Quoted-printable encoding

February 2017

Quoted-printable encoding

Quoted-printable encoding (somtimes QP) involves using US-ASCII 7-bits encoding (non-accented letters) to encode a text that requires an alphabet of 8-bit characters (accented letters), such as ISO-Latin-1, which is used for most Western European languages.

Concept of quoted-printable encoding

With quoted-printable encoding, the standard characters, which in ASCII code run from 33 to 127 (except for the equal sign, which is code 61), are encoded using the 7-bit US-ASCII code.

8-bit special or accented characters (à, é, ç, ö, ñ, etc.) are encoded using the equal sign, followed by two hexadecimal digits. Below is the quoted-printable encoding for common special characters:

Character QP encoding
Space _
" =22
# =23
% =25
& =26
( =28
) =29
, =2C
. =2E
/ /
: =3A
; =3B
< =3C
= =3D
> =3E
? =3F
@ =40
[ =5B
\ =5C
] =5D
^ =5E
' =27
{ =7B
| =7C
} =7D
~ =7E

With quoted-printable encoding, text must be divided so that no line contains more than 76 characters.

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