My document changed to ANSI or other encoding


Writer, Notepad and TextEdit saves documents as plain text files, using Unicode (UTF-8) encoding. Writer supports Notepad and TextEdit opens documents in many encodings, but a document’s encoding must generally be determined by heuristics (= advanced guessing). If a document appears to be in ANSI, Chinese or Japanese kanji when opened in Writer, this is generally due to an encoding problem, often from editing the document in a non-UTF-8 program such as Notepad for Windows.

If you have this problem, please don’t make any changes to the document in Writer, and instead open the document in the last program you saved it with. Once you can see the text again, re-save or export the document using Unicode UTF-8 encoding. If on Windows please use a UTF-8 compatible program, such as WordPad or the free Notepad++, instead of Notepad (which defaults to ANSI encoding).


These are the settings we recommend for other apps to save as UTF-8:

Windows App settings

Notepad++

In Notepad++ you can see the encoding in the bottom of the window. This document is in ANSI — to convert it to UTF-8 choose “Convert to UTF-8 in the Encoding menu:

Notepad++ encoding menu: converting ANSI to UTF-8

Notepad++ encoding menu: converting ANSI to UTF-8


After this the bottom of the window reads UTF-8, which Writer for iPad and iPhone uses.

Notepad++ encoding menu for a UTF-8 file

Notepad++ encoding menu for a UTF-8 file


You can set Notepad++ to always save using UTF-8 in Settings > Preferences… > New Document/Default Directory:

Notepad++ preferences to safely save UTF-8 files

Notepad++ preferences to safely save UTF-8 files


Wordpad

In Wordpad you can set “Save as type” to “Unicode Text document”. We also recommend checking “Save in this format by default”:

Wordpad Save dialog to save as Unicode (UTF-8)

Wordpad Save dialog to save as Unicode (UTF-8)


Notepad

Notepad defaults to saving in ANSI encoding, so we recommend using a different program instead. If you must use NotePad, please make sure to double-check the encoding is set to UTF-8 when you save:

Please use something better than NotePad. Please…

Choose “UTF-8” in Notepad’s Encoding pulldown when saving


Mac App Settings

TextEdit

You can make sure TextEdit saves files in Unicode (UTF-8) by going to TextEdit > Preferences… > Open and Save, and making sure the Save As setting is “Unicode (UTF-8)”.

Save as UTF-8 in TextEdit


Choose “Unicode (UTF-8)” for the Save As setting to ensure TextEdit saves documents in UTF-8