Saturday, March 03, 2012

Set Vim in Windows to work with Unicode

My Windows has been installed and set for traditional Chinese environment and occasionally it makes some trouble when I need text files encoded in Unicode instead of Big5.

I've started to write some personal working logs in Markdown syntax with Vim. It's simple and quick. But when I tried to compile the plain text into HTML file, the Chinese characters introduced trouble for the Python implementation of Markdown. The error message was something like:
UnicodeDecodeError: 'utf8' codec can't decode byte
To prevent this kind of error, I thought the best approach was to make Vim work with Unicode in my Windows. The settings were added in C:\Program Files\Vim\_vimrc and they are as follows:

set fileencoding=utf8
set fileencodings=ucs-bom,utf-8,default,latin1

The first line tells Vim to save the text in utf8 and the second line gives Vim to open and convert the files in the given order of encoding.