AutoHotkey webinar: Deep-Dive into File Encoding

In this AutoHotkey Webinar took a deep-dive into File Encoding by our guest speaker Jean Lalonde (author of Quick Access Popup)

Video Hour 1:  High Level:

  • Why File encoding matters
  • Pros/Cons of each type of encoding
  • Tools like the File Encoding Lab to help determine a file’s encoding
  • How to set File Encoding in AutoHotkey

Video Hour 2: Coding and Q&A

Script Highlight: BarChart by Learning One

(Here is a link to BarChart scripts demonstrated during the webinar)


1) File Enconding in AutoHotkey

(Here is a link to all of Jean Lalonde’s files)
  • Edit and run the AHK script “FileRead.ahk”
  • Load “Demo-UTF-16.txt” with default encoding
  • Load “Demo-UTF-16-No_BOM.txt” with default encoding  -> problem!
  • Load “Demo-UTF-16-No_BOM.txt” with UTF-16-RAW encoding  -> OK!
  • Try the other file enconding available in AHK

2) File Encoding in DOS (code pages)

  • Run the batch file “Type Box.bat” in DOS console (under “Tutorial“ folder)
  • See this ASCII/ANSI file displayed with code pages 1252 (default ASCI/ANSI) and 437

3) Load the File Encoding Lab

  • Run the AHK script “File Encoding Lab.ahk”
  • Loaded bu default “ASCII.txt” (detected CP1252, 7-bit chars)
  • File Encoding Lab tour
    • Binary display on the left side / Normal AHK display on the right
    • Click on the file name to see with Notepad
    • Encoded detected and use the dropdown list to reload with another encoding
  • Load “ANSI.txt” (detected CP1252, 8-bit chars)
  • Load “Box-CP437.txt” (detected CP1252, 8-bit chars)
    • Which encoding will display a box?
  • Load “UTF-8.txt” (detected UTF-8)
    • see BOM (“byte ordre mark” or header) on left side: two first bytes
    • See one byte for “!”
    • See two bytes each for “é”  and “É«
    • See three bytes for “用”

AutoHotkey Merchandise-White Stress ball

4) File Encoding Lab Cheat Sheet

  • ASCII and ANSI
  • Unicode 8-16-32 bits
  • Unicode with/without BOM
  • Unicode Little or Big Endian

5) Real life files

  • QAP Spanish translation
  • QAP Chinese translation
  • Other examples?

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