I would like to describe what we encountered first and then how we fixed it.
In a test email we sent a large amount of Japanese text. On receiving, some
characters where broken and replaced by a question mark to denote a non-
printable character. This seemed to happen on almost every email, and also on
all PHPMailer versions we tested, from 1.73 to 5.1. CharSet was set to
On investigation we found that the Encoding used was the default, which is
'8bit'. When the email was received, the message had been encoded with base64,
but decoding resulted in an incorrect text. When the email server encoded it,
it must have got it wrong somehow.
The solution was to set Encoding to 'base64'. We did not have a problem since
then in the test emails we have sent.
Does anyone know what Encoding = '8bit' is supposed to do and why it had not
worked as intended? What is the drawback of using base64 Encoding all of the
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