University of Vermont

UVM Self-help Web Guide

Changing and Selecting Text Encoding for Web Pages

The templates used in the Web publishing system use unicode (UTF-8) text encoding. This encoding was selected because it is a cross-platform, cross-program, international standard for coding text. This standard has been adopted by many companies developing web applications that we currently integrate (and hope in the future to integrate) into the UVM site including such industry leaders as Google.

Unfortunately, not all web editing applications are usually configured to create documents in the unicode format by default. To compensate, the publishing system will look for the text-encoding of each web page and convert any non-unicode pages to unicode. This process can slow down the load time of pages, especially those that have many lines of code (even if the content is not particularly substantial). When this happens, it is recommended that the page be converted to unicode format.

Additionally, if your page does not have the encoding information included in the HTML code and you are using characters that are not unicode, these characters may display incorrectly when your page loads inside a UVM template within the publishing system. In this case, you need to set your text encoding and then convert to unicode.

Listed here are instructions on changing your text encoding on some of the more common web page editing applications available on campus. (Currently there is no single software application supported campus-wide for the creation of web pages.) Instructions listed are for the version available at the writing of this document. A link is available to take you to the web site to download the current version of the software.

Each of these methods assumes that you download a copy of the file to convert, save the newly unicode/utf-8 encoded version and replace the older non-unicode version with it.

SeaMonkey Composer (Formerly Netscape Composer)

Here are instructions for changing the text encoding of an existing html file to UTF-8 using SeaMonkey.

For Windows and Macintosh:

  1. From the file menu select: File > Save and Change Character Encoding
  2. From the Character Encoding menu select "Unicode (UTF-8)"
  3. Click on the "OK" button

Here are instructions for setting SeaMonkey Composer preferences to create and save future new files using UTF-8 encoding.

For Windows:

  1. From the menus choose: Edit > Preferences
  2. Click on the "+" to open the options under the "Navigator" option in the left menu
  3. From the Navigator sub-menu select "Languages"
  4. Under the heading "Character Encoding" choose "Unicode (UTF-8)" as the "Default Character Encoding:"
  5. Click on the "OK" button

For Macintosh:

  1. From the menus choose: SeaMonkey > Preferences
  2. Click on the triangle to open the options under the "Navigator" option under "Category" at left
  3. From the Navigator sub-menu select "Languages"
  4. Under the heading "Character Encoding" choose "Unicode (UTF-8)" as the "Default Character Encoding:"
  5. Click on the "OK" button

KompoZer

Here are instructions for changing the text encoding of an existing html file to UTF-8 using Kompozer.

For Windows and Macintosh:

  1. From the menus choose: File > Save and Change Character Encoding
  2. Choose "Unicode UTF-8" from the list under "Character Encoding"
  3. Click on the "OK" button to apply this setting

Here are instructions for setting Kompozer preferences to create and save future new files using UTF-8 encoding.

For Windows:

  1. From the menus choose: Tools > Options
  2. Choose "New Page Settings" from "Options" in the left menu
  3. Under "Character Set:" click on the "Choose a charset" button
  4. Select "Unicode UTF-8" from the list and click on the "OK" button
  5. Click on the "OK" button to apply this setting

For Macintosh:

  1. From the menus choose: KompoZer > Preferences...
  2. Choose "New Page Settings" from "Options" in the left menu
  3. Under "Character Set:" click on the "Choose a charset" button
  4. Select "Unicode UTF-8" from the list and click on the "OK" button
  5. Click on the "OK" button to apply this setting

Adobe Dreamweaver

Here are instructions for changing the text encoding of an existing html file to UTF-8 using Dreamweaver.

For Windows and Macintosh:

  1. From the menus choose: Modify > Page Properties
  2. Choose the "Title/Encoding" Category from the left menu
  3. Under the "Encoding:" drop-down menu, select "Unicode 5.0 UTF-8"
  4. Click on the apply button

Here are instructions for setting Dreamweaver preferences to create and save future new files using UTF-8 encoding.

For Windows:

  1. From the menus choose: Edit > Preferences
  2. Choose the "Fonts" Category from the left menu
  3. Under the "Font Settings" select "Unicode 5.0 UTF-8"
  4. Click on the "OK" button to apply this setting

For Macintosh:

  1. From the menus choose: Dreamweaver > Preferences
  2. Choose the "Fonts" Category from the left menu
  3. Under the "Font Settings" select "Unicode 5.0 UTF-8"
  4. Click on the "OK" button to apply this setting

Amaya

This is a nifty little standards compliant WYSIWYG editor for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. Not all the bells and whistles of a Dreamweaver but writes good, round-trip code and has nice built-in CSS and WebDAV support. If you do not like the SeaMonkey/KompoZer interface, try this one out.

Here are instructions for changing the text encoding of an existing html file to UTF-8 using Amaya.

For Windows and Macintosh:

  1. From the menu choose: File > Save as...
  2. Under "Charset:" select "UTF-8" from the drop-down menu
  3. Click on the "Save" button
  4. Click on the "Confirm" button to overwrite

Here are instructions for setting Amaya preferences to create and save future new files using UTF-8 encoding.

For Windows:

  1. From the menu choose: Edit > Preferences
  2. Choose the "Publishing" Category from the left menu
  3. Under "Charset for new documents" choose "utf-8" from the drop-down menu
  4. Click on the "Apply" button to apply this setting

For Macintosh:

  1. From the menu choose: Amaya > Preferences...
  2. Choose the "Publishing" Category from the left menu
  3. Under "Charset for new documents" choose "utf-8" from the drop-down menu
  4. Click on the "Apply" button to apply this setting

Microsoft Word

Please note: the Web Team discourages the use of Microsoft Word for creating Web pages, because in our experience there are many aspects of the Microsoft code formatting which are not compatible with the UVM web templates used in the web publishing system. Nevertheless, due to the prevalence of this software for general office productivity, we recognize that some pages on our web site continue to be authored using the Microsoft software and are providing instructions here for text encoding. This does not constitute an endorsement of Microsoft for creating web pages in the UVM web publishing system.

Here are instructions for changing the text encoding of an existing html file to UTF-8 using Microsoft Word.

For Windows:

  1. Bring up the save dialog bog
  2. Choose "Web Options..." from the "Tools" button on the lower left of the dialog box
  3. Choose the "Encoding" tab
  4. Select "Unicode (UTF-8)" from the drop-down menu under "Save this document as:"
  5. Click on the "OK" button to apply this setting

For Macintosh:

  1. From the menus choose: File > Save as Web Page...
  2. Choose the "Web Options..." button on the lower left of the dialog box
  3. Under "Web Options" choose the "Encoding" tab
  4. Select "Unicode (UTF-8)" from the drop-down menu under "Save this document as:"
  5. Click on the "OK" button to apply this setting

Last modified September 13 2011 01:05 PM