Emoji's work fine in Word 2016, but not in Outlook 2016 ?

Andrew Leniart
Andrew Leniart used Ask the Experts™
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I had a similar problem with Office 365's Word 2016 that was solved in this thread here but the solution didn't work in my Outlook 2016.

I've now managed to get the standard Wingdings font Emoji's working in Outlook AutoCorrect as per the sample pic below;  Wingdings Font works in Outlookbut when I try to get (or add) other Emoji symbols like the ones in the picture below into AutoCorrect, I still have the frustrating problem of getting a square instead of the Symbol I've selected when I try to insert the Emoji into an email message body.
Symbol Box Screen GrabIt all appears to be correct in the AutoCorrect box as shown below AutoCorrect Box Screen Grab
but what I actually get when I type  ;)  in the email body is this: Snapshot of Square error
The exact same thing happens even if I try to Insert the Symbol into the email body from the Symbol box above.

Now, adding to the mystery is that ALL of those Symbols work perfectly well in Microsoft Word 2016 (downloaded and installed from my Microsoft Office 365 Subscription) as has been proven by the Solved question I posted in the URL LINK that I also pointed to at the start of this question.

The only Symbols my Outlook seems to want to accept are from the Wingdings Font collection. Given that Outlook uses word for writing its emails anyway, that makes no sense to me whatsoever ?!

Things that have been tried to fix this problem include the following:

  • 1. Doing a Quick Repair of Office 365.
  • 2. Doing an Online Repair of Office 365
  • 3. Uninstalling Office 365 completely and then Reinstalling it
  • 4. Contacting Microsoft Support who progressively Elevated the issue from Level 1 support, to Level 2 support, and now to Level 3 support after not being able to resolve the issue and who (Level 3 Tech's) are still trying to figure out how to fix this themselves
  • 5. Changing the default language from English (Australia) to English (United States) - this was done by Microsoft themselves and made no difference

I contacted Microsoft for support about the problem existing in both Outlook and Word, and they have spent in excess of 9 hours on the problem now, much of it connected remotely to my computer trouble shooting the problem themselves, yet it wasn't Microsoft that solved the Word 2016 problem for me, it was actually solved with the excellent help and suggestions of an Experts Exchange Lvl 44 Expert (jackieman)

Heh.. one would like to believe that the Level 3 Microsoft Support Technicians that my support request has been elevated to would have a better knowledge of their own product no? :-)  Anyway..

Though I've installed a temporary workaround in the way of an Outlook Add-In called Kutools that provides a 60 day fully functional free trial, Kutools Outlook Add-In is not a solution, just a temporary workaround until I can get this fixed.

I am determined to get to the bottom of this problem with Outlook not being able to do what it should!!

I've invested far too much time in this problem to give up now so if anyone has any suggestions or ideas, I would greatly appreciate your help.

Many thanks..

Andrew
(EE Member: KZX10)
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Adam BrownSenior Systems Admin
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
https://www.msoutlook.info/question/598 explains the problem and a work-around. It's a bug that MS is supposedly going to fix, but it's not done yet (Probably low on their priority list).
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Hi Adam,

Yes, I've heard that as well and had already read the page you linked.  

That said, I actually mentioned that I'd read a bug was apparently reported about this issue to all of the Microsoft Support Technicians I've spoken to, yet even the highest Level Support Tech I spoke to claimed that no, there is no "bug" that they're aware of so they are still researching a solution to the problem.  

In fact, while I was chatting with the Level 3 Tech on the phone while he was on my machine remotely doing trouble shooting, he said he couldn't understand why I had the problem because he had the same version of Outlook on his machine and what I was trying to do worked fine for him?

Go figure..  

So Microsoft Support are keeping the support case open and continue trying to find a solution to the problem.

Hard to know who to ruddy believe, but until I hear differently from Microsoft themselves, I have to assume that it's possible to resolve. I mean if it wasn't, why would it work for them (and others) but not for me?

The same problem with Microsoft Word 2016 was also claimed to have been a bug, yet I managed to get it resolved here in these forums so I'm going to keep trying to solve the Outlook one as well.  

Between the Experts here and Microsoft Support, if there is a solution, then I'm determined to find it.

I hate being beaten! :-)
Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Can you insert the emoji symbol manually?
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Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
I do not have this bug for my MS Outlook 2016.

But, my installation is using volume licence (i.e. using .msi installer) not Office 365.

Auto-correct entry for symbol will only work if it is formatted text, plain text will not work for sure.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Hi Jackie,

Very pleased to see you here :)

Can you insert the emoji symbol manually?

No, clicking insert just gives me the square as well. Can't figure out why it won't allow me to insert it in AutoCorrect in Formatted Text mode like it does in Word. Weird!
Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
I am not in office now, but my finding indicates that it is a problem with NormalEmail.dotm template which is corrupted by update in Outlook 2016.

I can verify it by sending my template to you when I am in office tomorrow. It should not be a font problem as you have no problem in Word 2016.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Thanks Jackie, in the meantime, I'll try and create a new NormalEmail.dotm template to see if that helps, but please do send your template to me in case my attempt doesn't work.  Thanks..
Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_word-mso_winother/autocorrect-not-changing-to-emoticon/a4042c20-6a41-4167-8463-7fdacaf042f0

After I post the above comment, I google for NormalEmail.dotm and the above link confirms my understanding and it is exactly your problem,  but somehow, Microsoft tech support has no idea on a solution or knowing that it is a common problem from auto update of Office 365.

If you have not disabled system restore, you can try to restore the NormalEmail.dotm by right clicking the folder where the .dotm file is saved and copy and replace the .dotm file from previous version of the same file. Of course, you need to quit Outlook 2016 and make sure Outlook.exe is not in the process list before you do the above.
Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Location of NormalEmail.dotm
You can find the NormalEmail.dotm file in the following location;

Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10
C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates

Source: https://www.msoutlook.info/question/574
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Thanks Jackie, will give that a try!

Edit: Bummer.. I first read that as somewhere I could locate an unmodified NormalEmail.dotm template.  

I've been to that site before and know where the .dotm templates are stored.  

Just tried installing a copy of Office 2010 that I own a copy of into a VM and copying the NormalEmail.dot to my \%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates folder and renaming it to .dotm, I even set it to Read Only so Outlook couldn't modify it, but no joy.

I knew it was a long shot as it's a different version of office.. Ahh well, was worth a shot.
Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Manually add .dotm extension to the attached file.

Quit Outlook 2016 and make sure Outlook.exe is not in process list before you replace the .dotm file.

As usual, backup your .dotm file before you delete your .dotm and copy the attached file (after manually adding .dotm extension) to the same location.
NormalEmail
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Thanks for that Jackie, but didn't work :(

I even replaced it again and changed it's attribute to Read Only to ensure Outlook wouldn't change the NormalEmail file you sent me, but still no joy..

Confirmed it was used and not changed because when I quit Outlook, it gave an " ! Outlook could not save changes to the global template because it was opened with read-only access. "
Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
You need to remove read only attribute.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Yes I already have.  What I meant was that I first tried it just as you sent it (after renaming it) and when that didn't work, I thought perhaps Outlook was changing/updating it somehow.

So I quit Outlook and then deleted the NormalEmail.dotm file again, replaced with your NormalEmail.docx, renamed it once again to NormalEmail.dotm and placed a Read Only attribute on it so I could try again.  

Once I struck the same problem, I quit Outlook and removed the Read Only Attribute from it again. The Error is now gone.
Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
So, still end up with the same square if you manually insert the emoji?
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Yep, still same problem Jackie.  Word 2016 continues to work fine of course.
Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
In such case, I need to be in office to look up my reference books first.

I only remote desktop to my office computer to copy the .dotm file to my OneDrive and upload here afterwards.
Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Also, have you removed Kutools before you try the fix?
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Funny you should ask that :)  I just tried again before I read your message and removed the Kutools add-in to make sure it wasn't interfering with anything and tried again.  Exactly the same problem, so it wasn't  that.

You have a great memory and trouble shooting mind Jackie :)
Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
The last resort before I go to sleep....

Delete the emoticon’s AutoCorrect Option for all your customized emoji.

Quit Outlook 2016, copy back your original .dotm file and start Outlook 2016 again to test manually insert the emoji.

Source: http://computersupportservicesnj.com/jason-vs-smiley-face-annoying-transformation-solved/
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the suggestion and all of your efforts tonight Jackie.. I'll give that a try.

Have a pleasant sleep and sweet dreams :-)

Update: Last suggested solution had no effect - exactly the same issue.  Will keep digging..
IT Manager
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
Colorful emoticons and smiley faces in Outlook
https://www.msoutlook.info/question/598

Further readings make me believe that it is a bug for MS Outlook 2016 from Office 365 subscription installed in Windows 7 or Windows 8 and not a problem for Windows 10.

 You are using Windows 7.

The bug should be introduced  on purpose for Office 365 subscribers as most users will have to use autoupdate for Office 365. The objective from MS is to push an upgrade of the OS to Windows 10.

There is a workaround from the link above to use colorful pic icons instead. It is unlikely to customize autocorrect for emoji unless you upgrade the OS as the bug only appeared in recent updates of Office 365.

Microsoft do not do the same for customers using volume licence as most big corporations are still using Windows 7 plus Office 2010 or Office 2013 or Office 2016.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Hi Jackie.. thought you were going to bed? :)

I'd read that page and mentioned the possibility of a bug to the Microsoft Level 2 and 3 technicians when I'd spoken to them during their remote trouble shooting on my machine, but they didn't seem interested and claimed that it should work.

The objective to push the Windows 10 OS you mention is an interesting theory that I wouldn't put past Microsoft so worthy of investigation.  I'll also mention the possibility of a 365 bug in a Windows 7 environment to their technicians when they call me back and see what they have to say about it.

To prove or disprove the OS theory however, tomorrow I'll create an up to date Windows 10 Pro Virtual Machine, install Office 365 into it (I have up to 5 legal installs with my subscription) and verify if the problem exists in Windows 10 Pro.  If it turns out that it does, I'll have a few choice words to say to Microsoft about it!

I'll report back here once I've done my tests.  No point in continuing to trouble shoot this on a Windows 7 platform if you're right, so might be best to test the OS theory first I think.

Thanks for all of your help to date Jackie.  I'll let you know with an update here once I've done my testing in a Windows 10 Pro environment.

Best...
Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Wait for your feedback...
Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Thank you kindly Jackie, I will try that and update here if it makes any difference. You never know!

I'm currently downloading a Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft in order to create a new and clean Win 10 Pro 64bit installation into a new VM

We should soon have some answers with regards to the OS pushing theory :)

Best..
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Closing Comment: I have now confirmed that despite Microsoft Support Technicians (Level's 1, 2 & 3) stating verbally to me (while remotely trouble shooting on my computer) that they have no knowledge of a "bug" on this issue, I (along with EE Expert Jackie Man's considerable help) have performed exhaustive trouble shooting of the problem and have now confirmed that there is a bug in Outlook 2016 (when installed from Office 365) and run on a Windows 7 Pro installation.

There is also a similar problem in Office 365's Word 2016 which we were able to find a work around to as per this Answered Question: Click Here to Go to the Word 2016 Solution.

Testing and trouble shooting steps involved everything above, as well as the following;

  • Applying update KB2729094-v2 as suggested by Jackie above - Same problem.
  • Trying a variety of NormalEmail.dotm templates obtained from working installations - Same problem.
  • Restoring all Pre-Updated *.acl AutoCorrect files and NormalEmail.dotm file from an Image Backup taken taken several months ago - Same problem.
  • Setting up a fresh Windows 10 Pro Virtual Machine, installing Office 365 to that machine and copying its working NormalEmail.dotm and *.acl files to my affected Windows 7 machine - Same problem.
  • Setting up a fresh Windows 7 Pro Virtual Machine, installing Office 365 to that machine and striking exactly the same problem as I am having on my Win 7 Pro box - No antivirus, fancy add-ins, nothing. Vanilla & fully updated Win 7 Pro VM with a fresh install of Office 365 - Same problem.

Conclusions:

1.  Office 365 installed Outlook and Word 2016 applications have (at time of writing) no problems with Emoji symbols when installed on a Windows 10 Pro platform, regardless of which Font set Symbols are used.

2.  On a Windows 7 Pro platform however, Emoji (other than Wingdings Font symbols) will not work in an Office 365 installed Outlook 2016.  There is a workaround to getting them to work in Word 2016 as I said earlier - See other question.

..and for the record, despite my prompting them again via live chat yesterday, 36 hours later, I am still waiting for the call back I was promised 2 days ago by a Level 3 Microsoft Support technician!

Guess they've thrown my case in the too hard basket :)

For me.. Case closed!
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Thank you for your tenacity and the utter determination you've shown to try and find a solution to this problem with me Jackie.  As you'll see in my closing comment, it turns out you may well be correct. I do suspect that MS are avoiding solving this problem due to trying to push Windows 7 hangers on to their latest OS

If that's the case though, they have buckleys chance with me.. I still love my Win 7 Pro box and intend to continue to use it for a long time to come. Kutools provides a suitable workaround to the Emoji problem for now  :)

Cheers and thanks..
Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Thanks for your detailed feedback. I do learn something new today.

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