Im getting the following error message, due to my bibtex source

! Package inputenc Error: Unicode char �zq (U+EC)

I know it is because somewhere, some how some a special m!@$$êr character has sneaked behind my back, and found a nice hiding spot in my bibliography. I remember there is a site where i can copy-past text and any utf characters (hidden or not) show up, where then I can later remove these pests.

Can some kind soul point me to a relevant site, or a method in .txt that I can do this. This is driving me mad.

Peace and love, G

  • U+00EC should normally be setup automatically. But you could try \DeclareUnicodeCharacter{00EC}{HERE-HERE-HERE} in your preamble. Perhaps you can then see the location after the next compilation. Jun 1, 2016 at 8:13

2 Answers 2


You can use any online regexp tester, such as the one at https://regex101.com/


Introduce as regexp the following expression:


and a g at the input box after the /

Then paste your text in the big text area below, and you'll get at the right, in the "Match information" panel all the non-ascii chars in your input (which are also higlighted in green in the text area).

If you get "Your pattern does not match the subject string.", your text ASCII only :-)


Use Notepad++ and search for non ascii char with the regular expression [^\x00-\x7F], you have to activate regular expressions in the left lower corner of the search window. EDIT: just find found out Notepad++ allready covers that:

Search | Find characters in range | Non-ASCII Characters (128-255)| you can then step through the document to each non-ascii character.

You can also convert the bib file with Notepad++ to the convert encoding.

Make sure the Inputenc \usepackage[]{inputenc} is set to the same encoding and the output \usepackage[]{fontenc} also. Then confiugre Biblatex for the same Encoding \usepackage[ backend=biber, bibencoding= ]{biblatex}.

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