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I am having encoding issues with EMACS (ESS). Part of the problem is that many of my file paths contain a special character (ý). These characters keep getting converted to "ý" when I close and reopen the buffer.

C-h v buffer-file-coding-system RET used to give:

Its value is ‘iso-latin-1-unix’
Local in buffer file.r; global value is iso-latin-1-dos

I added (setq-default buffer-file-coding-system 'utf-8-unix) to my init.el file, and now C-h v buffer-file-coding-system RET gives:

Its value is ‘iso-latin-1-unix’
Local in buffer file.r; global value is utf-8-unix

If I correct the letters and use C-x RET r utf-8-unix RET they get re-written as \375.

I added the following lines to my init.el (setq-default buffer-file-coding-system 'utf-8-unix) (setq-default coding-system-for-read 'utf-8-unix) (prefer-coding-system 'utf-8-unix) And now C-h v buffer-file-coding-system RET gives:

Its value is ‘utf-8-unix’
Local in buffer file.r; global value is the same.

but R in EMACS ESS no longer works. Shift-enter to start the minor process and execute a line of R code causes EMACS to freeze and all I get is a spinning wheel until I force quit.

So I removed those lines from my init.el to restore R. When I start R there is a error message "Error: invalid multibyte character in parser at line 1" which has to do with setwd() as the file path has the character ý in it.

If I put file.r into a directory that does not have ý in the path, everything works correctly.

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  • Don't put the answer in the question. Post it separately as an answer. You can accept your own answer.
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 16:31

1 Answer 1

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I solved it by adding these three lines to my init file:

(setq-default buffer-file-coding-system 'utf-8) <br/> 
(setq-default coding-system-for-read 'utf-8) <br/> 
(prefer-coding-system 'utf-8)
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  • Jacob, this saves me a lot, thank you for posting it. Where did you find that these three were needed? (I'm looking for a canonical link in case I also run into other utf-based issues in emacs.) Thanks!
    – r2evans
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 15:21
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    No specific place, just some various bits on this site and trial and error
    – Jacob
    Commented Feb 21, 2023 at 20:42

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