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Charsets for Chinese

(Using Dreamweaver)



8:21 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I am having a go at building a Chinese page on one of our sites and would be glad of a little help. :)

I changed the charset to gb2312, and then tried to copy and paste the Chinese text into the code using dreamweaver.

However, the code would not diplay the text and just gave me a load of? instead.

So I switched over to utf-8 and it worked without a problem.

However, according to my (limited) knowledge, utf-8 is not very popular in China and I am better off with gb2312.

So here's the confusing bit (for me anyway). Once I had finished inserting all the text in utf-8, and checking that it uploaded and displayed correctly, I switched the charset back to gb2312, and the text remained in place with no?.

So does this mean that I have now got a page in gb2312, or does it make no difference becasue the page was built in utf-8?

I hope that makes sense.



2:00 am on Dec 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I'm not familiar with DreamWeaver. I have made Japanese and Chinese sites in FrontPage though. I always tried to use the GB2312 when using that software, and never had any display issues. Someone who is more familiar with DW may be able to help you out more.

My suggestion would be that if you're going to use UTF-8, make sure that you use a good text editor that can produce genuine/problem-free UTF-8. Not all text editors are built the same it seems. I don't know what category the DW editor falls into.

You can still make the layout and design of your page in the WYSIWYG, and then just paste the Chinese into the text areas from your editor.


5:45 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Gary,you can send a msg to me and tell me the url,i will tell you whether you page working well,because i am in china :)


8:58 am on Jan 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I am chinese,I think GBK is better than GB2312.


2:44 am on Jan 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I haven't seen any sites using GBK. Are any major sites using this encoding? If not, why not?


1:10 am on Jan 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I use Dreamweaver for Japanese & the prior default encode for Japanese used to be shift-JIS.
Dreamweaver is good in the fact that if you start with the text in UTF-8 & switch to another compatible encode it converts the text itself.

In my case if I put the text in UTF-8 & change the encode to Shift-JIS it will convert the text. It's not visable to the eye but it does.

I'd assume it does it with Chinese.

With encodes you have to think about what is your strategy for the site. RSS should still be in UTF-8 & mobile search might still be in the native Chinese encode, I don't really know if a lot of people know this but sites with different encodes seem to have various link value. It takes a bit of testing to fully understand this.


2:46 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

To make sure the charset is set correctly, you might consider hand coding it by openning the code pane. When dealing with gb2312, you would want to first of all set the charset in dreamweaver to gb2312, then copy and paste all your chinese text into notepad, then copy it again, then paste onto dreamweaver. Just make sure your source of Chinese text was originally compiled using gb2312. Hope this helps.

[edited by: Woz at 10:04 pm (utc) on Jan. 22, 2007]
[edit reason] No URLs please, see TOS#13 [/edit]


4:47 pm on Jan 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

W3C recommendation is to use UTF-8 for all languages. All modern browsers support UTF-8 if there are appropriate fonts on the machine.

Use of UTF-8, rather than country specific encodings, allows people anywhere in the world to view the content. This includes students studying abroad and using university computers that are not specifically configured for Chinese, Japanese or any other script support.

This is not the case for emails, where many email clients do not correctly support viewing UTF-8 (Commonly Japanese emails should be encoded in JIS or Shift JIS)


5:41 am on Feb 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Has anyone had experience with Wordpress? My company has a blog but we are constantly having problems with charset.

[edited by: Woz at 11:16 am (utc) on Feb. 2, 2007]
[edit reason] No URLS please, see TOS#13 [/edit]


8:09 pm on Feb 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I am living China now, u may sent your url to me,and i will check it by chinese windows xp and ie.

Most chinese people use GB-2312 , but the ie can auto swith UTF-8 if your default html set is UTF-8.


8:19 pm on Feb 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think your original material isn't GB-2312 or your system isn't chinese,so if you paste it to a GB2312 html, the text will found error.

I had transfered gb2312 text to Big5,and paste to a Big-5 html with DW, also found similar error. I think the reason is gb2312 XP system.


8:46 am on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

"utf-8 is not very popular in China "?/?


Google china(google.cn) and many other famous chinese sites() use utf-8 as well as GB2312


9:18 am on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I find that a lot of international sites that have multiple language versions see the need for UTF-8, like Google. I just checked the top 10 most popular sites in China according to Alexa, and all of them use GB2312, except Google, which ranks 10th. There's a reason for that.


2:38 pm on Feb 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

most of the popular chinese local site use GB-2312,But the foreign chinese site like use UTF-8.


8:09 pm on Feb 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

We're that obvious, us gwailo? B^>




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