Adium Icon

> >

ICQ text encoding

Computer programs use something called an encoding to turn human-language characters into bytes that the computers can swap back and forth, and to turn those bytes back into characters. If one program (your contact's client) sends text in one encoding, but the other program (your client—that is, Adium) is expecting a different encoding, then the receiving program may show the wrong characters.

By default, Adium always uses UTF-8 encoding given that both sides support it. You can tell Adium which encoding to expect if your contact a) doesn't support UTF-8 and b) doesn't specify its encoding to Adium. The setting for this is to be found in the Options tab of your ICQ account in Adium.

Screenshot of the Accounts pane of Adium's Preferences, showing to double-click on the ICQ account.
Added a screenshot of the Options tab of the Account Editor for an ICQ account, with the tab and the Encoding pop-up highlighted.

Changing the encoding doesn't affect messages you've already received; the change only applies to messages you receive after you click OK.

Which encoding to use

The encodings listed here are only first guesses. If one encoding doesn't work, try another.

The table below is derived from Wikipedia's table of ISO 8859 encodings. As you may notice, it doesn't currently cover other encodings, such as Shift-JIS.

Language Encoding name
Afrikaans ISO 8859-1
Albanian ISO 8859-16 or ISO 8859-1
Arabic ISO 8859-6
Breton ISO 8859-14
Croatian ISO 8859-16 or ISO 8859-1
Cyrillic ISO 8859-5
Danish ISO 8859-1
English Most of the ISO 8859 encodings, but primarily ISO 8859-15 (for the € symbol) and ISO 8859-1
Esperanto ISO 8859-3
Estonian ISO 8859-15 or ISO 8859-4
Faroese ISO 8859-1
Finnish ISO 8859-15 or ISO 8859-16
French ISO 8859-15 or ISO 8859-16
German ISO 8859-16 or ISO 8859-1
Greek ISO 8859-7
Greenlandic ISO 8859-4
Hebrew ISO 8859-8
Hungarian ISO 8859-16 or ISO 8859-1
Icelandic ISO 8859-1
Indonesian ISO 8859-1
Irish ISO 8859-1
Italian ISO 8859-1
Latvian ISO 8859-4
Lithuanian ISO 8859-4
Maltese ISO 8859-3
Norwegian ISO 8859-1
Polish ISO 8859-16 or ISO 8859-1
Portuguese ISO 8859-1
Rhaeto-Romanic ISO 8859-1
Romanian ISO 8859-16 or ISO 8859-1
Sami ISO 8859-4
Scottish Gaelic ISO 8859-14 or ISO 8859-1
Slovenian ISO 8859-16 or ISO 8859-1
Spanish ISO 8859-1
Swahili ISO 8859-1
Swedish ISO 8859-1
Thai ISO 8859-11
Turkish ISO 8859-9 or ISO 8859-3