Exporting UTF-8 Compliant Data from phpMyAdmin Print

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From time to time we export some data from phpMyAdmin, import into another database, and find all these stupid little characters that didn't translate correctly. What seems to happen is that the data stored in the system is not correctly supported by the export tool. Specifically, these seem to be some UTF-8 characters that somehow in the process of getting downloaded to our windows terminals, gets messed up and the special characters get turned into question marks... LAME!!

So we found a simple solution - export from phpMyAdmin using the GZIP compression option. This created an encased file that - so long as you don't open it before uploading to the new database - will be imported in the same fashion as it existed on the previous environment.

UTF-8 Rocks - Work With It!!

If you are on a windows machine, you are not incapable - you just need to make sure you use tools that recognize the UTF-8 character sets and alert you when they are going to change them. For instance, TEXTPAD (my favorite editor) will alert you that the character set in use is not compatable. Unfortunately, this may not be easy to combat. There is a great program called NotePad2 that will take care of your UTF-8 needs, and it a pretty great little editor. Also free...

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