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Change encoding, no removing special chars. inconv

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# 1  
Old 01-13-2018
Lightbulb Change encoding, no removing special chars. inconv

Hi all,

I'm using

command to change files encoding to UTF-8

If my input file has chars as
, ,
those are removed creating the file without those special chars.

I tried using
iconv -c

, but there is still the removal.

Is there a way to keep those special chars changing just the Encoding?

The final goal is to implement a script changing Encoding when files are not UTF-8

Thank you all!!

Last edited by mrreds; 01-13-2018 at 04:34 PM.. Reason: Adding Details
# 2  
Old 01-13-2018
Characters that don't exist in the target char set are difficult to convert. The -c option would not necessarily help as it just silently deletes inconvertible chars.
Not sure what your OS / shell / iconv versions are. Does the latter offer this option (man iconv)
-t to-encoding, --to-code=to-encoding
Use to-encoding for output characters.
. . .
If the string //TRANSLIT is appended to to-encoding, characters being converted are transliterated when needed and possible. This means that when a character cannot be represented in the target character set, it can be approximated through one or several similar looking characters. Characters that are outside of the target character set and cannot be transliterated are replaced with a question mark (?) in the output.
? Would his come close to what you need?

Last edited by RudiC; 01-14-2018 at 09:55 AM..
This User Gave Thanks to RudiC For This Post:
# 3  
Old 01-13-2018

I'm thinking that perhaps there is no direct or equivalent character to translate these characters to in your destination character set, and so that's why they're being dropped, maybe ?

Some testing of my own. Firstly, all I did here was copy and paste the string you provided:

$ cat test
, ,
$ file test
test: UTF-8 Unicode text

and it was picked up as UTF-8, as you can see. Full disclosure: this was on a Slackware Linux 14.2 system.

So here's what happens when I try converting this to ASCII, and as mentioned I think it fails since these characters simply don't exist in any way in normal ASCII:

$ iconv -f=utf8 -t=ascii -o new.txt test.txt
iconv: illegal input sequence at position 0

However, if I tell iconv to transliterate only what it can, and drop what it can't, things seem to work, although I end up with question marks in the output (since there's nothing to transliterate to):

$ iconv -f=utf8 -t=ascii//TRANSLIT -o new.txt test.txt
$ cat new.txt
?, ?,

So I think that's the issue: they're being dropped or giving errors because there isn't anything in your destination character set that iconv regards as an acceptable replacement.

Hope this helps.
# 4  
Old 01-13-2018
Thank you RudiC, drysdalk!

SunOS 5.11
command is just displaying:
XML document
I need to convert any encoding to UTF8.

A customer is sending me files not having UTF8 (seems ANSI), I just need to assign UTF8 encoding to all files coming to my system.
# 5  
Old 01-14-2018
I don't know an ANSI char set but would be surprised if it contained codes that UTF-8 could not represent. Should you mean "ASCII", chars , will NOT exist in that source char set; mayhap in what is called "extended ASCII". Howsoever, Your problem now seems a bit strange to me...
# 6  
Old 01-14-2018
You need to figure out whether the file you are trying to convert from is encoded in ISO 8859-1, ISO 8859-15, Windows 1252, or some other codeset. All three of the ones listed here have the lower 128 characters with the same encodings as US ASCII and all of them contain the and characters, but I'm not sure if they are encoded the same way in the three listed codesets. The only way iconv can work correctly is if you correctly tell it in what codeset the file it is reading is encoded and tell it to what codeset you want the output file to be written.
# 7  
Old 01-15-2018
Originally Posted by mrreds
A customer is sending me files not having UTF8 (seems ANSI)
Problem solved then, as ANSI can be used in UTF-8 directly without conversion.

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