Using non-English characters

Expyriment has full unicode support. This means that, in principle, non-English characters (such as umlaut, accent, special character) can be used in strings throughout the library. Two different forms of using non-English characters have to be dissociated.

Non-English characters in strings in the Expyriment script file

When attempting to use non-English characters in strings in your Expyriment script file, the following three conditions have to be met:

  1. Only use non-English charactes in unicode strings (Python 2 only)! For example: Use u"Überexperiment" instead of "Überexperiment". (In Python 3 you can use normal strings, as they are already unicode compatible.)

  2. Know the encoding used by your editor! For example: IDLE will automatically suggest to save in utf-8 encoding when non-English characters are found in the script file. We suggest to always save in utf-8.

  3. Define the encoding in your Expyriment script file! In one of the first two lines in the file the encoding has to be specified For example:

    # -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
(In Python 3, you can skip this, if and only if you use utf-8 encoding.)

Non-English characters in other text files (e.g. stimuli lists)

When an Expyriment method saves a text file, it will always automatically add a header line specifying the encoding with which the file was saved. Which encoding this is depends on the system Expyriment is running on (it uses the default encoding defined by the locale settings).

When an Expyriment method reads in a text file, it will always read the header line first and decode the text automatically (into unicode strings). If no such header is found, the encoding set by the system locale will be used (and if this fails, utf-8).