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Frequently Asked Question #143. Why are there invalid characters in my profile, interests, or entries? Why do I receive a "Bad Unicode Input" or "Invalid Text Encoding" error when I try to edit them?

If you receive "Bad Unicode Input" error messages when updating your journal, check your browser settings to verify that your entry uses the right encoding. If you receive "Invalid Text Encoding" error messages when editing your entries, you will need to set your default text encoding and mass-convert your information.

Bad Unicode Input

A "Bad Unicode Input" error occurs when your browser is set to use a specific text encoding that is not UTF-8 (Unicode). Avoid this error by changing your browser settings to auto-detect a declared text encoding; consult your browser documentation for more information.

You may also get this error if you enter (or copy and paste) text that is not encoded in UTF-8 format. Avoid this error by saving the information you wish to copy and paste to LiveJournal in plain text format or only using plain text editors. You will need to consult your text editor's documentation for information on how to save in plain text format.

Non-Western Characters & Invalid Text Encoding

You will need to set your default text encoding
  • if you see question marks (?) or small boxes in your journal or profile, rather than the proper symbol

  • if you have ever used special symbols (such as accented letters, pound signs, or Microsoft Word "SmartQuotes")

  • if you see an "invalid text encoding" when you try to edit your entries. You will not be able to edit your entries until you do so.

Most native speakers of English who use Windows should choose "Western European (Windows)" as their default encoding. Most native speakers of English who use Macintosh should choose "Western European (ISO)".

After setting your encoding, read the instructions on the UTF-8 Conversion Page and start converting your information. You can convert or check any or all of your account's six parts.

Last Updated: December 20th, 2007

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