12

Is there a published way to take text that may have accent marks and remove the accent marks?

For example:

System.assertEquals('Hello', transform('Ḧéļḻṏ'));

I believe there is an equivalent method in Java, C# and JavaScript. I can't seem to find the Apex equivalent and I'm disturbed that I might have to do it on my own.

  • You basically just need to transform the answers here to Apex. I'm working on the Map approach but getting some compile issues. – Adrian Larson Jan 10 '17 at 23:52
9

Someone has already published a complete solution. You just need to translate this answer from Javascript to Apex. The author of that answer credits this post, which was posted by lehel on May 6, 2011 and archived in 2012. I can't testify to the completeness, but here's the translation:

public class Accents
{
    public static String removeDiacritics(String text)
    {
        for (String letter : patterns.keySet())
            text = text.replaceAll(patterns.get(letter), letter);
        return text;
    }
    static Map<String, String> patterns = new Map<String, String>
    {
        'A' => '[\u0041\u24B6\uFF21\u00C0\u00C1\u00C2\u1EA6\u1EA4\u1EAA\u1EA8\u00C3\u0100\u0102\u1EB0\u1EAE\u1EB4\u1EB2\u0226\u01E0\u00C4\u01DE\u1EA2\u00C5\u01FA\u01CD\u0200\u0202\u1EA0\u1EAC\u1EB6\u1E00\u0104\u023A\u2C6F]',
        'AA' => '[\uA732]',
        'AE' => '[\u00C6\u01FC\u01E2]',
        'AO' => '[\uA734]',
        'AU' => '[\uA736]',
        'AV' => '[\uA738\uA73A]',
        'AY' => '[\uA73C]',
        'B' => '[\u0042\u24B7\uFF22\u1E02\u1E04\u1E06\u0243\u0182\u0181]',
        'C' => '[\u0043\u24B8\uFF23\u0106\u0108\u010A\u010C\u00C7\u1E08\u0187\u023B\uA73E]',
        'D' => '[\u0044\u24B9\uFF24\u1E0A\u010E\u1E0C\u1E10\u1E12\u1E0E\u0110\u018B\u018A\u0189\uA779]',
        'DZ' => '[\u01F1\u01C4]',
        'Dz' => '[\u01F2\u01C5]',
        'E' => '[\u0045\u24BA\uFF25\u00C8\u00C9\u00CA\u1EC0\u1EBE\u1EC4\u1EC2\u1EBC\u0112\u1E14\u1E16\u0114\u0116\u00CB\u1EBA\u011A\u0204\u0206\u1EB8\u1EC6\u0228\u1E1C\u0118\u1E18\u1E1A\u0190\u018E]',
        'F' => '[\u0046\u24BB\uFF26\u1E1E\u0191\uA77B]',
        'G' => '[\u0047\u24BC\uFF27\u01F4\u011C\u1E20\u011E\u0120\u01E6\u0122\u01E4\u0193\uA7A0\uA77D\uA77E]',
        'H' => '[\u0048\u24BD\uFF28\u0124\u1E22\u1E26\u021E\u1E24\u1E28\u1E2A\u0126\u2C67\u2C75\uA78D]',
        'I' => '[\u0049\u24BE\uFF29\u00CC\u00CD\u00CE\u0128\u012A\u012C\u0130\u00CF\u1E2E\u1EC8\u01CF\u0208\u020A\u1ECA\u012E\u1E2C\u0197]',
        'J' => '[\u004A\u24BF\uFF2A\u0134\u0248]',
        'K' => '[\u004B\u24C0\uFF2B\u1E30\u01E8\u1E32\u0136\u1E34\u0198\u2C69\uA740\uA742\uA744\uA7A2]',
        'L' => '[\u004C\u24C1\uFF2C\u013F\u0139\u013D\u1E36\u1E38\u013B\u1E3C\u1E3A\u0141\u023D\u2C62\u2C60\uA748\uA746\uA780]',
        'LJ' => '[\u01C7]',
        'Lj' => '[\u01C8]',
        'M' => '[\u004D\u24C2\uFF2D\u1E3E\u1E40\u1E42\u2C6E\u019C]',
        'N' => '[\u004E\u24C3\uFF2E\u01F8\u0143\u00D1\u1E44\u0147\u1E46\u0145\u1E4A\u1E48\u0220\u019D\uA790\uA7A4]',
        'NJ' => '[\u01CA]',
        'Nj' => '[\u01CB]',
        'O' => '[\u004F\u24C4\uFF2F\u00D2\u00D3\u00D4\u1ED2\u1ED0\u1ED6\u1ED4\u00D5\u1E4C\u022C\u1E4E\u014C\u1E50\u1E52\u014E\u022E\u0230\u00D6\u022A\u1ECE\u0150\u01D1\u020C\u020E\u01A0\u1EDC\u1EDA\u1EE0\u1EDE\u1EE2\u1ECC\u1ED8\u01EA\u01EC\u00D8\u01FE\u0186\u019F\uA74A\uA74C]',
        'OI' => '[\u01A2]',
        'OO' => '[\uA74E]',
        'OU' => '[\u0222]',
        'P' => '[\u0050\u24C5\uFF30\u1E54\u1E56\u01A4\u2C63\uA750\uA752\uA754]',
        'Q' => '[\u0051\u24C6\uFF31\uA756\uA758\u024A]',
        'R' => '[\u0052\u24C7\uFF32\u0154\u1E58\u0158\u0210\u0212\u1E5A\u1E5C\u0156\u1E5E\u024C\u2C64\uA75A\uA7A6\uA782]',
        'S' => '[\u0053\u24C8\uFF33\u1E9E\u015A\u1E64\u015C\u1E60\u0160\u1E66\u1E62\u1E68\u0218\u015E\u2C7E\uA7A8\uA784]',
        'T' => '[\u0054\u24C9\uFF34\u1E6A\u0164\u1E6C\u021A\u0162\u1E70\u1E6E\u0166\u01AC\u01AE\u023E\uA786]',
        'TZ' => '[\uA728]',
        'U' => '[\u0055\u24CA\uFF35\u00D9\u00DA\u00DB\u0168\u1E78\u016A\u1E7A\u016C\u00DC\u01DB\u01D7\u01D5\u01D9\u1EE6\u016E\u0170\u01D3\u0214\u0216\u01AF\u1EEA\u1EE8\u1EEE\u1EEC\u1EF0\u1EE4\u1E72\u0172\u1E76\u1E74\u0244]',
        'V' => '[\u0056\u24CB\uFF36\u1E7C\u1E7E\u01B2\uA75E\u0245]',
        'VY' => '[\uA760]',
        'W' => '[\u0057\u24CC\uFF37\u1E80\u1E82\u0174\u1E86\u1E84\u1E88\u2C72]',
        'X' => '[\u0058\u24CD\uFF38\u1E8A\u1E8C]',
        'Y' => '[\u0059\u24CE\uFF39\u1EF2\u00DD\u0176\u1EF8\u0232\u1E8E\u0178\u1EF6\u1EF4\u01B3\u024E\u1EFE]',
        'Z' => '[\u005A\u24CF\uFF3A\u0179\u1E90\u017B\u017D\u1E92\u1E94\u01B5\u0224\u2C7F\u2C6B\uA762]',
        'a' => '[\u0061\u24D0\uFF41\u1E9A\u00E0\u00E1\u00E2\u1EA7\u1EA5\u1EAB\u1EA9\u00E3\u0101\u0103\u1EB1\u1EAF\u1EB5\u1EB3\u0227\u01E1\u00E4\u01DF\u1EA3\u00E5\u01FB\u01CE\u0201\u0203\u1EA1\u1EAD\u1EB7\u1E01\u0105\u2C65\u0250]',
        'aa' => '[\uA733]',
        'ae' => '[\u00E6\u01FD\u01E3]',
        'ao' => '[\uA735]',
        'au' => '[\uA737]',
        'av' => '[\uA739\uA73B]',
        'ay' => '[\uA73D]',
        'b' => '[\u0062\u24D1\uFF42\u1E03\u1E05\u1E07\u0180\u0183\u0253]',
        'c' => '[\u0063\u24D2\uFF43\u0107\u0109\u010B\u010D\u00E7\u1E09\u0188\u023C\uA73F\u2184]',
        'd' => '[\u0064\u24D3\uFF44\u1E0B\u010F\u1E0D\u1E11\u1E13\u1E0F\u0111\u018C\u0256\u0257\uA77A]',
        'dz' => '[\u01F3\u01C6]',
        'e' => '[\u0065\u24D4\uFF45\u00E8\u00E9\u00EA\u1EC1\u1EBF\u1EC5\u1EC3\u1EBD\u0113\u1E15\u1E17\u0115\u0117\u00EB\u1EBB\u011B\u0205\u0207\u1EB9\u1EC7\u0229\u1E1D\u0119\u1E19\u1E1B\u0247\u025B\u01DD]',
        'f' => '[\u0066\u24D5\uFF46\u1E1F\u0192\uA77C]',
        'g' => '[\u0067\u24D6\uFF47\u01F5\u011D\u1E21\u011F\u0121\u01E7\u0123\u01E5\u0260\uA7A1\u1D79\uA77F]',
        'h' => '[\u0068\u24D7\uFF48\u0125\u1E23\u1E27\u021F\u1E25\u1E29\u1E2B\u1E96\u0127\u2C68\u2C76\u0265]',
        'hv' => '[\u0195]',
        'i' => '[\u0069\u24D8\uFF49\u00EC\u00ED\u00EE\u0129\u012B\u012D\u00EF\u1E2F\u1EC9\u01D0\u0209\u020B\u1ECB\u012F\u1E2D\u0268\u0131]',
        'j' => '[\u006A\u24D9\uFF4A\u0135\u01F0\u0249]',
        'k' => '[\u006B\u24DA\uFF4B\u1E31\u01E9\u1E33\u0137\u1E35\u0199\u2C6A\uA741\uA743\uA745\uA7A3]',
        'l' => '[\u006C\u24DB\uFF4C\u0140\u013A\u013E\u1E37\u1E39\u013C\u1E3D\u1E3B\u017F\u0142\u019A\u026B\u2C61\uA749\uA781\uA747]',
        'lj' => '[\u01C9]',
        'm' => '[\u006D\u24DC\uFF4D\u1E3F\u1E41\u1E43\u0271\u026F]',
        'n' => '[\u006E\u24DD\uFF4E\u01F9\u0144\u00F1\u1E45\u0148\u1E47\u0146\u1E4B\u1E49\u019E\u0272\u0149\uA791\uA7A5]',
        'nj' => '[\u01CC]',
        'o' => '[\u006F\u24DE\uFF4F\u00F2\u00F3\u00F4\u1ED3\u1ED1\u1ED7\u1ED5\u00F5\u1E4D\u022D\u1E4F\u014D\u1E51\u1E53\u014F\u022F\u0231\u00F6\u022B\u1ECF\u0151\u01D2\u020D\u020F\u01A1\u1EDD\u1EDB\u1EE1\u1EDF\u1EE3\u1ECD\u1ED9\u01EB\u01ED\u00F8\u01FF\u0254\uA74B\uA74D\u0275]',
        'oi' => '[\u01A3]',
        'ou' => '[\u0223]',
        'oo' => '[\uA74F]',
        'p' => '[\u0070\u24DF\uFF50\u1E55\u1E57\u01A5\u1D7D\uA751\uA753\uA755]',
        'q' => '[\u0071\u24E0\uFF51\u024B\uA757\uA759]',
        'r' => '[\u0072\u24E1\uFF52\u0155\u1E59\u0159\u0211\u0213\u1E5B\u1E5D\u0157\u1E5F\u024D\u027D\uA75B\uA7A7\uA783]',
        's' => '[\u0073\u24E2\uFF53\u00DF\u015B\u1E65\u015D\u1E61\u0161\u1E67\u1E63\u1E69\u0219\u015F\u023F\uA7A9\uA785\u1E9B]',
        't' => '[\u0074\u24E3\uFF54\u1E6B\u1E97\u0165\u1E6D\u021B\u0163\u1E71\u1E6F\u0167\u01AD\u0288\u2C66\uA787]',
        'tz' => '[\uA729]',
        'u' => '[\u0075\u24E4\uFF55\u00F9\u00FA\u00FB\u0169\u1E79\u016B\u1E7B\u016D\u00FC\u01DC\u01D8\u01D6\u01DA\u1EE7\u016F\u0171\u01D4\u0215\u0217\u01B0\u1EEB\u1EE9\u1EEF\u1EED\u1EF1\u1EE5\u1E73\u0173\u1E77\u1E75\u0289]',
        'v' => '[\u0076\u24E5\uFF56\u1E7D\u1E7F\u028B\uA75F\u028C]',
        'vy' => '[\uA761]',
        'w' => '[\u0077\u24E6\uFF57\u1E81\u1E83\u0175\u1E87\u1E85\u1E98\u1E89\u2C73]',
        'x' => '[\u0078\u24E7\uFF58\u1E8B\u1E8D]',
        'y' => '[\u0079\u24E8\uFF59\u1EF3\u00FD\u0177\u1EF9\u0233\u1E8F\u00FF\u1EF7\u1E99\u1EF5\u01B4\u024F\u1EFF]',
        'z' => '[\u007A\u24E9\uFF5A\u017A\u1E91\u017C\u017E\u1E93\u1E95\u01B6\u0225\u0240\u2C6C\uA763]'
    };
}

It sure does work with your desired input/output combo:

system.assertEquals('Hello', Accents.removeDiacritics('Ḧéļḻṏ'));

PS

This approach is painfully slow, taking approximately 1.8ms per execution. I would avoid using it in a loop where you may attempt to "clean" more than 1000 strings.

PPS

You can't compile this class in Execute Anonymous, but it will save in a top-level class. I guess there may be a limit to how many map keys you can specify in a literal constructor using Execute Anonymous, but I haven't isolated the cause of the error.

PPPS

As noted by Charles, you can take this concept and greatly increase performance by taking advantage of the getChars and fromCharArray methods. If you map each Unicode character catalogued below to the corresponding letter, it's about ten times faster.

| improve this answer | |
  • I wonder what the performance on this is? Regardless, do you mind if I throw this into my utility project I've been working on? – sfdcfox Jan 11 '17 at 0:08
  • @sfdcfox Really, really slow. Just added the numbers but it's almost 2ms per execution. Granted, that's with some logging turned on, but nearly as low as you can go. As for inclusion, feel free if it's open source! Obviously for either of us to use it we would need to attribute Backbone Paginator. We should really collaborate on that utility project... – Adrian Larson Jan 11 '17 at 0:11
  • This is great! I bet if this were keyed the other way around it would work better. Or maybe using already-compiled Patterns? – Charles Koppelman Jan 11 '17 at 3:55
  • I don't think key order matters, you need the key and the value both. You could condense it using a wrapper or something, might save you a few microseconds. Reversing the order would make it really torturous to read, though. – Adrian Larson Jan 11 '17 at 4:16
  • @AdrianLarson Can you run a benchmark on this vs. my just-added answer that I based on your method? What are you using as a test case? – Charles Koppelman Jan 11 '17 at 4:48
9

This is a newer revision of Adrian Larson's previous answer for benchmark comparison.

This should work quite well for short-ish text fields quite well at the expense of some bytes of heap. For a longer text field, it takes longer.

Long story short, if you have very limited heap space (or disk space), it might make sense to use Adrian's method. Also, if you can spare performance in exchange for legibility, Adrian's is certainly better! If you have ~19kB of disk space and 17kB heap, this is more performant.

Test results

Environment: CS61 sandbox through anonymous apex on Spring '17 Patch 4

Test Suite: Strings with an unusually-high percentage of accented characters. Taken from TextMechanic.com.

This code

  • Heap: 16980
  • Disk: 18664
  • Runs on 660-char: 2.6ms
  • Runs on 255-char: 1ms
  • Runs on shortish strings: 0.2ms

Adrian's code

  • Heap: 3154
  • Disk: 6933
  • Runs on 660-char: 8.1ms (surprisingly bad Regex perf!)
  • Runs on 255-char: 3.3ms
  • Runs on shortish strings: 1.2ms
  static Integer[] A_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{65};
  static Integer[] AA_CHARS_UU = new Integer[]{65,65};
  static Integer[] AE_CHARS_UU = new Integer[]{65,69};
  static Integer[] AO_CHARS_UU = new Integer[]{65,79};
  static Integer[] AU_CHARS_UU = new Integer[]{65,85};
  static Integer[] AV_CHARS_UU = new Integer[]{65,86};
  static Integer[] AY_CHARS_UU = new Integer[]{65,89};
  static Integer[] B_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{66};
  static Integer[] C_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{67};
  static Integer[] D_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{68};
  static Integer[] DZ_CHARS_UU = new Integer[]{68,90};
  static Integer[] DZ_CHARS_UL = new Integer[]{68,122};
  static Integer[] E_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{69};
  static Integer[] F_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{70};
  static Integer[] G_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{71};
  static Integer[] H_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{72};
  static Integer[] I_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{73};
  static Integer[] J_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{74};
  static Integer[] K_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{75};
  static Integer[] L_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{76};
  static Integer[] LJ_CHARS_UU = new Integer[]{76,74};
  static Integer[] LJ_CHARS_UL = new Integer[]{76,106};
  static Integer[] M_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{77};
  static Integer[] N_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{78};
  static Integer[] NJ_CHARS_UU = new Integer[]{78,74};
  static Integer[] NJ_CHARS_UL = new Integer[]{78,106};
  static Integer[] O_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{79};
  static Integer[] OI_CHARS_UU = new Integer[]{79,73};
  static Integer[] OO_CHARS_UU = new Integer[]{79,79};
  static Integer[] OU_CHARS_UU = new Integer[]{79,85};
  static Integer[] P_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{80};
  static Integer[] Q_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{81};
  static Integer[] R_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{82};
  static Integer[] S_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{83};
  static Integer[] T_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{84};
  static Integer[] TZ_CHARS_UU = new Integer[]{84,90};
  static Integer[] U_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{85};
  static Integer[] V_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{86};
  static Integer[] VY_CHARS_UU = new Integer[]{86,89};
  static Integer[] W_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{87};
  static Integer[] X_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{88};
  static Integer[] Y_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{89};
  static Integer[] Z_CHARS_U = new Integer[]{90};
  static Integer[] A_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{97};
  static Integer[] AA_CHARS_LL = new Integer[]{97,97};
  static Integer[] AE_CHARS_LL = new Integer[]{97,101};
  static Integer[] AO_CHARS_LL = new Integer[]{97,111};
  static Integer[] AU_CHARS_LL = new Integer[]{97,117};
  static Integer[] AV_CHARS_LL = new Integer[]{97,118};
  static Integer[] AY_CHARS_LL = new Integer[]{97,121};
  static Integer[] B_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{98};
  static Integer[] C_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{99};
  static Integer[] D_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{100};
  static Integer[] DZ_CHARS_LL = new Integer[]{100,122};
  static Integer[] E_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{101};
  static Integer[] F_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{102};
  static Integer[] G_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{103};
  static Integer[] H_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{104};
  static Integer[] HV_CHARS_LL = new Integer[]{104,118};
  static Integer[] I_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{105};
  static Integer[] J_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{106};
  static Integer[] K_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{107};
  static Integer[] L_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{108};
  static Integer[] LJ_CHARS_LL = new Integer[]{108,106};
  static Integer[] M_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{109};
  static Integer[] N_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{110};
  static Integer[] NJ_CHARS_LL = new Integer[]{110,106};
  static Integer[] O_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{111};
  static Integer[] OI_CHARS_LL = new Integer[]{111,105};
  static Integer[] OU_CHARS_LL = new Integer[]{111,117};
  static Integer[] OO_CHARS_LL = new Integer[]{111,111};
  static Integer[] P_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{112};
  static Integer[] Q_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{113};
  static Integer[] R_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{114};
  static Integer[] S_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{115};
  static Integer[] T_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{116};
  static Integer[] TZ_CHARS_LL = new Integer[]{116,122};
  static Integer[] U_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{117};
  static Integer[] V_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{118};
  static Integer[] VY_CHARS_LL = new Integer[]{118,121};
  static Integer[] W_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{119};
  static Integer[] X_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{120};
  static Integer[] Y_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{121};
  static Integer[] Z_CHARS_L = new Integer[]{122};

  static Map<Integer, List<Integer>> DIACRITIC_MAP = new Map<Integer, List<Integer>>{
    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  };

  // Thanks to Adrian Larson at https://salesforce.stackexchange.com/a/155379
  // and TextMechanic.com http://textmechanic.com/wp-content/uploads/source/Remove-Letter-Accents.html
  static String removeDiacritics(String str) {
    if (str == null) {
      return null;
    }
    List<Integer> result = new List<Integer>();
    for (Integer chr : str.getChars()) {
      if (DIACRITIC_MAP.containsKey(chr)) {
        result.addAll(DIACRITIC_MAP.get(chr));
      } else {
        result.add(chr);
      }
    }
    return String.fromCharArray(result);
  }
| improve this answer | |
  • Ah, now I see what you mean. Might take a look at the performance difference tomorrow if no one beats me to it. – Adrian Larson Jan 11 '17 at 4:48
  • 1
    @AdrianLarson Thank you for the direct translation of a published solution. That is what I asked for and much more thorough than any list I could have ever compiled. This was just an iterative improvement (unless heap size is a problem). – Charles Koppelman Jan 11 '17 at 5:23
  • 2
    How about making them final as well? – Shane Jun 17 '19 at 19:26
  • 1
    @Shane in fact, that is what it looks like in my code base these days. – Charles Koppelman Jun 17 '19 at 23:48
  • 1
    Me neither, but in the situation I’m using it, D is probably the best option. – andynormancx Feb 19 at 22:22
2

There's no simple transform method built-in to the library. If you wanted to take the time to map them all out, it would be possible to use a long series of String.replaceAll to manually go through the process, something like:

myString = myString.replaceAll('[ÀÁÂÃÄÅ]','A');
myString = myString.replaceAll('[àáâãäå]','a');
// ....

This would undoubtedly be particularly painful, but it could be possible.

| improve this answer | |
  • Painful and erroneous since it would omit deletion of combining diacritics (like the e followed by accent grave), but it may be what I'm forced to do.... – Charles Koppelman Jan 10 '17 at 23:49

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