I have following basic HTML setup for org-mode

#+TITLE: Blog
#+AUTHOR: Burak Kaan Çopur


and this gives me following head in generated HTML file

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<!-- 2018-02-22 Thu 22:11 -->
<meta charset="utf-8">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
<meta name="generator" content="Org mode">
<meta name="author" content="Burak Kaan Çopur">

You can see that charset is set to UTF-8 and language of the document is set to en. When I write HTML manually, I use these settings and my name which includes a Ç shows just fine. But org exported HTML files are not able to display them. What might be the problem here?

Here is what causing me the problem. I opened one of the .org files in Notepad++ and said convert to UTF-8. When I republish through emacs, this time it works but if I reopen the same file in emacs then it is messed up again. I have following in my configuration so I was thinking my emacs buffers are all encoded in UTF-8

;; UTF-8 as default encoding
(set-language-environment "UTF-8")

So what might be the reason for emacs to not use UTF-8 encoding?

  • Can't confirm this on Emacs-26.0.1 and org-mode 9.1.3. Feb 23, 2018 at 8:04
  • Could a script or CSS file loaded later in the document mess with the encoding?
    – meguli
    Feb 23, 2018 at 11:21
  • I opened the .org file in Notepad++ and said convert to UTF-8. Then when I published, it worked fine. So I am guessing, emacs is not saving the file in UTF-8 encoding. I will update the question.
    – meguli
    Feb 23, 2018 at 11:41
  • Anyone want to explain the downvote?
    – Dan
    Feb 23, 2018 at 13:57
  • @Dan For using Notepad++ to change the encoding instead of using Emacs! ;-) In earnest the problem is not related to org-mode! It's a mishandling of Emacs, the user doesn't know how to handle the file coding system, or how the "wrong" coding system appeared at all. Feb 24, 2018 at 18:14

1 Answer 1


Here is how I solved the problem. I had this on my .emacs file.

;; UTF-8 as default encoding
(prefer-coding-system 'utf-8)
(set-default-coding-systems 'utf-8)
(set-terminal-coding-system 'utf-8)
(set-keyboard-coding-system 'utf-8)

I thought these makes every buffer encoded in utf-8. In reality, if one of your files have a different encoding for some reason, emacs will use that encoding. But If you open a new file, emacs will use utf-8 by default. So my .org files were encoded differently, I don't know how that happened. To change them, I used

C-x RET c

This prompts you to chose an encoding, I went for utf-8. Then asks for a command to execute with this encoding. I said C-x C-s to save using utf-8. That solved my problem.

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