Change text to Unicode

Discussion created by flederfauz on Feb 1, 2012
Latest reply on Apr 19, 2012 by ninomax84
Here is my problem. I have a bulk of attribute tables with string columns. Those string columns contain text that has been written in Vietnamese font (.vn arial, VNI Windows, VIQR and others). Mostly each attribute table contains only one Font. So now if i open a map it looks like that "di??n tÝch, d©n sè c¸c ®¬n v?? hµnh chÝnh cña thµnh phè" instead of "di??n tích, dân s?? các ???n v?? hành chính c?a". All this different fonts are a big mess and people who didn't install the fonts can not read it. To keep it short the best way is to bring it all to unicode which I d like to do in Python.

What I am thinking about is:
1) Step through the attribute table
2) Read the field value (original Text)
3) Convert it to Unicode (This I don't know how to)
4) Update the field with the Converted text
and so on

Anybody out there who can give me a hand on this? Or any other time saving solutions?

Best regards

P.S. For few files i used to do it as follows:
1) Export the attribute table as a .dbf file
2) Open it in Excel and copy the whole table into clipboard
3) Open a program called UniKey
4) Pressing ctrl+shift+f6  - which converts the text in the clipboard to unicode (u have to define the source and output dataset first)
5) Paste it over the orig dbf table
6) In Arcgis join it with the original table
7) Use the field calculator to copy the joined table to the original one
It is obviously why i don't want to do that hundred of times.