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Handling Shapefiles with different Character Sets

There are two ways to specify character set information when working with Shapefiles.

The shapefile format makes use of a “dbf” database to store attribute data; depending on the character set the data is recorded in we will need to interpret the attributes differently.

You may need to change the character set for a shapefile if you are having trouble displaying shapefiles created using several different languages.

Default Character Set for the Application

You can set the “Default” character set in the preferences dialog. (Do a search for character set). This declares the character set that will be used the first time a shapefile is added to the catalog or to a map.

This setting can be helpful if your organization works with many shapefiles created with the same language.

Change Shapefile Character Set

Once a Shapefile is in the catalog its Character set can be modified by:

  1. Selecting the Shapefile Service (the top level object in the catalog)
  2. Using the “Change Character Set” Operation - this can also be found in the context menu or in the Data>Resource menu.

For convenience you can select many Shapefiles and change them all with a single operation.

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