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When I type the emoticon ":)" in Outlook 2007, it turns into a smiley face, as in a face inside of a circle...Is there a way for me to prevent Outlook from doing that? I just want a plain old colon and parentheses... Thanks!

Other than putting a space in between please...

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Btw how did you become a mod with only 10k rep? – Pacerier Jul 6 '15 at 13:01
@Pacerier it's not about rep, it's about perspective and responsibility. – studiohack Jul 9 '15 at 20:58
up vote 19 down vote accepted

For Outlook 2007:

  • Tools menu
  • Options menu
  • Spelling tab
  • Spelling and AutoCorrection button
  • AutoCorrect Options button
  • AutoCorrect tab (default)
  • Now you can either deselect the Replace Text As You Type option or you can leave it active and just remove the offending smilies from the list of replacements.
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wow, thanks! did the second option. +1 – studiohack Apr 25 '10 at 0:50
Thanks a lot! I can't believe I've waited so long to do this! +1 – Crono Aug 22 '14 at 17:05

If your concern is that when these smilies turn into "J" on a plain text device, like a Blackberry, there's another option besides disabling it entirely, which is changing it to replace with the Unicode smiley character, 0x263A: ☺

A "quick" way to do this is to open the "Insert symbol" dialog in Outlook, type 263A into the Character code box (bottom right), then click the AutoCorrect... button in the bottom left to create a new autocorrect rule for your preferred smiley to the text-safe Unicode equivalent.

Here's a Lifehacker link with more detail & more difficult approach to get to the autocorrect entry.

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Interesting advice. +1 – Crono Aug 22 '14 at 17:06

I am using Outlook 2010. A simple method that worked for me was to change the message to plain text via the "Format Text" tab.

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