Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

« UpdatesMainNo Smoking »

UnicodeChecker 1.12.1

315 words on

UnicodeChecker Icon Just a week after its predecessor, another update to UnicodeChecker – version 1.12.1 – has been released. It solidifies earthlingsoft’s appreciation of silly version numbering schemes. (I think I’ll just go for Unicode Roman Numerals should I get to pick a version numbering scheme for an application again…)

This release sneaks in a great new feature: automated download of the Unihan data file. This resolves a weakness of the application ever since Unihan support was introduced. Actually being able to use that feature required users to manually download and ‘install’ the Unihan data file from the Unicode servers. As the file in question is thirty times the size of all of UnicodeChecker and many people won’t use it, this seemed to be a reasonable strategy for adding the feature without making UnicodeChecker a huge download and blowing our bandwidth quota. But it wasn’t the ideal solution in terms of user friendlyness and may have kept that feature in obscurity as getting to use it required people to perform all those manual steps.

Screenshot with UnicodeChecker's buttons to download and install the Unihan data file In this version UnicodeChecker introduces a button that reduces the effort for downloading and installing the Unihan data file to a single click. Perhaps that gets more people to investigate that cool Unihan database which can almost be used as a lightweight dictionary for Asian languages.

Other subtle improvements include a guide in the Help book on changing the keyboard equivalents for UnicodeChecker’s many Services Menu entries and the nice fact that you can now successfully use the Quit command while the Find sheet is open in UnicodeChecker’s main window. That, in fact, is a detail I really like and one I frequently dislike other applications for: non-critical sheets preventing an application from quitting – it may be Cocoa’s default behaviour but it’s just wrong in many situations. Oh and there were some technical improvements and bug fixes as well.

February 27, 2007, 0:03

Tagged as earthlingsoft, UnicodeChecker.


Comment by Bill Catambay: User icon

I’m trying to find a way to use your UnicodeChecker utility to translate ascii characters to their Chinese equivalents. For example, I received some Chinese, but it got converted to ascii in the process (each chinese characters is made up of 2 ascii characters). I’m trying to find a tool that would convert ““ª–©¥”ôø’≈ƒµƒ’’∆¨” to its Chinese equivalent. Can UnicodeChecker do that?

June 16, 2008, 19:26

Comment by ssp: User icon


sorry for taking so long to reply. There were problems with our internet domain and we couldn’t access our server :/

It is quite likely that you can solve your problem with the TextEdit application: Use the open command, select the text file you want and use the popup menu at the bottom of the open dialogue to specify the encoding the text is in.

[Is the example you inserted the original one? (Its letters are not ASCII as you claim) It’d also be helpful to know what encoding the text is supposed to be in as there are many Chinese encodings. We have been working on a Utility for UnicodeChecker to solve a similar problem, so if you can give a few more details I may be able to figure out whether that could do the trick.]

July 7, 2008, 0:40

Comment by Deborah Goldsmith: User icon

Is there any chance an iPhone version of UnicodeChecker is in the works?

December 12, 2008, 1:24

Comment by ssp: User icon

Nothing in the works at the moment.

As the iPhone platform is so limited many of the features (e.g. text conversion and comparison) wouldn’t work there anyway and you’d be limited to Unicode browsing. Apple’s developer-hostile policies also limit the inclination to experiment for the heck of it.

There are a number of Unicode centric websites which offer similar information to UnicodeChecker, should be accessible from Mobile Safari and could fill the gap for iPhone users: UniSearcher and decodeunicode could be examples for that, the Unicode Wikipedia pages contain further links.

December 12, 2008, 2:15

Comment by Michael Everson: User icon

I’d really like it if Unicode Checker could be updated to the newest version of the names list. Unicode has not released 5.2, but in ISO terms Amendment 5 has been published, so Unicode Checker could use the data file.

January 2, 2009, 19:00

Comment by ssp: User icon

Of course we want UnicodeChecker to be up to date as well, but with the relatively small number of users who actually benefit from (or even notice) the presence of an updated Unicode database we don’t want to force everybody to download a new version unless we have further updates to go with it.

UnicodeChecker is, however, able to load external Unicode Data files to accomodate people who need to have the most current files at all times. Look in the ‘Technicalities’ section of the help file to see how you can set this up.


January 2, 2009, 23:39

Add your comment

« UpdatesMainNo Smoking »

Comments on




This page

Out & About

pinboard Links


Received data seems to be invalid. The wanted file does probably not exist or the guys at last.fm changed something.