I've inherited a big collection of web content claiming to use utf-8 encoding, yet clearly random gibberish that shows up when displaying the pages says they are some sort of windows encoding. I've used the command iconv -f Windows-1252 -t utf-8 *19* -o test.htm to change one file, and now I see valid characters that make sense, but in front of each of those characters there is now a 'Â' uppercase A with a circumflex. Examining the binary data shows that all the special characters are hex pairs such as C292 or C297. Is there some windows charset that uses C2 as an escape and I want something different than Windows-1252 in the iconv command?

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    It might help if you posted the header portion of the html file and a segment of the text in question. Jan 28 at 3:38
  • The file command, at least under unix, can sometimes show the charset, as an heuristic. Also "now I see": how do you look at the file? which tool? Jan 28 at 18:44
  • Take a look at the <meta> tags. Does any of them actually declare the UTF-8 encoding? (I don’t understand why this was migrated off Webmasters, it should have been perfectly on-topic there.) Jan 28 at 22:16
  • Wait, do you get C2 92 in the source or in the output? Jan 28 at 22:26
  • Don't add info as an answer. I suggest reading the Help section to see how this site works. We're a QA site, not a forum, and the difference is important. Use of the edit button is highly recommended. Jan 30 at 2:02

1 Answer 1


I have a feeling the files were produced by someone using utf-8 escape sequences to embed Windows characters as though that made sense.

Doing the above iconv followed by a sed command to simply eliminate the 0xc2 characters left in the files after conversion created files which seem to display correctly now.

I did scan for legitimate instances of 'Â' which might be present, but I'm pretty sure there weren't any accented characters at all.

  • How does this answer the question. Jan 28 at 20:55
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