Manipulate encodings 

Tclsh Built-In Commands


encoding option ?arg arg ...?


Strings in Tcl are encoded using 16-bit Unicode characters. Different operating system interfaces or applications may generate strings in other encodings such as Shift-JIS. The encoding command helps to bridge the gap between Unicode and these other formats.


Performs one of several encoding related operations, depending on option. The legal options are:

encoding convertfrom ?encoding? data 

Convert data to Unicode from the specified encoding. The characters in data are treated as binary data where the lower 8-bits of each character is taken as a single byte. The resulting sequence of bytes is treated as a string in the specified encoding. If encoding is not specified, the current system encoding is used.

encoding convertto ?encoding? string 

Convert string from Unicode to the specified encoding. The result is a sequence of bytes that represents the converted string. Each byte is stored in the lower 8-bits of a Unicode character. If encoding is not specified, the current system encoding is used.

encoding names 

Returns a list containing the names of all of the encodings that are currently available.

encoding system ?encoding

Set the system encoding to encoding. If encoding is omitted then the command returns the current system encoding. The system encoding is used whenever Tcl passes strings to system calls.


It is common practice to write script files using a text editor that produces output in the euc-jp encoding, which represents the ASCII characters as singe bytes and Japanese characters as two bytes. This makes it easy to embed literal strings that correspond to non-ASCII characters by simply typing the strings in place in the script. However, because the source command always reads files using the ISO8859-1 encoding, Tcl will treat each byte in the file as a separate character that maps to the 00 page in Unicode. The resulting Tcl strings will not contain the expected Japanese characters. Instead, they will contain a sequence of Latin-1 characters that correspond to the bytes of the original string. The encoding command can be used to convert this string to the expected Japanese Unicode characters. For example,

set s [encoding convertfrom euc-jp "\xA4\xCF"]

would return the Unicode string "\u306F", which is the Hiragana letter HA.


Windows 8.1. Windows Server 2012 R2. Windows 10. Windows Server 2016. Windows Server 2019. Windows 11. Windows Server 2022.


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