I am on Windows XP sp3 and I am trying to convert a file from ASCII to UTF-8.

I use notepad++ to do this. I go to Encoding > Convert to UTF-8 without BOM. I save the file, reopen and it is still on ASCII.

I am using this file in a webpage and I need the file to be UTF-8, because I have strings in utf-8 and they am seeing little squares with ? on them.

  • Just for giggles have you copied everything then opened a new document pasted and saved as utf8? – Unfundednut Dec 31 '09 at 20:38
  • Yes I have. And it didn't work! – AntonioCS Dec 31 '09 at 23:01

Do the following:

  1. File->New
  2. Encoding->Encode in UTF-8 without BOM
  3. Copy and Paste your original text into this new file
  4. Save.

It works on my computer with Windows XP SP3 and Notepad++v5.6.8. Hope it works on your computer also.


ASCII is a strict subset of UTF-8. ASCII has 128 characters. UTF-8 has many many more, but those first 128 are the same characters as ASCII in the same positions. Any ASCII file is already a UTF-8 file (this is one of the design points of the UFT-8 encoding of Unicode). There is nothing to convert.

A UTF-8 encoded file which contains only characters which are also found in ASCII simply is also an ASCII file (it’s also a Latin-1 file, a CP1250 file, and many others: many many encodings share their first 128 characters with ASCII). Notepad++ is probably showing it as ASCII simply because that’s the oldest and simplest encoding it could report.

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