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UTF-8 characters showing up jumbled

 11:15 am on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Anyone have an idea why this is happening?

The file is using UTF-8 encoding, the meta tag sets the character set to UTF-8 too...but when I upload it to my client's server characters with umlauts (for example ü) don't display properly.

The document is XHTML 1.0 strict.

If I change the file encoding to ISO-8859-1 and the meta tag it works fine...why? On my local server it works either way...



 2:30 pm on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

This might help clarify it for you . . . Character encoding, entity references and UTF-8 [webmasterworld.com]


 6:15 pm on Apr 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the resource, however after reading it...and the comments, and some other referenced threads, I'm still having the same problem.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="no" lang="no">

<title>An XHTML 1.0 Strict standard template</title>
<meta http-equiv="content-type"
content="text/html;charset=utf-8" />
<meta http-equiv="Content-Style-Type" content="text/css" />


<p>Flygande bäckasiner söka strax hwila på mjuka tuvor.</p>


That file is saved as UTF-8, and the accented characters are not displaying properly.

Is it possible that the server is forcing everything to display as ISO-8859-1?


 3:41 pm on Apr 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

I can't answer that question, it's outside my arena. Hopefully someone will . . . my first guess is to say yes, as when I've encountered this I had my admin tweak something on the server and it went away.

You could try installing the FireFox extension Live HTTP Headers, and see what it says. For this site, I notice

Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7

And your characters are rendering fine here, so it appears this could be the case.


 3:57 pm on Apr 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll check it out using Live Headers...


 5:35 pm on Apr 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

The problem was indeed caused by the server having a default charset of ISO-8859-1. It was easily rectified using an .htaccess file with the following line:

AddDefaultCharset OFF

I hope this helps someone in the future. I should also point out that you should have the charset specified in each of your files if you are going to use AddDefaultCharset OFF. If you do not have a charset specified in each file you can use UTF-8 (or any other charset) instead of OFF.

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