Original Poster

Character encoding in external public calendars - Why is Danish UTF-8 character not show correctly?

Hi all,

I am using a Danish holiday calendar with the following URL: http://www.avalonia.dk/ical/Helligdage-DK.ics

Some events in this calendar have names with non-English characters e.g. 2009-04-13: "2. Påskedag".
Even though the name seems to be correctly encoded as UTF-8 in the .ics file, Google Calendar does not show the name correct. It show "2. P skedag".

Can anyone help me resolve this?

Community content may not be verified or up-to-date. Learn more.
All Replies (19)
Google user
Google user
I just wanted to say I have this problem also.

The standard encoding for .ics as far as I can see is UTF-8.

However, external calendars that DO NOT publish in UTF-8, but rather identifies themselves as ANSI (and thereby showing erronius characters in the raw text, like ö, å, ä... ) DOES show up in Google Calendar with the correct characters. Very strange...

Is this a bug in Google Calendar, or am I missing something obvious?

I have this problem too with the Facebook event's feed.
I'm also experiencing this problem with an Apple's iCal calendar I imported into Google Calendar.

Anyone can help?
I have the same problem.
I had the same problem with the swedish calendar when adding by url. But when downloading the ics file and importing the events into another calendar everything worket nicely. For the swedish calendar use this link:

Main reason for using an external calendar was that the google calendar was missing some holidays like easter.
I had same problem with czech - wrong characters in external calendar app (active desktop calendar)
I found this solution. You have to create this PHP file on your server:

   * @return string
   * @param string $url
   * @desc Return string content from a remote file
   * @author Luiz Miguel Axcar and Ondrej Svoboda

function get_content($url)
    $ch = curl_init();

    curl_setopt ($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $url);
    curl_setopt ($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);


    curl_exec ($ch);
    curl_close ($ch);
    $string = ob_get_contents();

    return $string;   

$content = get_content ("http://www.google.com/calendar/ical/YOUR_CALENDAR.ics");
header('Content-Type: text/calendar; charset=CP1250');
header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="calendar.ics"; ');
echo iconv("UTF-8", "CP1250//IGNORE", $content);

save it, for example as ../calendar.php
and then just put this file as a source of Google calendar in your external calendar application.

It loads your Google calendar, changes its encoding from UTF-8 to CP1250 (you can use different encoding, if you need) and returns calendar.ics file
Slava Nadvorny
Slava Nadvorny
I publish exchange calendar via icalx.com and import it into google calendar and see exactly the same issue. Fetching calendar from icalx.com as dot-ics or as html show correct UTF-8 content.

RFC 5545 says that default charset for iCalendar is UTF-8 so it's clearly a bug in google calendar implementation.
I had the same problem.
Seems to be solved by using Comma Separated Values (Windows).
It seems that google will not ever fix this.

Will anyone volunteer to fetch      http://www.avalonia.dk/ical/Helligdage-DK.ics        ,
re-encode it into the (wrong, apparently) encoding preferred by google calendar and re-publish on his web server it so that the rest of us can import the
re-encoded version and get our non-US letters rendered correctly?
This doesn't seem to help.  Using http://web-sniffer.net/ one can easily check what is sent, and google-calendar still ignores the UTF-8 in the line "Content-Type: text/calendar; charset=UTF-8", giving question marks in diamonds.
Were these replies helpful?
How can we improve them?
This question is locked and replying has been disabled. Still have questions? Ask the Help Community.


Some community members might have badges that indicate their identity or level of participation in a community.

Google Employee — Google product team members and community managers
Community Specialist — Google partners who help ensure the quality of community content
Platinum Product Expert — Community members with advanced product knowledge who help other Google users and Product Experts
Gold Product Expert — Community members with in-depth product knowledge who help other Google users by answering questions
Silver Product Expert — Community members with intermediate product knowledge who help other Google users by answering questions
Product Expert Alumni — Former Product Experts who are no longer members of the program
Community content may not be verified or up-to-date. Learn more.


Member levels indicate a user's level of participation in a forum. The greater the participation, the higher the level. Everyone starts at level 1 and can rise to level 10. These activities can increase your level in a forum:

  • Post an answer.
  • Having your answer selected as the best answer.
  • Having your post rated as helpful.
  • Vote up a post.
  • Correctly mark a topic or post as abuse.

Having a post marked and removed as abuse will slow a user's advance in levels.

View profile in forum?

To view this member's profile, you need to leave the current Help page.

Report abuse in forum?

This comment originated in the Google Product Forum. To report abuse, you need to leave the current Help page.

Reply in forum?

This comment originated in the Google Product Forum. To reply, you need to leave the current Help page.