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I've just started getting this error with emacs on my Macbook Pro:

Ispell and its process have different character maps

I've tried changing my character map to utf-8. No luck. It would be nice if it told me how they were different and what to do about it. Any thoughts?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

If the coding of the buffer is not specified, EMACS attempts to determining automatically. This causes a problem if the buffer contains a UTF-8 or Latin1 character and the subprocess is determined to be sending up ASCII.

I have solved the problem by placing this line as the first line of my .tex files:

% -*-mode: LaTeX; coding: us-ascii;-*-                                                             
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My buffer is only us-ascii (I searched for [^[:ascii:]]) but I still get the "Ispell and its process have different character maps" message. How can I find out what character map ispell actually uses on my machine? – phs Mar 29 '15 at 15:43
Look at the environment of the ispell process. You are probably setting the encoding in the LC_ALL or LANG environment variables. – vy32 Mar 31 '15 at 1:36
I should add that your buffer only having us-ascii characters doesn't mean that it has us-ascii encoding. It could have LATIN1 encoding or UTF8 encoding, since both are proper supersets of us-ascii. – vy32 Apr 3 '15 at 18:18

I also got this error message. In my case, the solution was to due to misalignment with the localwords appended in the bottom. There was a '%' in the localwords that needed to be on a newline.

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