Encoding problem in python

Vlastimil Brom vlastimil.brom at gmail.com
Mon Mar 4 14:39:39 CET 2013

2013/3/4  <yomnasalah91 at gmail.com>:
> I have a problem with encoding in python 27 shell.
> when i write this in the python shell:
> w=u'العربى'
> It gives me the following error:
> Unsupported characters in input
> any help?
> --
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list

I guess, you are using the built-in IDLE shell with python 2.7 and
this is a specific limitation of its handling of some unicode
characters  (in some builds and OSes - "narrow"-unicode, Windows, most
likely?) and its specific error message - not the usual python
traceback mentioned in other posts).
If it is viable, using python 3.3 instead would solve this problem for IDLE:

Python 3.3.0 (v3.3.0:bd8afb90ebf2, Sep 29 2012, 10:55:48) [MSC v.1600
32 bit (Intel)] on win32
Type "copyright", "credits" or "license()" for more information.
>>> w='العربى'
>>> w

(note the missing "u" in unicode literal before the starting quotation
mark, which would be the usual usage in python 3, but python 3.3 also
silently ignores u"..." for compatibility.)

>>> w=u'العربى'
>>> w

If python 2.7 is required, another shell is probably needed (unless I
am missing some option to make IDLE work for this input);
e.g. the following works in pyshell - part of the wxpython GUI library

>>> w=u'العربى'
>>> w
>>> print w


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