After creating a shp file with attributes containing Turkish characters like ş,ç,ü.., Upon exporting it as another shp file , shp file having problem on displaying those characters, Is there any way in ArcGIS to change encoding option like in QGIS. I can change system encoding from UTF-8 to windows 1254 in QGIS and I have no problem on displays. But how do I do it in ArcGIS???

1 Answer 1


Here is a post to a more general question (Which character encoding is used by the DBF file in shapefiles?), but maybe one of the answers is helpful for you:

"ArcGIS and Geopublisher, AtlasStyler and Geoserver started to extend the standard to define the encoding. For ArcGIS, Geopublisher and AtlasStyler SLD Editor, just create a .cpg file (with the same basename as the other Shapefiles) and fill it with the name of the encoding.

e.g. create a myshape.cpg with a texteditor and insert 5 characters "UTF-8" and save it. If you then open the Shapefile in ArcGIS or Geopublisher or AtlasStyler, they will read the textual contents of the DBF in that charset." [answered Nov 19 '10 at 9:45 by alfonx]

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    What a great hack! It's extremely useful, thank you for sharing! :) It worked well for French caracters.
    – Gabriel
    Nov 22, 2021 at 14:41

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