General Question

anartist's avatar

How do I change the default save for text files from ansi to utf-8?

Asked by anartist (14779points) August 28th, 2010

I’ve looked and looked for a place and can’t find it. I can find stuff to change display of files and folders only. Bonus Q: how do I lock in “details” as display type. I have repeatedly elected “show classic folders” and “details” and selected the details I want and applied to “all files and folders”—and I keep getting a hodge-podge with tiles, icons, and lists, all of which I have no use for. I only use details or thumbnails, and always details first. can I inactivate tiles, icons, and lists? And of course my orig Q, can I default to utf-8 for txt?

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1 Answer

NRO's avatar

1. Right click -> New -> Text Document
2. Open “New Text Document.txt”. Do NOT type anything!
3. Go to “File -> Save As… ” and choose UTF-8 under “Encoding:”, press “Save” and overwrite existing file. Close the file.
4. Rename “New Text Document.txt” to “TXTUTF-8.txt”
5. Copy “TXTUTF-8.txt” to “C:\WINDOWS\SHELLNEW”
6. Go to “Start -> Run…” and type
Press OK.
7. Navigate to
8. Right click in the right window -> New -> “String Value” and rename it to
9. Double click on “FileName” and put
into “Value data:” field and press OK.
10. It’s finished.
11. Test it: Create new .txt document (Right click > New > Text Document). Open it and go to “File > Save As… ” and see that encoding is set by default to UTF-8 . :-)

Credits go to Robert Clemenzi and his explanation of “FileName” string (and its linkage with “Template directory”) within registry:

NOTE: These steps are ONLY for creating new and blank UTF-8 .txt documents. If .txt is already saved with ANSI encoding, it will stay ANSI when saving it next time – so if UTF-8 is needed (in this case), it must be set manually.

P.S. Also change “fSavePageSettings” & “fSaveWindowPositions” DWORD values to “1” within following registry key:



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