Unwanted character ‘#’ in the short text print outs and reports

unwanted '#' character

After our recent unicode upgrade, we have been facing some issue in the character data. In the other post, we showed how we figured out Code Page Runtime Error. Last time there was one file which had some special characters which caused the dump. Today, we had one particular purchase order, which had issue.

Check the PO item short texts. There is no ‘#’ (Hash/Pound) symbol in the PO item texts.

Character '#' appears

But, when you trigger a form to print out the details, the ‘-‘ character is replaced by ‘#’. Strangely, issue was with just this PO. Other POs did not show this symptom. Check the coloured arrows. ‘#’ character is getting printed from no where.. 🙁

# character issue

In order to confirm how data was saved at database level we checked PO item table ‘EKPO‘. In the table as well, there was no clue of ‘#’. Now, we started panicking. Did we do something wrong in our forms while developing it? We started doubting/questioning ourselves.


Just to double check, we downloaded the EKPO table to text file. To our surprise, ‘-‘ got replaced with ‘#’.


Now, we were sure, there was nothing wrong with our form print out development object, but something fishy was there in the way data was saved in the PO. By now we narrowed down our suspicion to Unicode upgrade.

One of my senior colleague quickly checked if SAP has released any note for this issue. Guess what?? He found a very new note. Fresh from the oven!!! We had issue on 17th Aug 2015 and SAP had released a note on 14th Aug 2015.. JIT (Just In Time).. 🙂8


SAP Note: 2205846 – Character “#” in phrases, user-defined texts, and reports

The note beautifully describes the issue. But there is not solution. You have to correct the wrong text data. Identify the issue document and remove the special hidden characters which SAP is not able to identify. The note also speaks of using a program to mass change and create custom program by leveraging the notes reference program.

Abstract from Snote 2205846.

You edit a specification and you notice that the character “#” appears in phrases or user-defined texts, or, if applicable, in the corresponding long texts, even though you did not expect it in this context.
You view a report in your system in report management or in the report information system, and you notice that the system unexpectedly issues the character “#” in this report.

If the character “#” is displayed as in the mentioned cases, most of the time this means that there is a character in this place that cannot be displayed with the corresponding SAP character set, for example, the character set 4103 for Unicode, because it is not defined in this character set; or the text contains a control character in this place, such as LF (line feed) Hex’0A’. This can occur particularly if you copy the texts for phrases or user-defined texts from sources that contain respective characters or control characters, for example, MS Word documents.

To avoid these problems, we recommend that you not copy these texts directly, but that you use an editor, such as Notepad, as a clipboard that ignores the respective formatting or already displays “#” as a character, so that it is easy to correct these already in the editor. Characters that are not included in the SAP character set, for example, some dashes should be replaced by the relevant characters from the SAP character set, for example, “-“, or, if required, be deleted completely.

If your system already contains phrases and user-defined texts with these character, you can generally remove these characters or control characters by editing the relevant phrases and user-defined texts. During this, you may have to replace large sections if control characters influence the processing.

For mass correction refer to SAP Note 2127749.

Link to download PDF document of SAP Note 2205846.

Next time when you get some uninvited guests in your texts, you know how to treat them.. 🙂

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Thank you very much for your time!!



Image source : jordanmcbride.com


  1. Hi,

    in the same way , if a long text contains &(ampersand) symbol,

    and if the text is used in a print , then system is throwing error.

    instead of going to each text and removing manually (the above sign)

    is there any program or SAP note available that supresses this symbol in the long text…

    • Dear Vinay – I am little curious. Why would system throw an error? It should print “&”, isn’t it? Even though you do not want “&” to be printed.

      Can you please debug and try to remove “&” and print? I am sure you must have tried this, what did you get?

      Not sure of any SAP Notes. Will check and get back.

      Team SAPYard.

  2. Raju

    We came across similar issue but this time during Purchase requisition creation (ME51N), this special character # along with some number will appear under “item text” for PR. I am not sure the same Note can be applied ?


    • Hi Shishir – You can sit with your ABAPer and check the note. In our project we did not implement the note as the issue was with couple of POs. The data analyst copied the right text from notepad and updated the PO. Later we figured it out that the issue was while copying from a word document.

      You can check how many PRs have issue and then decide whether to correct manually or through notes.



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