Convert Active Directory Object to string

Fredrik Lundh fredrik at
Tue Jan 17 11:26:46 EST 2006

Dirk Hagemann wrote:

> When I receive data from Microsoft Active Directory it is an
>"ad_object" and has the type unicode. When I try to convert it to a
> string I get this error:
> UnicodeEncodeError: 'ascii' codec can't encode character u'\xfc' in
> position 26: ordinal not in range(128)
> This is caused by characters like the german ä, ö or ü.
> But I (think I) need this as a string. Is there a simple solution???

A Unicode string is also a string.

If you want an 8-bit string, you need to decide what encoding you want to
use.  Common encodings are us-ascii (which is the default if you convert from
unicode to 8-bit strings in Python), ISO-8859-1 (aka Latin-1), and UTF-8.
For example, if you want Latin-1 strings, you can use one of.

    s = u.encode("iso-8859-1") # fail if some character cannot be converted
    s = u.encode("iso-8859-1", "replace") # instead of failing, replace with ?
    s = u.encode("iso-8859-1", "ignore") # instead of failing, leave it out

If you want an ascii string, replace "iso-8859-1" above with "ascii".

If you want to output the data to a web browser or an XML file, you can use

    import cgi
    s = cgi.escape(u).encode("ascii", "xmlcharrefreplace")


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