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SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere 16.0 » SQL Anywhere Server - Database Administration » Database configuration » International languages and character sets » Character set conversion


Troubleshooting unexpected symbols when viewing data

When selecting and viewing data using a client application such as Interactive SQL, unexpected symbols including squares, arrows, and question marks, may appear as characters in the data.

The most common reason for the appearance of unexpected symbols is that the font used to display the data does not support the characters. You can resolve this problem by changing to a Unicode font. If it is not possible to change the font for the client application, you can change the operating system default font instead.

Unexpected symbols might also appear in the client application if there is a problem with the underlying data that is stored in the database. For example, if character set conversion was required when the data was inserted into the database, and some characters in the original character set did not have an equivalent character in the database character set, then substitution characters were inserted instead.

For example, in Windows, the standard English font Tahoma does not support Japanese characters. If your database character set is cp932 and the database contains Japanese data, when you query the database, characters in the result set are displayed as small boxes. In Interactive SQL, you can change the font used in the Results pane by clicking Tools » Options » SQL Anywhere/UltraLite » Results » Font, and specifying a Unicode font such as Arial Unicode MS, or Lucida Sans Unicode. Unicode fonts are recommended as they are capable of displaying characters from many languages.

If your client application does not allow you to change font settings, it is likely using your default operating system font. In this case, consult your operating system documentation for information about how to change the default system font to a Unicode font.

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