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inserting HTML code


Text version Error in XHTML with "<" character



I created a custom XHTML email and i am getting an error under the text version when i use "<" character. I tried to use HTML entity name (&lt but it just shows as it is not the "<". 


here is the copy of the paragraph i am having issues with


TIKOSYN is contraindicated in patients with congenital or
acquired long QT syndromes, a baseline QT interval or QTc >440
msec (500 msec in patients with ventricular conduction
abnormalities), severe renal impairment (calculated creatinine
clearance <20 mL/min), or known hypersensitivity to TIKOSYN.


If you anyone can help me with that would be great. 


Thank you very much


CTCT Employee

Re: Text version Error in XHTML with "<" character

Hi Chris!


I believe we actually spoke earlier today on the phone about this issue. Again I wanted to apologize for the trouble it causes you and hopefully we can get this as an added capability to Constant Contact. If you have any other questions about HTML or coding please let us know! 

Melissa M
Community and Social Support Intern

If you find my post helpful and it answers your question, please mark it as an "Accepted Solution"
Senior Member

Re: Standard HTML characters not supported

I have been using Constant Contact for over a decade, and this seems to be a problem they have no plans to fix. My organization has to write its content now to avoid using m-dashes and n-dashes entirely. I have no idea why this is such a difficult thing for Constant Contact to solve, since other mailing services seem to be able to handle it with no problem. The <span style="letter-spacing: -3px;">---</span> or <span style="letter-spacing: -2px;">----</span> workaround looks fine when viewed in HTML, but it's a mess in the text-only version, should any of your readers receive it in that format. C'mon, Constant Contact! Can you move this to the top of your pile and help us? This has been going on for years and years.

Honored Contributor

Re: Standard HTML characters not supported

Hello @manyca , 


This idea has been posted in our Feedback area.  The best way to attempt to influence the people that can make this change is to comment and vote on the idea here.  By getting more comments and votes it shows the product owners that this is something that Constant Contact customers want within our product.  Please take a moment and head over to the topic to leave a comment and vote.  


In reference to your statement about the text version, you are correct that within the text version it does not look like it does in the HTML, it will appear as three separate dashes (or however many you choose to use).  You can edit the Text Version by clicking on the Text button at the top of the email and then going to the sections where you have added the code and manually removing the extra dashes.  Just remember to Save before going back to the HTML Version.  Also, please note that as soon as a Text Version is edited, it no longer gets updated with edits made in the HTML view, so this should be your last step before sending the email.  If you copy the email, it will not update either, so if you copy the email to edit and send again go to the Text version and click the button to Use the Default Version so that it will sync with all changes made in the HTML Design view (our regular editor).  Then again as the last step you can edit the Text Version, if needed.  



Occasional Participant

Re: Standard HTML characters not supported

Wouldn't the best work around for right now be to have an INSERT button for emdash?  That way CC can insert a special code that can be translated on the backend between the <div> hack (yes, it's a hack) and the --- problem in text mode?


Please do something.  This is crazy that this issue has not already risen to the top of the pile.  I think it's because maybe not enough CC users even know these forums are here and hence any amount of +1'ing will never amount to more than a blip on the radar.

Occasional Visitor

Keep getting error "Constant Contact does not support certain illegal characters."

I keep getting the following error:


"Constant Contact does not support certain illegal characters. To continue, please change the following characters: ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™"


I used to have TM in the email, but have removed them, and I still get this error.  I do have links to HTML web pages, so is the parser maybe picking up the "TM" in HTML?  I have searched my HTML for both "TM" and the elipses (...) which I know also causes errors.  I do not see anything else in my HTML that could throw an error.


This is frustrating since I have spent an hour trying to get this resolved.

Honored Contributor

Re: Keep getting error "Constant Contact does not support certain illegal characters."

Hi @JamesB32 


I'm sorry to hear that you are running into this difficulty. I'd be happy to take a look. I'm going to send an email to the email address on file with some follow-up questions that will help me better assist you.


Thank you in advance!

Occasional Visitor

Re: Keep getting error "Constant Contact does not support certain illegal characters."

Found same bug. Any resolution for this?

Honored Contributor

Re: Keep getting error "Constant Contact does not support certain illegal characters."

Hello @sjmerc


I took a look at your account and see that you reached out to our support team for help.  It looks like they may have been able to help you resolve this issue.  If you are still experiencing this error, please let us know so we can take a look.  

Honored Contributor

How Do I Add an Em-Dash to My Email?

One of the most common requests that we hear is “How do I create an em-dash in my email?”. This is really easy to do but you need to have the code to do it. I’m going to show you how you can, using the html code view within your email’s bock, how to do this.


  • Go to Email
  • Click to Edit your Email or Create a New Email
  • Click to edit the block where you want to put the em-dash
  • Click the HTML button in the edit toolbar

    Campaigns HTML button.png
  • This will open a new window called Code View
  • Search in here for your word that you want to add the em-dash to
  • Paste in this code:

    <span style="letter-spacing: -3px;"> --- </span>

  • Click Update at the bottom of the Code View window
  • Make sure everything looks great
  • Click Save to save your changes in your block


And that’s it! Super easy to add an em-dash. Log into your account now to add your em-dashes to your campaigns! If you have any questions let us know.