A Holiday Gift from The Feed Doctor

December 19, 2012

Digital Marketing By ChannelAdvisor

Anthony santa

The other day someone asked me for help writing a rule. She had text with “accented” characters, and wanted to replace them with the non-accented version. For example, she wanted to change the word “Résumé” to “Resume.”

But it was even worse than that. Her text was actually “html encoded.” This is a way of converting “special characters” so that web browsers render them properly. For example, the ampersand is a special character, so it might look like & in an html file. In her case, instead of “Résumé” she actually had “Résumeé”

It turns out I couldn’t think of a good solution, and I hate it when that happens. So I sat down and wrote two new functions: HTMLDECODE and TRANSLIT.

First, HTMLDECODE will convert the encoded special characters into their true form; e.g., it converts “Résumeé” into “Résumé.” Next, TRANSLIT (which is short for “transliterate”) converts the “accented” characters to non-accented ones; so it would convert “Résumé” to “Resume.”

Now, I could have made a single function that does both, but just in case you want one and not the other, I made them distinct. You can of course combine them, like this:


These functions will be available with our January software update. Enjoy!

Blogpost by Anthony Alford, The Feed Doctor


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