I'd like to process a unicode text file using TextEdit. When I open the file using TextEdit or TextWrangler instead of seeing Nattvardsgästerna I see this Nattvardsg‰sterna (which is incorrect). When I open the file on my PC I see the correct String.

I'm certain, I'm missing a setting or something...


1 Answer 1


You can set the default opening encoding to UTF-8 or UTF-16 in TextEdit Preferences/Open and Save.

But your example seems to indicate a non-unicode text, where Latin-1 ä (E4) is being read as if it were in MacRoman encoding, where E4 is allocated to ‰.

Or perhaps it is Unicode UTF-16 being read as if it were MacRoman?

  • Hello Tom, I played with TextWrangler cycling through different encodings, when I open with Latin-1 the file looks fine. I'm really confused though...because I after playing around with it, I saved the file as UTF-8 (just to see what happens) and now I can open it in TextEdit and looks fine. So can I convert the file to UTF-8 without losing anything?
    – hba
    Jan 19, 2013 at 0:03
  • @hba Yes, you should not lose anything by converting things that way. It is probably best to save as "UTF-8 with BOM" to minimize the chance of it being opened with the wrong encoding. Jan 19, 2013 at 0:12

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