Foreign characters appear as question marks when sent from OWA

by Liran Zamir [Published on 18 Feb. 2005 / Last Updated on 18 Feb. 2005]

Exchange 2003 supports OWA interface in different languages. When using Internet Explorer 5 and above, the Language settings of Internet Explorer is sent to the OWA server which is turn changes the OWA interface to the matching language.

Exchange 2003 supports OWA interface in different languages. When using Internet Explorer 5 and above, the Language settings of Internet Explorer is sent to the OWA server which is turn changes the OWA interface to the matching language.

The supported languages: Arabic, Baltic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Eastern European, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, and Western European.

Then connecting to the OWA server with Internet Explorer set to the appropriate language,
OWA will use the character set that the language uses, and outbound recipients of the
mail which is sent will receive the characters in the appropriate language. If the Internet Explorer is set to use a different default language (such as English US). The OWA interface will be displayed using the English template, but Emails sent with foreign characters will be displayed as question marks on most different mail systems.

To allow users to keep the English-US language settings within Internet Explorer and
still be able to send mail correctly with the foreign language character set, you will first
need to verify that the Exchange server locales are set to the required language.
To do so, Open the Exchange system Manager, expand the servers list, and click Properties on the Exchange server object.

On the Locales tab, make sure that the required language is available.

Open regedit on the server and browse to the following key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeWEB\OWA\

Locate the registry value named: UseRegionalCharset 

If the value does not exist, create it as a DWORD value and set the data to 0.

Quit the registry editor and test your configuration using Internet Explorer that is set to English.

Please note that this configuration was tested for Hebrew setup only, and may need
additional testing for different languages, or for use with multiple languages setup.
I would appreciate your comments regarding this information at: liranzamir@yahoo.com 

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