logo of blechtrottel.net blechtrottel.net

Iconv-UTF8 plugin

At the moment phase 5 does not support unicode. This does not necessarily mean that you have to do without your favourite editor if a project has to be in utf-8 and similar charsets.

GNU offers a handy conversion tool named Iconv, which is widespread in the Unix world. It also comes as an extension for PHP. And even for Windows you can get versions, which often are not up-to-date and cannot be downloaded as exe files.

Therefore, blechtrottel.net advocate an improvement of Iconv, named Uconv, which is part of the ICU package offered by the ICU project.

Our Uconv/Iconv-UTF8 plugin.

version history


  1. In the download area of the ICU project select the download page of the latest version of Uconv, follow the download link there, select the appropriate zip file for Windows and unzip it into a folder of your choice.
  2. From iconvutf8.zip copy Iconv-UTF8.exe and iconvutf8.ini into the plugins folder of phase 5.
  3. In iconvutf8.ini set the path to uconv.exe at iconv =. Done! For hints on the additional settings in iconvutf8.ini there is an example.ini in the download package.


Open a file in Phase 5 and select Iconv-UTF8 in the Tools menu. The plugin will read the character encoding from the input file, if there is a signature, an encoding- or charset-entry. Then all you have to do is select the output-file encoding. Alternatively you can use the import button ([>> phase 5 (cp1252)]). This comes in rather handy when you just want to convert a file in order to do some quick changes.

Should you not be able to open an exotic file (e.g. utf-32) in phase 5, you can open the plugin standalone and drag and drop the file onto it. You can also put a shortcut into your SendTo folder.

Up to six encodings for either source and target can be preselected in the ini file for quick access. Should the choice of encodings not suffice you can enter any encoding supported by Uconv/Iconv into a separate box. Uconv is the more versatile of the two. A list of encodings supported can be called by pressing the help button ([?]).

In addition you can enter two user-definable from-to combinations into the ini and access them via two quick buttons.



For tuition and patient information on unicode, encodings and signatures in relation to phase 5 and the world in general we say thank you to Karlheinz Zöchling and Hans-Dieter Berretz.

PS.: freeware & viruses

All programs by blechtrottel brodaktschns are of course free of any viruses. Yet. they may wrongly be accused by some virus programs. Why this sometimes happens - to us and others - can be read on this info page.