Formatting text =C2=A0 copy/paste issue with Outlook (perhaps other clients)

Evolution has a tendency to mess with formatting when copying and pasting within itself, perhaps at other times too.

Most of us know to use Shift+Ctrl+V to paste unformatted text though this is only when copying from a foreign source/style not when copying in the same format of text.

The issue when copying and moving a line within an evolution email is it adds unnecessary =C2=A0 if not using paste unformatted. The only way I can guarantee an email is received correctly is to copy everything at the end and paste unformatted over the top. Of course, I don’t always remember to do this and this process is very tedious. Sure, you might say always paste unformatted but that goes against natural instinct and years of computing usage to do so when in the same style/body format. I’m also not sure this is the only cause of these unwanted UTF-8 codes.

As I use evolution for work, my recipients mostly use outlook and this can make these sections come out with a different sizing/font. Don’t know if this is the case for other mail clients. This has made a very bad look especially when the contents are of a sensitive nature and has happened too many times that I am getting close to having no choice but to chose another mail client without this issue. Which I really don’t want to do because otherwise evolution is amazing!

I really can’t have my recipients receive another email from me with irregular sizing anywhere let alone mid sentence. I feel like I can’t be the only one as it happens on fresh installs and across machines. Worse is I don’t see it, everything looks fine my end until you open the sent message in a text editor to see =C2=A0 mid sentence or looking down the chain in the reply or a call from the recipient asking if I’ve lost the ability to see.

Am I being stupid? Is there a setting somewhere to disable this? Is this a known bug? If it’s not considered a bug and I am not being stupid why is not - I’ve never had this issue in any other mail client?

Please help!

Hi and welcome! Please provide exact Evolution and WebkitGtk version information and steps to reproduce a problem (as a list (!) of steps) which leave zero room for any interpretation (for example: Plain text or HTML email?). Thanks a lot! :slight_smile:

HI Andre, thanks :slight_smile:

I use evolution-ews built from Arch so current version is git build: 3.50.0.r002.g098b2265-1 & webkitgtk-6.0 2.42.5-1

I’ve also had the same thing occur in Debian evolution-ews: 3.46.4 & libwebkitgtk-6.0-4 2.42.5

As far as I am aware this issue has been occurring for the last 2+ years - its definitely nothing new so has crossed multiple versions.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Compose new message (HTML)
  2. Write some text over a few lines
  3. Copy and Paste text to different location in message e.g. just move the content of message around using copy/paste
  4. Save message as draft
  5. Export message and view in text editor
  6. Now present is =C2=A0 where copy and paste boundaries took place

Example Original Message: (evolution)


Welcome to test. 

This line I am going to copy and paste into welcome to test sentence. 


After Copy & Paste: (text editor)


Welcome=C2=A0going to copy and paste=C2=A0to test.=C2=A0

This line I am into welcome to test sentence.=C2=A0


“going to copy and paste” will now display in a different format in Outlook

Temporary Fix (Copy and Paste Unformatted over whole message): (text editor)


Welcome going to copy and paste to test.=20

This line I am into welcome to test sentence.=20


I’ve also had this effect take place over multiple lines such as =C2=A0 at the end of the line can cause the next section of text to be incorrectly formatted in outlook too until the next =C2=A0 which seems to reset to normal formatting for text after.


Ah, thanks! As far as I know, Drafts are internally saved as HTML, so I’d say this is expected behavior: Drafts are saved automatically as html mails, even if saved as text mail (#360) · Issues · GNOME / evolution · GitLab

Hi Andre,

A little confused by your response as this has nothing to do with Drafts? This is just a way to show that evolution is invalidly entering =C2=A0, as you asked for steps to reproduce.

These characters should not be entered on copy and paste (from a coding perspective this is invalid formatting) and should really not be used at all due to the way other mail clients interpret them.


You wrote “Save message as draft” in your steps to reproduce. So this has to do with Drafts, and my reply above explains the current behavior.

Hi Andre,

The email is supposed to be in HTML as per step one. As per my last post drafts is just a means to debug the issue which is about the additions of incorrect and invalid UTF-8 characters in the HTML editor, you could just as well send the email but that’s not very useful for offline debugging. Regardless, it has the same effect.

However, it is becoming apparent this is the wrong place for this thread as it of a technical nature and is a bug within the HTML editor so will open an issue here: Issues · GNOME / evolution · GitLab instead.

Thanks anyways for your help :slight_smile:

just for the record and the archive readers, the bug is:

Thanks and bye,

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