XML Encoding

XML documents can contain non ASCII characters, like Norwegian æ ø å , or French ê è é.
To avoid errors, specify the XML encoding, or save XML files as Unicode.

XML Encoding Errors

If you load an XML document, you can get two different errors indicating encoding problems:

An invalid character was found in text content.

You get this error if your XML contains non ASCII characters, and the file was saved as single-byte ANSI (or ASCII) with no encoding specified.

Switch from current encoding to specified encoding not supported.

You get this error if your XML file was saved as double-byte Unicode (or UTF-16) with a single-byte encoding (Windows-1252, ISO-8859-1, UTF-8) specified.
You also get this error if your XML file was saved with single-byte ANSI (or ASCII), with double-byte encoding (UTF-16) specified.

Windows Notepad

Windows Notepad save files as single-byte ANSI (ASCII) by default.
If you select "Save as...", you can specify double-byte Unicode (UTF-16).
Save the XML file below as Unicode (note that the document does not contain any encoding attribute):

<?xml version="1.0"?>
  <message>Norwegian: æøå. French: êèé</message>

The file above,  will NOT generate an error. But if you specify a single-byte encoding it will.
The following encoding will give an error message:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="windows-1252"?>

The following encoding  will give an error message:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>

The following encoding, will give an error message:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

The following encoding , will NOT give an error:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-16"?>


  • Always use the encoding attribute
  • Use an editor that supports encoding
  • Make sure you know what encoding the editor uses
  • Use the same encoding in your encoding attribute
XML Encoding Reviewed by 1000sourcecodes on 20:59 Rating: 5
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