Right now, I start using Interlis in QGIS (I never used Interlis before...). However, there seems to be a systematical encoding problem. When I select the transfer file and start the import, the following error message appears:

 UnicodeEncodeError: 'ascii' codec can't encode character u'\xe4'
 in position 40: ordinal not in range(128)

What do I need to change (step by step)?

  • Welcome to GIS:SE @NiklausZihlmann! Haven't used Interlis before either but what seems to be a common reason for your UnicodeEncodeError error is the username containing symbols or accents. Does your username contains these ASCII characters?
    – Joseph
    Jul 3, 2017 at 9:01
  • @Joseph: no, it does not... the username is just 'nz'... Jul 3, 2017 at 9:51
  • What is the default encoding of QGIS? is it ASCII? If yes, is there a way to change it to UTF-8? Might that be the problem? Jul 3, 2017 at 9:54

1 Answer 1


An Interlis 1 transfer file (.itf) is always ISO-8859-1 encoded. An Interlis 2 transfer file (.xtf) is an XML file; the rules of XML apply (the encoding declaration in the xml prolog defines the encoding; default is UTF-8).

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