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The most standard text encoding is UTF-8.

Why use UTF-8?

A Unicode-based encoding such as UTF-8 can support many languages and can accommodate pages and forms in any mixture of those languages. Its use also eliminates the need for server-side logic to individually determine the character encoding for each page served or each incoming form submission. This significantly reduces the complexity of dealing with a multilingual site or application.

A Unicode encoding also allows many more languages to be mixed on a single page than any other choice of encoding.

Converting to UTF-8


On Unix systems like Linux and MacOS, most files are in UTF-8 by default.


For .txt, .tsv or .csv file, you can use Microsoft Notepad.

For an .xlsx or .xls file, you can use Microsoft Excel.


  1. Click Menu > Save As (Other Formats)
  2. Name the file and choose the type Unicode Text (*.txt)
  3. Click Save


  1. Click Save As
  2. Name the file and choose the encoding UTF-8
  3. Click Save

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