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Knowledge Base

Our Knowledge Base covers a wide variety of technical topics, from the basic to the complex.

Does QuickBase support Unicode or other multi-byte character encodings like Big5, GB, HZ, Shift-JIS, JIS?

If everyone using a particular QuickBase table or application package sets their browser's character encoding (on Internet Explorer click on the "View" menu and select "Encoding") to the same setting then everything will be displayed and edited consistently whether the setting is a single byte character encoding like IS0-8559 or Western European (Windows) or a multi-byte character encoding like Unicode (UTF-8) or Big5, GB, HZ, Shift-JIS, JIS.

QuickBase stores all characters as a sequence of bytes. Most character sets commonly used in Europe and the United States require only one byte per character to encode the entire character set. The most popular of these character encodings are called "ISO-8859-1" or "Western European (Windows)" or "ISO-LATIN-1".

Under these circumstances each byte store by QuickBase represents a single character.

If you were to change the character encoding of your browser to "Unicode (UTF-8)" and then you were to create a record with some characters like this:

¼½¾

You can get these in Windows by typing:

Alt-0188 Alt-0189 Alt-0190

(hold down the Alt key while typing the four digits on the
numeric pad with NumLock on, then release the Alt key)

Then when you save this record QuickBase stores the three characters ¼½¾ as six bytes instead of the three if you were using "Western European (Windows)" character encoding.

Now if you stick with the "Unicode (UTF-8)" character encoding these three characters will display as you saw them when you typed them in.

However if you were to switch your browser to "Western European (Windows)" character encoding you would see six characters instead of just three.

So if everyone using a particular QuickBase table or application package sets their browser's character encoding (on Internet Explorer click on the "View" menu and select "Encoding") to the same setting then everything will be displayed and edited consistently whether the setting is a single byte character encoding like IS0-8559 or Western European (Windows) or a multi-byte character encoding like Unicode (UTF-8) or Big5, GB, HZ, Shift-JIS, JIS.

The story for the QuickBase API is a little more complicated.

The QuickBase HTTP API outputs XML and the default XML character set is Unicode. However if you are using Shift-JIS as your character encoding for a particular QuickBase table then you'll want to specify the "encoding" parameter on every call you make to the QuickBase HTTP API to ensure that the character encoding of the XML response is properly set. So to get the schema of a QuickBase table that has been created and maintained with Shift-JIS encoding you'll want to execute the following URL:

https://www.quickbase.com/db/dbid?act=API_GetSchema&encoding=shift_jis

There is one addendum to this story that involves the QuickBase formula language. The "Length" function returns the length of a text string in the number of bytes, not the number of characters. So in some cases a three character Unicode string will return a length of six.

The "Left", "Mid" and "Right" functions may chop characters in half yielding incorrect results including characters that are not part of the original character set.

The "Lower" and "Upper" functions will not work properly with multi-byte character sets.

Comments

Chinese characters

Someone here dismissed the question based on it being about Quickbooks rather than Quickbase.  Please answer for Quickbase as I have the same question and am a Quickbase user.  When I cut and paste Chinese characters or type them in directly, it is saved as nonsense.  

RE: 'Chinese characters'

Hi Zachary,

At this time QuickBase is marketed primarily as a US-based, western-character encoded product. As our customer base continues to grow, we realize many more of our customers have the need for a global strategy with their databases. Our QuickBase Product Managers are well aware of the need for greater compatability with foreign markets, and it's something we hope to see expanded in QuickBase in the near future. Unfortuantely, at this time we can't share and specifics with regards to our global strategy, but if you want to voice your opinion on the subject I encourage you to do so via our User Voice site:

http://quickbase.uservoice.com

Our Product Management team reviews every piece of feedback offered, and that feedback weighs heavily on the future of QuickBase.

Having said that, many have done well synchronizing the character encoding on their web browsers, as is laid out very nicely below by The Data Collaborative.

 

Thanks,

Brian

Intuit QuickBase

QuickBase Straight Up has published a white paper on this

Together with Eric Segal, I have written an article on how to deal with multi-byte encodings in QuickBase. You can find it here:

http://www.datacollaborative.com/case_studies/UTF-8

Export Unicode to Excel

We are an international US company with many overseas clients.

Some of our clients are from China and they have Chinese names written in Chinese characters which we inputted into our database. When we try to export these Chinese names into a spreadsheet, they become gibberish.

 

Can you please provide us with a solution?

 


Thanks,

Pricilla

Chinese version of quickbooks

I have a Chinese factory where I would like to install a Chinese version of Wuickbooks. Is it available?

Thanks, Steve Bello

you've reached the QuickBase knolwledgebase

Hi --

You've commented in the QuickBase knowledgebase, but your question was about QuickBooks. Please see this link for QuickBooks support and community resources.

Regards,

--Sybil

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