WebStorm 2021.2 Help

Encoding

To display and edit files correctly, WebStorm needs to know which encoding to use. In general, source code files are mostly in UTF-8. This is the recommended encoding unless you have some other requirements.

To determine the encoding of a file, WebStorm uses the following steps:

  • If the byte order mark (BOM) is present, WebStorm will use the corresponding Unicode encoding regardless of all other settings. For more information, see Byte order mark.

  • If the file declares the encoding explicitly, WebStorm will use the specified encoding. For example, this can apply to XML or HTML files. The explicit declaration also overrides all other settings, but you can change it in the editor.

  • If there is no BOM and no explicit encoding declaration in the file, WebStorm will use the encoding configured for the file or directory in the file encoding settings. If encoding is not configured for the file or directory, WebStorm will use the encoding of the parent directory. If the parent directory encoding is also not configured, WebStorm will fall back to the Project Encoding, and if there is no project, to Global Encoding.

Change encoding of a file that contains explicit encoding

  1. Open the desired file in the editor.

  2. Change explicit encoding information. Use error highlighting to recognize wrong encoding and press Ctrl+Space to have a list of available encodings displayed:

    Explicit encoding

Change the encoding used to view a file

If WebStorm displays characters in a file incorrectly, it probably couldn't detect the file encoding. In this case, you need to specify the correct encoding to use for viewing and editing this file.

  • With the file open in the editor, either select File | File Properties | File Encoding from the main menu or click the File Encoding widget on the status bar, and select the correct encoding of the file.

    Changing encoding on the Status bar

    Encodings marked with The triangle warning icon or The round error icon might change the file contents. In this case, WebStorm opens a dialog where you can choose what to do with the file:

    • Reload: load the file in the editor from disk and apply encoding changes to the editor only. You will see the content changes related to the chosen encoding, but the actual file will not change.

    • Convert: overwrite the file with the chosen encoding.

This will add an association for the file to the file encoding settings. WebStorm will use the specified encoding to view and edit this file.

Configure default encoding for properties files

WebStorm applies system default encoding to .properties files. To use other encodings, feed them as escape sequences and Unicode. Alternatively, define the default encoding for .properties files on the project level and use different API that can read .properties files in the encoding you have defined.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, select Editor | File Encodings.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To have the special mode turned on when symbols are stored in a properties file as escape sequences but displayed as normal letters, check the option Transparent native-to-ascii conversion. This option is helpful when the properties files are encoded in ISO 8859-1. It is recommended to use this approach, if you don't have any special reasons to change encoding.

    • In the Default encoding for properties files list, select the encoding that will be used for all properties files in project.

Configure file encoding settings

In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, select Editor | File Encodings.

WebStorm uses these settings to view and edit files for which it was not able to detect the encoding and also uses the specified encodings for new files.

Global Encoding

Select the encoding to use when other encoding options don't apply.

For example, WebStorm will use this encoding for files that are not part of any project or when you check out sources from a version control system.

Project EncodingSelect the encoding to use for files that are not listed in the table.
PathSpecify the path to the files or directories for which you want to configure the encoding.
Encoding

Select the encoding to use for the specified files and directories.

If this selector is disabled, the file probably has a BOM or declares the encoding explicitly. In this case, you can't configure the encoding to use for this file.

The encoding selected for a directory applies to all files and subdirectories within it.

Default encoding for properties files

Select the encoding for properties files in your project.

Transparent native-to-ascii conversion

Show national characters (those not defined in ISO 8859-1) in place of the corresponding escape sequences.

Create UTF-8 files

Select how WebStorm should create UTF-8 files:

  • with BOM

  • without BOM

  • with BOM on Window and without BOM otherwise

By default, WebStorm creates UTF-8 files without the BOM because some software is not compatible with the BOM, and it may be a problem when interpreting scripts. However, in some cases, you may want to have the BOM in your UTF-8 files.

Select console output encoding

By default, WebStorm uses the system encoding to view console output.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, select Editor | General | Console.

  2. Select the default encoding from the Default Encoding list.

  3. Click OK to apply the changes.

Last modified: 15 June 2021