Unicode and .NET


Scope of this page

This is a big topic. Don't expect this page to do more than scratch the surface - indeed, if you believe you're already fairly experienced and knowledgeable about character encodings and the like, this page may well not have anything new or useful for you. However, there are still many people who don't understand the difference between binary and text, or know what a character encoding is, etc. It is for these people that this page has been written. It mentions a few advanced topics, but only to make the reader aware of their existence, rather than to give much guidance on them.


The links below are probably all at least as useful as this page, and probably more so - but there's more to read in them, too. I referred to all of them (and more) when writing this page. There's a lot of good information, and while there may be some inaccuracies on this page (if you spot any, please mail me at [email protected]) these resources should be correct.

The Unicode Web Site Main Page
The definitive resource about Unicode, this is somewhat intimidating but will have all the answers you need about Unicode itself - somewhere! Some of the links below are just helpful pages from the site.
The Unicode Glossary
At-a-glance definitions of many of the terms used when discussing character encoding (etc) issues.
The Unicode FAQ
Answers to hundreds of common questions, divided into sections.
Unix/Linux UTF-8/Unicode FAQ
Don't be put off by the title if you don't like Unix/Linux - most of the information here is very relevant to .NET issues.
The Unicode Character Encoding Model
Gives more information about precise meanings of "character encoding scheme" etc.
The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!)
A page somewhat similar to this one, but without the .NET emphasis.
On the goodness of Unicode
Another introductory page which is worth a read.

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About the author

Jon Skeet United Kingdom

C# MVP currently living in Reading and working for Google.

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