In a technical environment it's more than common to copy/paste configuration files, URLs, code samples and such in order to inform the other chat participant about something. In that case all kinds of combination of characters may be used, even ones Skype recognises as emoticons.

Example with a URL:


The :* causes Skype to show a kissing emoticon, which obviously is completely pointless here.

How do I escape the : or * or whatever to avoid that? Note that I don't want to turn off emoticons or delete the emoticon-folder as that would only make me see the clear text, but any other chat partner still sees the emoticons. Everybody should see the plain text exactly as I intended no matter how he/she configured Skype.

  • In the typical Microsoft fashion, the only way to escape the formatting is through some proprietary methods. The standard way of escaping using backslashes \ simply would not work. As a programmer, I'm quite used to using backslash to escape special characters (including the backslash). Alas, no joy in Skype... – ADTC Apr 12 '16 at 3:19

You can use the new* Skype feature for doing this:

!! Preformatted text: Use two exclamation marks and a whitespace (<Space> or linebreak)
as the first 3 characters of your message and paste your snippet after it.
Example: This is (not) a kissing smiley! :*

You can also use these commands to turn this on or off:

/wikimarkup off                 // Text will not be converted.
/wikimarkup on                  // Text will be converted.

Turning conversion off (e.g. with !! ) disables the following formatting features, among others:

* bold *
~ strikethrough ~
_ italic _

and it also displays URL without formatting them to clickable hyperlinks or displaying the site's thumbnail as an image.

* It's available in the latest version on Windows 8 & Windows 7 (Skype version onwards).

  • 1
    Cool. I have just updated and it only found version for my Win7. Anyway, it works there, too :) – sjngm Dec 5 '14 at 7:14
  • 1
    The !! prefix yields a monospaced font. – Aaron Thoma Jun 2 '15 at 10:56
  • 9
    Please suggest @@ in the answer because !! results in a monospace font. We don't want our message to look like code just because we didn't want it to be auto-formatted. – ADTC Apr 12 '16 at 2:07
  • 3
    Skype formatting seems to have changed radically in the new Skype included as part of Windows 10 (I'm on Skype 12.7.597.0), in which these methods no longer seem to work. I have asked a new question at Do not insert emoticons into sent messages in Skype version 12 – Silverfish Nov 6 '17 at 16:31
  • 1
    @Silverfish: I can confirm this no longer works in Windows 10. I've posted an answer to that question, which is to trip up Skype's parser by inserting a very narrow whitespace character (Unicode 8205). – Amos M. Carpenter Aug 9 '18 at 2:30

As stated here, you can use either @@  (note the space after @) at the beginning of the message to override formatting, or !!  to send message in monospace font.

  • 7
    The @@ did not work for me, but the !! did. – Dan May 27 '15 at 12:44
  • The @@ has started to work for me somewhere between June and now. (I.e.: It hasn't worked for me in June either, but now it does.) ( @Dan ) – Aaron Thoma Dec 17 '15 at 15:09
  • 4
    @@ suppresses the interpretation of formatting (* bold *, ~ <s>strikethrough</s> ~, _ italic _), but emoticons (e.g. :)) will still be interpreted (including (!) and (*)). – Aaron Thoma Dec 17 '15 at 16:00
  • (… and including (lol).) – Aaron Thoma Jan 14 '16 at 13:21
  • 1
    May 2018: @@ did not work for me (Skype web) – rgoliveira May 7 '18 at 20:16

Since the @@ does not always work (at least it doesn't for me in Skype Web, as of Jan. 2019), you can suppress the formatting and keep the normal proportional font by inserting the special characters as HTML escapes.

E.g. using &#x7e;test&#x7e; you will see ~test~ (and not test)

  • 2
    What did they do?! ROFLMAO OMG facepalm oh-no sighs cries – sjngm Jan 22 at 10:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.