Smiley not showing when you read your email on an iPhone, huh?

That’s a question we get a lot: “Why is the smiley not showing on my iPhone?”. But what does it have to do with email signatures? Absolutely nothing. which is why I wrote this post.

No the real reason is that I wanted just to explain how this issue has nothing to do with email signatures at all. It is your iPhone you need to blame! And some apps.. let me show you this:

Smileys not showing in iPhone

When you compose an email in Outlook on your desktop it detects what you write. Under normal circumstances Outlook will convert the ‘:-)’ into a smiley face as you write, but what it is really doing is to change the ‘:-)’ into Wingdings font’s letter ‘J’. It is not made into a picture or anything like this, it is simply changed to Windings format and letter ‘J’.

So why is the smiley not showing on your iphone? The explanation is simple: Because the Wingdings font does not exist on your iPhone. And when the font does not exist, you will not see the smiley showing but instead you will see the real letter ‘J’. Just like here:

Smiley not showing in Outlook for iPhone


What about Preview of emails? Is the smiley not showing either?

But a funny thing is that when you preview the emails in the overview, Outlook for iPhone actually shows the smiley as a smiley face, but not as a Winding font. Take a look:

Smiley not showing - here is preview in Outlook for iPhone

So you might actually get disappointed when opening the email and just to discover that the smiley has been replaced with a ‘J’. Or happy that you don’t see the smiley – up to you!

In fact Outlook for iPhone is the only app showing a smiley in when previewing the emails in the overview. Here are two other examples in Mail for iPhone:Aa

Smiley not showing in Mail for iPhone Preview

And example in Gmail app from Google:

SMiley not shpwing in Gmail app preview

So much for this lesson. Now you know what is going on and you know that different email apps behave differently.

Oh – and if you want to get a really ugly email signature to go with this missing smiley – then follow these steps.

I’m sure there’re political reasons to why Wingdings is not a part of iPhone, e.g. that Wingdings design patterns was originally patented by Microsoft in 1993 but that’s another story. But the patent has now run out, so not sure what the real reason is. Maybe Apple just forgot to include it..

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