How to stop including unwanted Unicode characters in an SMS

Learn how to stop any unwanted Unicode characters from sneaking into your SMS messages.

Overview

Under certain circumstances, it's possible to include Unicode characters in your SMS messages unknowingly. This might dramatically increase your sending costs because you'll send more message segments than you realise.

To learn more about message segments, check out our article SMS message length and Unicode.

How this happens

If you use Microsoft Office applications to create your content for SMS, then you are at high risk of including unwanted Unicode characters in your messages.

This is because Microsoft's Smart Quotes system changes apostrophes and speech marks into their Unicode curly equivalents, and the GSM character used initially is replaced by the Unicode counterpart.

Use the guides below to find your Microsoft Office application and some steps to prevent this from happening.

Microsoft Outlook 2016, 2013 & 2010

To turn off Microsoft Smart Quotes:

  1. On the File tab, select Options.
  2. In Outlook Options, select the Mail tab, and then select Editor Options.
  3. In Editor Options, select AutoCorrect Options.
  4. In the AutoCorrect box, do the following:
    1. Select the AutoFormat As You Type tab, and under Replace as you type, clear the "Straight quotes" with "smart quotes" check box.
    2. Select the AutoFormat tab, and under Replace, clear the "Straight quotes" with "smart quotes" check box.
  5. Select OK.

Microsoft Word 2016, 2013 & 2010

To turn off Microsoft Smart Quotes:

  1. On the File tab, select Options.
  2. Select Proofing, and then select AutoCorrect Options.
  3. In the AutoCorrect box, do the following:
  4. Select the AutoFormat As You Type tab, and under Replace as you type, clear the "Straight quotes" with "smart quotes" check box.
  5. Select the AutoFormat tab, and under Replace, clear the "Straight quotes" with "smart quotes" check box.
  6. Select OK.

Microsoft PowerPoint 2016, 2013 & 2010

To turn off Microsoft Smart Quotes:

  1. On the File tab, select Options.
  2. Select Proofing, and then select AutoCorrect Options.
  3. In the AutoCorrect box, select the AutoFormat As You Type tab.
  4. Under Replace as you type, clear the "Straight quotes" with "smart quotes" check box.
  5. Select OK.

Microsoft Publisher 2016, 2013 & 2010

To turn off Microsoft Smart Quotes:

  1. On the File tab, select Options.
  2. Select Proofing, and then select AutoCorrect Options.
  3. In the AutoCorrect box, select the AutoFormat As You Type tab.
  4. Under Replace as you type, clear the "Straight quotes" with "smart quotes" check box.
  5. Select OK.

See also

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