I use a shapefile with names in Portuguese that contain special characters. When I add it to QGIS it exchanges special characters for symbols, so I have problems when comparing values with other layers.

I use QGIS - 3.8.3 Zanzibar on Ubuntu 18.04. So how can I correctly encode the special characters in the shapefile?

  • 2
    Do you know the original encoding? Have you tried to open it with the same in QGIS? What about ISO-8859-1?
    – Taras
    Oct 22, 2019 at 18:21
  • Yes, I just change for ISO 8859-1 and worked. Thanks. Oct 22, 2019 at 18:22
  • 1
    @Taras I think it is better to add your comment as an answer with some elaboration.
    – ahmadhanb
    Oct 22, 2019 at 19:36

1 Answer 1


First of all, it is suggested to explore the original file, perhaps it was already encoded in UTF-8 or any local Unicode Standard applied automatically by OS, from my experience Windows likes such practice.

Secondly, it is possible to apply one of the Standards for Western alphabetic languages, in particular ISO-8859-1, which includes Portuguese (European and Brazilian).



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