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How can I convert a text file or a String from UTF-8 format to ASCII?

For example, the following string "ZÜRICH-ZOLLI" once outputted into a text file. If the file has the format UTF-8 is has 13 characters but when the format is ASCII the number of characters is 12.

The endpoint where the file is being sent only accepts the ASCII-encoded version, and fails on the UTF-8 encoded string salesforce normally produces.

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UTF-8 is a superset of ASCII. The character codes 0-127 (i.e. the ASCII characters) are directly mapped to the binary values 0-127 so if your UTF-8 string only consists of ASCII characters it is already in ASCII format.

Beyond that all you can really do is strip out the non-ascii characters from your string or replace them with some ASCII character. This regex should do it for you.

if(!str.isAsciiPrintable) str = str.replaceall('[^\\x00-\\x7F]', '');
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data = EncodingUtil.urlEncode(data, 'ASCII');
data = EncodingUtil.urlDecode(data, 'ASCII');

(What if there is a byte order marker?)

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this worked for me! and I was able to strip the remnant byte order mark as well – Wesley Jan 18 '13 at 12:48
That's interesting. I guess this would depend on whether you want to strip out the characters or replace with a '?'. Though of course you could easily modify replaceall to use a '?'. – Greg Grinberg Jan 18 '13 at 19:11
the ?s are a bummer :( off-platform, iconv //TRANSLIT could at least represent Ü as U – bigassforce Jan 18 '13 at 20:43
  //parsing csv blob file to proper format
  string csvAsString = ApexController.blobToString(csvblobfile.body,'ISO 8859-2');
   //parse CSV
  List<List<String>> parsedCSVRecords = ApexController.parseCSV(csvAsString,false);

  //Add below static methods in your controller

   public Class ApexController{

   public static List<List<String>> parseCSV(String contents,Boolean skipHeaders) {

    List<List<String>> allFields = new List<List<String>>();

    // replace instances where a double quote begins a field containing a comma
    // in this case you get a double quote followed by a doubled double quote
    // do this for beginning and end of a field
    contents = contents.replaceAll(',"""',',"DBLQT').replaceall('""",','DBLQT",');
    // now replace all remaining double quotes - we do this so that we can reconstruct
    // fields with commas inside assuming they begin and end with a double quote
    contents = contents.replaceAll('""','DBLQT');
    // we are not attempting to handle fields with a newline inside of them
    // so, split on newline to get the spreadsheet rows
    List<String> lines = new List<String>();
    try {
        lines = contents.split('\n');
    } catch (System.ListException e) {
        System.debug('Limits exceeded?' + e.getMessage());
    system.debug('Line num i s'+lines.size());
    Integer num = 0;
    for(String line : lines) {
        // check for blank CSV lines (only commas)
        if (line.replaceAll(',','').trim().length() == 0) break;

        List<String> fields = line.split(',');  
        List<String> cleanFields = new List<String>();
        String compositeField;
        Boolean makeCompositeField = false;
        for(String field : fields) {
            if (field.startsWith('"') && field.endsWith('"')) {
            } else if (field.startsWith('"')) {
                makeCompositeField = true;
                compositeField = field;
            } else if (field.endsWith('"')) {
                compositeField += ',' + field;
                makeCompositeField = false;
            } else if (makeCompositeField) {
                compositeField +=  ',' + field;
            } else {

    if (skipHeaders) allFields.remove(0);
    return allFields;       

  public static String blobToString(Blob input, String inCharset){
     String hex = EncodingUtil.convertToHex(input);
     System.assertEquals(0, hex.length() & 1);
    final Integer bytesCount = hex.length() >> 1;
    String[] bytes = new String[bytesCount];
    for(Integer i = 0; i < bytesCount; ++i)
    bytes[i] =  hex.mid(i << 1, 2);
    return EncodingUtil.urlDecode('%' + String.join(bytes, '%'), inCharset);
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Can you please explain what your code is suppose to do ? – SF_user Jun 8 '15 at 7:29
This code will parse non utf csv files . blobToString function can convert any input blob to specific string format like UTF-8,ISO 8859-2 etc.. – Debadyuti Sil Jun 17 '15 at 5:01

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