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Display special characters from database

Hello,
I have a simple php page that allows a user to update database data.  The data is then displayed on a webpage (VERY simple content admin).

Occasionaly, special characters like bullets, and trademarks are used in these updates.

IDEALLY I would like to be able to just copy and paste text with these characters in the php form that updates the database, but when I do this, I get "unknown character icons" on the display page.

Using special character codes would be okay (not optimum), but the problem I am running into is when I use the codes ("•" for example), they show up fine on the display webpage the first time, but if I go back and use the php form to make a change, the character codes show up as the characters they represent in the form field and when I update the database, the "unknown character icons" are displayed on the page again, thus creating a situation where I have to convert the characters to their code counterparts everytime I edit the page.

How can I get the display page to display the special characters, or, short of that, retain the character codes when I edit the data in my php form?

Thanks in adavance.
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tmbdesign
Asked:
tmbdesign
3 Solutions
 
LordOfPortsCommented:
This can be very tricky, one approach to learn the character encoding is to go to View->Encoding and to try different character encoding schemas to see which one displays the characters properly, then add a meta tag identifying this schema, e.g.:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />

PHP also offers you character encoding conversion functions such as http://us2.php.net/iconv that allow you to convert from one encoding schema to another.
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kevintynfronCommented:
I'm not sure from your description exactly what you're seeing, but I had problems with this kind of thing as well.

I had my database character set as UTF-8 and the web page using UTF-8 as shown above, but I was still having problems editing it as the characters weren't showing up properly in the edit box.

In the end, I used the htmlspecialchars function to populate the text box in my PHP.
<input value="<?php echo htmlspecialchars($row_member_details['surname']); ?>" type="text" name="member_surname" id="member_surname" />

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LordOfPortsCommented:
One other important fact is which character encoding your database uses, when you connect to you MySQL database try issuing the following command before you query the database:
mysql_query("SET NAMES 'utf8'");

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tmbdesignAuthor Commented:
Hey Everybody,
I am so sorry to have abandoned this question.  I got way busy with other things and couldn't find time to follow through with the suggestions.

I still hope to get back to this project at some point, but in the mean time, I agree with the split.

Thanks.
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ref-ITCommented:
Hello Boys,

I'm aware that this post has long since been closed, but I'd like to mention that LordOfPorts's solution of changing MySQL Database's characters set using

mysql_query("SET NAMES 'utf8'");

before querying the database actually worked for me.

Thanks a lot and God Bless.

ref-IT
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