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Decode UTF-8 with Javascript


Question

I have Javascript in an XHTML web page that is passing UTF-8 encoded strings. It needs to continue to pass the UTF-8 version, as well as decode it. How is it possible to decode a UTF-8 string for display?

<script type="text/javascript">
// <![CDATA[
function updateUser(usernameSent){
    var usernameReceived = usernameSent; // Current value: Größe
    var usernameDecoded = usernameReceived;  // Decode to: Größe
    var html2id = '';
    html2id += 'Encoded: ' + usernameReceived + '<br />Decoded: ' + usernameDecoded;
    document.getElementById('userId').innerHTML = html2id;
}
// ]]>
</script>
2012/12/31
1
48
12/31/2012 4:23:51 PM


This should work:

// http://www.onicos.com/staff/iz/amuse/javascript/expert/utf.txt

/* utf.js - UTF-8 <=> UTF-16 convertion
 *
 * Copyright (C) 1999 Masanao Izumo <[email protected]>
 * Version: 1.0
 * LastModified: Dec 25 1999
 * This library is free.  You can redistribute it and/or modify it.
 */

function Utf8ArrayToStr(array) {
    var out, i, len, c;
    var char2, char3;

    out = "";
    len = array.length;
    i = 0;
    while(i < len) {
    c = array[i++];
    switch(c >> 4)
    { 
      case 0: case 1: case 2: case 3: case 4: case 5: case 6: case 7:
        // 0xxxxxxx
        out += String.fromCharCode(c);
        break;
      case 12: case 13:
        // 110x xxxx   10xx xxxx
        char2 = array[i++];
        out += String.fromCharCode(((c & 0x1F) << 6) | (char2 & 0x3F));
        break;
      case 14:
        // 1110 xxxx  10xx xxxx  10xx xxxx
        char2 = array[i++];
        char3 = array[i++];
        out += String.fromCharCode(((c & 0x0F) << 12) |
                       ((char2 & 0x3F) << 6) |
                       ((char3 & 0x3F) << 0));
        break;
    }
    }

    return out;
}

Check out the JSFiddle demo.

Also see the related questions: here and here

2017/05/23

Perhaps using the textDecoder will be sufficient.

Not supported in IE though.

var decoder = new TextDecoder('utf-8'),
    decodedMessage;

decodedMessage = decoder.decode(message.data);
2020/06/18

Here is a solution handling all Unicode code points include upper (4 byte) values and supported by all modern browsers (IE and others > 5.5). It uses decodeURIComponent(), but NOT the deprecated escape/unescape functions:

function utf8_to_str(a) {
    for(var i=0, s=''; i<a.length; i++) {
        var h = a[i].toString(16)
        if(h.length < 2) h = '0' + h
        s += '%' + h
    }
    return decodeURIComponent(s)
}

Tested and available on GitHub

To create UTF-8 from a string:

function utf8_from_str(s) {
    for(var i=0, enc = encodeURIComponent(s), a = []; i < enc.length;) {
        if(enc[i] === '%') {
            a.push(parseInt(enc.substr(i+1, 2), 16))
            i += 3
        } else {
            a.push(enc.charCodeAt(i++))
        }
    }
    return a
}

Tested and available on GitHub

2017/02/19

@albert's solution was the closest I think but it can only parse up to 3 byte utf-8 characters

function utf8ArrayToStr(array) {
  var out, i, len, c;
  var char2, char3;

  out = "";
  len = array.length;
  i = 0;

  // XXX: Invalid bytes are ignored
  while(i < len) {
    c = array[i++];
    if (c >> 7 == 0) {
      // 0xxx xxxx
      out += String.fromCharCode(c);
      continue;
    }

    // Invalid starting byte
    if (c >> 6 == 0x02) {
      continue;
    }

    // #### MULTIBYTE ####
    // How many bytes left for thus character?
    var extraLength = null;
    if (c >> 5 == 0x06) {
      extraLength = 1;
    } else if (c >> 4 == 0x0e) {
      extraLength = 2;
    } else if (c >> 3 == 0x1e) {
      extraLength = 3;
    } else if (c >> 2 == 0x3e) {
      extraLength = 4;
    } else if (c >> 1 == 0x7e) {
      extraLength = 5;
    } else {
      continue;
    }

    // Do we have enough bytes in our data?
    if (i+extraLength > len) {
      var leftovers = array.slice(i-1);

      // If there is an invalid byte in the leftovers we might want to
      // continue from there.
      for (; i < len; i++) if (array[i] >> 6 != 0x02) break;
      if (i != len) continue;

      // All leftover bytes are valid.
      return {result: out, leftovers: leftovers};
    }
    // Remove the UTF-8 prefix from the char (res)
    var mask = (1 << (8 - extraLength - 1)) - 1,
        res = c & mask, nextChar, count;

    for (count = 0; count < extraLength; count++) {
      nextChar = array[i++];

      // Is the char valid multibyte part?
      if (nextChar >> 6 != 0x02) {break;};
      res = (res << 6) | (nextChar & 0x3f);
    }

    if (count != extraLength) {
      i--;
      continue;
    }

    if (res <= 0xffff) {
      out += String.fromCharCode(res);
      continue;
    }

    res -= 0x10000;
    var high = ((res >> 10) & 0x3ff) + 0xd800,
        low = (res & 0x3ff) + 0xdc00;
    out += String.fromCharCode(high, low);
  }

  return {result: out, leftovers: []};
}

This returns {result: "parsed string", leftovers: [list of invalid bytes at the end]} in case you are parsing the string in chunks.

EDIT: fixed the issue that @unhammer found.

2016/11/14

Update @Albert's answer adding condition for emoji.

function Utf8ArrayToStr(array) {
    var out, i, len, c;
    var char2, char3, char4;

    out = "";
    len = array.length;
    i = 0;
    while(i < len) {
    c = array[i++];
    switch(c >> 4)
    { 
      case 0: case 1: case 2: case 3: case 4: case 5: case 6: case 7:
        // 0xxxxxxx
        out += String.fromCharCode(c);
        break;
      case 12: case 13:
        // 110x xxxx   10xx xxxx
        char2 = array[i++];
        out += String.fromCharCode(((c & 0x1F) << 6) | (char2 & 0x3F));
        break;
      case 14:
        // 1110 xxxx  10xx xxxx  10xx xxxx
        char2 = array[i++];
        char3 = array[i++];
        out += String.fromCharCode(((c & 0x0F) << 12) |
                       ((char2 & 0x3F) << 6) |
                       ((char3 & 0x3F) << 0));
        break;
     case 15:
        // 1111 0xxx 10xx xxxx 10xx xxxx 10xx xxxx
        char2 = array[i++];
        char3 = array[i++];
        char4 = array[i++];
        out += String.fromCodePoint(((c & 0x07) << 18) | ((char2 & 0x3F) << 12) | ((char3 & 0x3F) << 6) | (char4 & 0x3F));

        break;
    }

    return out;
}
2017/07/06