SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and is the method by which a server accepts e-mail you send and relays it to other SMTP servers across the Internet until your message reaches its destination.
Whether you send an e-mail as plain text or as HTML, the SMTP server merely routes it.
The problem with special characters such as the £ (British pound symbol) is that different varieties of e-mail software may encode and interpret the symbol differently. This is a problem particularly with older versions of Microsoft software, which use ASCII character encoding for English instead of the UTF-8 global standard.
- Skill level:
Open Outlook or Outlook Express if you use either.
If you send e-mail from Outlook or Outlook Express to a recipient who also uses these e-mail clients, you shouldn't have any problem--but you can't be sure which e-mail software your recipient uses. It's advisable to change settings in your copy of Outlook or Outlook Express so that all your text e-mail goes out with UTF-8 coding.
Click to open the "Tools" menu and click "Options." Click the "Mail Format" tab.
Click on "International Options" in the "Mail Format" section marked "Message format."
Select "UTF-8" in the "Preferred encoding for outgoing messages" drop-down list.
Compose your HTML message or open your draft.
Regardless which e-mail client you use, you need to create precisely coded HTML e-mail if you use that format. That means using the correct HTML code rather than relying on what you see on your monitor.
Display the HTML e-mail you just opened as HTML code. Check the instructions or help text of the particular e-mail client you are using.
Replace all instances of the British pound sign with "£" which is the HTML code for that symbol. If you are not in HTML code, odds are your e-mail client will instead display the ampersand, hash, 163 and semicolon as text rather than render it as code to display the pound symbol.
Tips and warnings
- You can always use the accepted abbreviation "GBP" for the currency instead of the British pound symbol.
- Sometimes, the symbol will be rendered as "Â£." This is an incorrect rendition of the UTF-8 code for the symbol. Make sure both the sending and receiving e-mail clients are set to handle UTF-8.
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