[Tutor] Can't find error :-(

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Sun Aug 28 16:15:13 CEST 2011

Lisi wrote:

> For future reference, how would I set about changing the encoding for just one 
> character or file?  I don't really want to change the encoding I use system 
> wide.

You can set the encoding for the entire source file with an encoding 
line like:

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

This MUST be in the first one or two lines of the file to take effect:

Optional shebang line.
Encoding line.

The exact form of the encoding line is very flexible. See here for more 


The encoding line is only necessary if you want to include non-ASCII 
characters in your source code, either as variable names or in literal 
strings, e.g.:

µ = 2.5
name = u"Michael Groß"

(Warning: just because you insert an encoding line in the source file, 
doesn't mean your editor will obey it. Emacs and vim probably will, but 
for most other editors, you may need to manually set the encoding. E.g. 
in the kwrite editor, go to menu Tools > Encoding and choose whichever 
one you prefer.)

Without an encoding line, you would have to use:

name = u"Michael Gro\xdf"


name = u"Michael Gro\N{LATIN SMALL LETTER SHARP S}"

You might be able to get away without an encoding line if the non-ASCII 
characters are only in comments.


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