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MySQL 5.5 Reference Manual  /  Character Sets, Collations, Unicode

Chapter 10 Character Sets, Collations, Unicode

Table of Contents     [+/-]

10.1 Character Sets and Collations in General
10.2 Character Sets and Collations in MySQL     [+/-]
10.3 Specifying Character Sets and Collations     [+/-]
10.4 Connection Character Sets and Collations
10.5 Configuring Application Character Set and Collation
10.6 Error Message Character Set
10.7 Column Character Set Conversion
10.8 Collation Issues     [+/-]
10.9 Unicode Support     [+/-]
10.10 Supported Character Sets and Collations     [+/-]
10.11 Restrictions on Character Sets
10.12 Setting the Error Message Language
10.13 Adding a Character Set     [+/-]
10.14 Adding a Collation to a Character Set     [+/-]
10.15 Character Set Configuration
10.16 MySQL Server Locale Support

MySQL includes character set support that enables you to store data using a variety of character sets and perform comparisons according to a variety of collations. You can specify character sets at the server, database, table, and column level.

This chapter discusses the following topics:

  • What are character sets and collations?

  • The multiple-level default system for character set assignment.

  • Syntax for specifying character sets and collations.

  • Affected functions and operations.

  • Unicode support.

  • The character sets and collations that are available, with notes.

  • Selecting the language for error messages.

  • Selecting the locale for day and month names.

Character set issues affect not only data storage, but also communication between client programs and the MySQL server. If you want the client program to communicate with the server using a character set different from the default, you'll need to indicate which one. For example, to use the utf8 Unicode character set, issue this statement after connecting to the server:

SET NAMES 'utf8';

For more information about configuring character sets for application use and character set-related issues in client/server communication, see Section 10.5, “Configuring Application Character Set and Collation”, and Section 10.4, “Connection Character Sets and Collations”.