I've been trying to use the hyphenation patterns embedded in the file dehyphtex.tex, which is part of the hyphen-german package. Unfortunately, the file seems to be encoded in a system that's neither UTF-8 nor ASCII. Hundreds of words listed in the file contain characters (mostly vowels with Umlaute, but also e-with-sharp-accent and others) rendered as . With MacTeX2012, I use TeXworks as my editor; this editor uses UTF8 as the default input encoding scheme. So far, the trial-and-error method of reloading the file using any of the several dozen alternative input encoding schemes that this editor is familiar with has produced no success.

I guess I could hand-edit the file to replace all instances with the correct UTF8-encoded characters, but I'm hoping there's a more automated way of doing this. Does anyone know off-hand which input encoding scheme is used for this file, and/or does anyone know of a handy method to convert a file of unknown input encoding into a UTF8-encoded file?

  • 3
    it is a latin1 encoding , same as ISO 8859-15. With command recode you can change it
    – user2478
    Dec 17, 2012 at 21:07
  • Open it with Emacs, go to the end of the file, replace latin-1 with utf-8 and save (a copy of) the file. :)
    – egreg
    Dec 17, 2012 at 21:18
  • 3
    On a Unix system the iconv program does the conversion. A freeware program running also on Windows is Charco
    – egreg
    Dec 18, 2012 at 0:32
  • 6
    In windows there is also Notepad++, a nice editor, which can read and save any encoding.
    – JLDiaz
    Dec 18, 2012 at 0:36
  • 1
    @Mico: done and added an example code line
    – user2478
    Dec 18, 2012 at 11:44

1 Answer 1


it is a latin1 or latin9 encoding , same as ISO 8859-1 or 15. With command recode or iconv you can change it:

recode --diacritics --touch --verbose latin1..UTF-8 <file>


iconv -f LATIN1 -t UTF-8 inputfile.tex > outputfile.tex
  • Just for completeness (since I mentioned using this editor in my question): In the TeXworks editor, one can proceed as follows to change the file's encoding: (i) open the file in TeXworks; (ii) locate a box in the ribbon along the bottom of the editor window that (likely) says UTF-8; (iii) click on that box and select, e.g., ISO-8859-15 from the menu that presents itself; (iv) click on the same box (which will now say "ISO-8859-15") and select the new menu choice, at the very top, that says Reload using selected encoding. Done!
    – Mico
    Dec 18, 2012 at 17:07
  • 2
    @Mico: that is possible for a lot of other editors, but really dangerous if you mismatch the encodings ...
    – user2478
    Dec 18, 2012 at 17:31
  • Indeed, if the old encoding isn't selected correctly, bad outcomes will likely follow.
    – Mico
    Dec 18, 2012 at 17:32

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