Troubleshooting Character Encodings

Often users may have problems with certain characters in a Confluence instance. Symptoms may include:

  • Non-ASCII characters appearing as question marks (?)
  • Page links with non-ASCII characters not working
  • Single characters being displayed as two characters
  • Garbled text appearing

In most cases, it is due to a mis-configuration in one of the components that Confluence uses.

(warning) The information on this page does not apply to Confluence Cloud.

Follow these steps to diagnose the problem.

1. Run the encoding test

Confluence includes an encoding test that can reveal problems with your configuration.

To perform the test, access the Encoding Test page via the <confluence base-url>/admin/encodingtest.action page on your Confluence instance. You will be required to copy and paste a line of text and submit a form. The test will take the text and pass it through Confluence, the application server and the database, and return the results.

You should also test pasting some sample text (Japanese for example) if you are experiencing problems with a specific language.

Example:

http://confluence.atlassian.com/admin/encodingtest.action

or

http://<host address>:<port>/admin/encodingtest.action

If the text displayed in the encoding test is different to what was entered, then there are problems with your character encoding settings.

A successful test looks like the following:

Screenshot: Successful encoding test

MySQL 3.x

MySQL 3.x is known to have some problems with the upper- and lower-casing of some characters, and may fail the last two tests. For more information, see MySQL 3.x Character Encoding Problems.

2. Ensure the same encoding is used across all components

As mentioned in the Configuring Encoding document, the same character encoding should be used across the database, application server and web application (Confluence).

3. Requesting support

If there are still problems with character encoding after following the above steps, create a support request, and our support staff will aid in solving your problem.

Entering in the following details will help us to identify your problem:

  • Attach screenshots of the problem
  • Attach the results of the encoding test (above)
  • Select which application server (and version) you are using
  • Select which database (and version) you are using
  • Copy the contents of the System Information page into the 'Description' field

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