base64 (so a Q and a B)
Avoiding Garbled Messages
In the early days of e-mail, most of the messanges sent used ASCII and were in English. ASCII only uses 7-bits of an 8-bit byte and anything in the 8th bit could be ignored, changed, or stripped. Unfortunately, many Chinese encodings use that eighth bit as a crucial part of the representation of the character. So sending Chinese through e-mail can result in the characters getting garbled and lost.
As e-mail expanded to a world-wide phenomena, this 7-bit restriction caused trouble even for Western European languages due to their use of accented letters. To overcome this restriction, a system called "Quoted Printable" was invented. In this system the eight bit characters are printed as their numerical value using ASCII numerals using base 16 (hexadecimal) and are indicated as special by prepending an equals sign (e.g. =A3). This 7-bit safe message is then sent. When received, the e-mail program translates the "quoted" characters back into their original form and shows these to the user.
All major e-mail programs include an option to send the message as "Quoted Printable". Users sending Chinese e-mail should be sure to check this option. If the Chinese is still being garbled, users can also try typing the Chinese into a separate document and including it as an attachment to the e-mail.
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