What does "Bad character encoding" mean?

Modified on Wed, 08 Feb 2023 at 04:07 PM

UTF-8 is the character encoding that is supported in EventPilot. Think of encoding knowing what language a word is in. Computers need to decode the bytes into characters, like you would use a dictionary to translate a word. 

For example, what does the word mean? 

In English it means one like a woman, in Portuguese it means the like a menina for the girl, in Spanish it means to like a la casa for to the house, in French à means to or in like à la cuisine for in the kitchen, etc. 

If you just hear the sound but you don't know the language (encoding), you wouldn't know how to correctly translate the word. The same is true for computers. The common 'dictionary' used in EventPilot is UTF-8.

If your data contains wrong encoding that is detected by the system, the import dialog will display an error telling you exactly which row and which character is incorrectly encoded. Mixed encoding can happen if your data collection platform allows your speakers for example to paste from MS Word where Word was set to a different encoding other than UTF-8, for example to windows-1252. Your source data now may contain a mix of characters from different languages. You must ensure that all your characters are UTF-8 encoded. 

You may have seen on some websites incorrectly encoded characters that appear as a question mark in a black diamond �

Sample error code: 

Bad character encoding for item "123" on line: 102 char pos: 205 char val: 0x92

This means that record ID 123 in the 102nd row of your CSV file has an error. The character is in position 205. EventPilot does not import content past the bad character in this field and displays >> for your reference.

For example, if the speaker's name Ellen Römer with Umlaut is incorrectly encoded, the Conference App Builder would display: 

Ellen R>>

Check your source data in the platform where it was entered and you may notice a special or unusual character. Replace the character in your source with a UTF-8 character and then try importing again after your fix. 

Tip: Google Sheets converts all content automatically to UTF-8. If you can open your CSV in Google Sheets and you export again from Google Sheets as a CSV, your file will be UTF-8 encoded. 

Avoid opening CSV files with Microsoft Excel as it mixes encodings and saves files with mixed encoding.