Convert String to Unicode Python

“Python” is a computer language. It is a high-level language used widely. If we talk about python 2, the strings there are called “byte strings”. The Unicode() function is used for the conversion. Whereas, in python 3 there are built-in functions that can be used for the conversion of a string into Unicode. We will be further discussing the conversion exemplification for a better understanding. The example implementation we will be executing in the article for the conversion performance of the string to Unicode can be used in any of the python versions.

Important Note:

A small error occurs at times while conversion performance. A little change or even only a single character or number makes a huge difference because it is the conversion performance. There are some important concepts and explanations of the basic working that one should know before the conversion performance.

What is a String in Python?

The string is a sequence of characters that can also be called an array. In python, it works the same as other programming languages like an int, char, bool, float, etc. The string in python is the array of bytes that represents the Unicode characters. The string values are surrounded by the quotes. They can be single quotes ( ‘ ), double quotes ( “ ), and triple quotes ( ‘’’ ). Also, do use the same quotes while opening and closing the string. If we use a single quote at the opening and close it with two quotes, the error will occur. When a string is created, the computer system converts it into 1’s and 0’s combination. This conversion is called encoding. We will be doing that in the examples below.

What is Unicode in Python?

Unicode does the work of correlating each of the characters or symbols given with a specific number of its own. Each unique number is called a code point. The code point is the value of an integer that varies from “0 to 0 * 10FFFF” in the coding of Hexa decimal. The one-character string can be created using the Chr(), which is a built-in function in python. It takes the argument as a single integer and returns the Unicode of the character given. There is another built-in function in python “ord()” that works like a Chr() function.

The Methods to Convert String to Unicode in Python:

The following are the ways which we will be implementing examples for the conversion of string into Unicode in python:

Example # 01: Conversion of String to Unicode Using Encode Method in Python:

In this instance, we will be learning how to convert the plain string value into Unicode using the encoding method. The “encoding” used as “encode()” is a method that is an encoded value of a string. The encoding is also called character coding, as the code points are converted into a sequence of bytes. The encoding types can be like “ASCII characters”, “utf=8”, “utf-16”, etc.

By default, python uses UTF-8 encoding. The “UTF” stands for the “Unicode Transformation Format” and the “8” with it is for the encoding of the values, which are 8 bits. We can use 1 to 4 bytes long characters in the UTF-8 encoding performance. The string value given here is “nÖ” for conversion to Unicode. Then, the syntax is written after assigning the value for conversion. The encode() method does not take any parameter, by default as we can see in line 2 in the code.

Then, the print function is used for the printing results in the output of the conversion. The value can also return an error if the encoding cannot be processed properly according to the encoding method.

The output successfully shows the converted string into Unicode using the encode() method.

Example # 02: Conversion of String to Unicode Using Encode Method Error Occurring in Python:

In this instance, we will be converting the string to Unicode using the encode error method. There are many parameters of the Unicode error method. Here, we will be following the backslash replacement one. Here, the string we have chosen for the conversion is “Örange”. The syntax code of encoding with the parameter error as backslash replace. Then, use the print function for the printing to see the conversion on the output screen.

The output shows the conversion performed of the string to Unicode with the encoding error method in python. We can see the output has “xs6” which is the Unicode number of the “Ö”. The O with the two dots on it. The rest of the character is printed as it is.

Example # 03: Conversion of String to Unicode Using (join+format+ord) in Python:

In this example, we will be seeing how to perform the conversion of the string into Unicode using three functions. The three functions we will be using in this example are joined(), format(), and ord(). First, we have to import the regular expression as “import re”. Then, initialize the string here. We have taken the string as “water the plants”. Print the test string first and then apply the function of format for the conversion join(), format(), and the ord() method altogether. Then, the print function will be used for the printing of the output display.

The display screen shows the Unicode converted to string using the join(), format(), and join() methods. Each string value has its Unicode as shown in the output below.

Example # 03: Conversion of String to Unicode Using (ord+lambda+re.sub) in Python:

Here, we will be executing the conversion of the string to Unicode using the three functions again. In this example, the functions used are “ord()”, “lambda()” and “re. sub”. We have to import the regular expression here, as in example 2. Then, we have to initialize the string for the conversion. We have initialized the string as “the sky is blue”. Then, print the string for further processing. After that, we will be using the sub() function to perform the substitutions. We will also be using the ord() function which is used for the conversion of the string. The lambda() used is for the creation of anonymous functions working together. Then, using the print function for the printing with be used.

In the display, we can see the conversion of the string to Unicode performed.


In this article, we have understood how the conversion can be performed of the string to a Unicode. It is a helpful method that can directly perform the execution instead of doing it one by one for each character. We have cleared all the scenarios with the help of implementing the examples which will help us to understand better. We have done the conversion of the string to Unicode using the encode method and also the encode error method using the parameter backslash. We have also performed the conversion of a string with the three methods as ord(), lambda(), and re. sub() and the other one using join(), format(), and ord() in python.

About the author

Aqsa Yasin

I am a self-motivated information technology professional with a passion for writing. I am a technical writer and love to write for all Linux flavors and Windows.