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Mars Report:

UnicodeChecker: Freeware Assists With Text/HTML Encodings

Published January 27th, 2007


UnicodeChecker Character Entity FreewareOriginally downloaded January 26, 2007. Trying to summarize what UnicodeChecker does isn’t easy… basically, it appears to do pretty anything you need with respect to Unicode and XHTML character entities. My interest is primarily in finding a free alternative to the otherwise very useful and handy HTML Character Converter, which is $10 and I’ve now run out of free trials for it. I use it as an application service to quickly convert to and from HTML character entities. Apparently, that’s one of the many tricks UnicodeChecker has up its sleeves—several app services for just such translations. Before I give up and pay $10 for CharacterConverter, I’m gonna give UnicodeChecker a go.

Update 1/28/07. Woah! This is a brilliant implementation of application services, which is only the tip of the whole iceburg. At this point, the rest of the iceburg doesn’t interest me (though maybe it will someday!), but man that tip… Like I said, Woah!

CharacterConverter's Services Menu

I just saved myself $10, since UnicodeChecker does everything CharacterConverter would have done, plus a whole lot more! Just in terms of app services, take a look at the accompanying screenshots to compare what CharacterConverter offers versus what I now get with the free UnicodeChecker.

UnicodeChecker's Services Menu

One of the most useful additional functions is the pair that replace space characters with %20 for URL encoding, or vice versa. As a service, this type of conversion is brilliant, since it does the switch in place wherever you are. The first time you invoke the service, UnicodeChecker will launch in the background, but thereafter it can take whole hunks of text and convert it for you in the blink of an eye. If you’ve ever needed to escape HTML characters or turn <> into <>, you’ll know why I’m interested in this little utility.

Before I finish this brief bit of praise, let me leave a screenshot of CharacterConverter’s primary interface. This is where those who are really into Unicode will dance and shout for joy, no doubt. While us mere mortals only gaze at it and wonder WTF…? It’s only slightly more confusing than the more complicated bits of Apple’s own Character Palette. :-)

UnicodeChecker's Main Window

Version as tested: 1.11.

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