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Posted 29 Jun 2010
Licenced CPOL

Convert Accented Characters to Simple Characters

, 12 Jul 2010
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How to convert accented characters to simple characters

I recently needed a way to replace accented characters with simple English ones to allow more readable friendly URLs. I'm sure there are plenty of Danes out there who are sick of seeing their language butchered by UrlEncode. After a bit of reading up, it seems .NET 2.0 does 99% of the heavy lifting for you:

//using System.Text;

/// <summary>
/// Replaces Accented Characters with Closest Equivalents
/// </summary>
/// <param name="original">The original.</param>
/// <returns></returns>
/// <remarks>Based on code from:
public static string ToSimpleCharacters(this string original)
    if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(original)) return string.Empty;
    string stFormD = original.Normalize(NormalizationForm.FormD);
    StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();

    for (int ich = 0; ich < stFormD.Length; ich++)
        UnicodeCategory uc = CharUnicodeInfo.GetUnicodeCategory(stFormD[ich]);
        if (uc != UnicodeCategory.NonSpacingMark)
            if (Lookup.ContainsKey(stFormD[ich]))

    return (sb.ToString().Normalize(NormalizationForm.FormC));

private static Dictionary<char, string> _lookup;
private static Dictionary<char, string> Lookup
        if (_lookup == null)
            _lookup = new Dictionary<char, string>();
            _lookup[char.ConvertFromUtf32(230)[0]] = "ae";//_lookup['æ']="ae";
            _lookup[char.ConvertFromUtf32(198)[0]] = "Ae";//_lookup['Æ']="Ae";
            _lookup[char.ConvertFromUtf32(240)[0]] = "d";//_lookup['ð']="d";
        return _lookup;

I’m sure that there must be a few substitutions that don’t get caught by this code. If you’ve got one, just drop me a line!


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Martin Jarvis
Software Developer (Senior) Freestyle Interactive Ltd
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I'm a lead developer for Freestyle Interactive Ltd where we create many wonderful websites built on Microsofts ASP.Net and Ektron CMS.

I've been developing .Net applications (both Windows and Web) since 2002.

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionStrange replacement Pin
JKos12-Jul-10 3:07
memberJKos12-Jul-10 3:07 
AnswerRe: Strange replacement Pin
Martin Jarvis12-Jul-10 3:13
memberMartin Jarvis12-Jul-10 3:13 
GeneralRe: Strange replacement Pin
JKos12-Jul-10 3:21
memberJKos12-Jul-10 3:21 
GeneralRe: Strange replacement Pin
Martin Jarvis12-Jul-10 3:28
memberMartin Jarvis12-Jul-10 3:28 

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