ISO-8859-1 vs Win-1252 in mutt

Wednesday, 1 Dec 2004

If you receive mail in an encoding other than the display charset you are using for mutt, characters from the mail encoding unavailable in the display charset will show up as octal escapes in the pager and, more annoyingly, as question marks in the body of a reply or forward. I often have this problem when viewing windows-1252 encoded mail in my set charset=iso-8859-1 setup. Other than moving to a more comprehensive display charset such as UTF-8 (which didn’t work very well for me last time I tried), you can append //TRANSLIT to the charset name of your choice, which will prompt iconv to try to transliterate characters which cannot be represented exactly in the target charset to approximations using the available characters. In my case, that means set charset=iso-8859-1//TRANSLIT, but note that you can even use this directive without specifying a charset name at all, as in set charset=//TRANSLIT.