Everyone else probably already knows this stuff, but I hit an issue today to that took a while to sort out. Fortunately, some kind folks on IRC helped me, but as it's embarrassing to ask for help on the same issue twice, I'm writing down what I've learned!
Get a £ character stored to MySQL, retrieved and then displayed without any weird characters in front of it using UTF8.
Make sure that you are using UTF8 everywhere!
<?php header("Content-type: text/html; charset=utf-8"); ?>
You can also use a meta tag that is redundant in theory:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
Also, note that the the <form> element has an 'accept-charset' attribute which should also be set:
<form accept-charset="utf-8" ...>
Make sure that your table's collation is utf8_general_ci and that all string fields within the table also have the utf8_general_ci collation.
And here's the really important bit: make sure your client connection is also using UTF-8:
or for mysqli:
or execute the SQL immediately after connection:
SET NAMES UTF8;
or for PDO:
$handle = new PDO("mysql:host=localhost;dbname=dbname",
array(PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_INIT_COMMAND => "SET NAMES utf8"));
or for Zend_Db:
$params = array(
'host' => 'localhost',
'username' => 'username',
'password' => 'password',
'dbname' => 'dbname',
'driver_options' => array(PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_INIT_COMMAND => 'SET NAMES UTF8;');
$db = Zend_Db::factory('PDO_MYSQL', $params);
Note that in PHP 5.3.0 and 5.3.1, you cannot use the PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_INIT_COMMAND => 'SET NAMES UTF8;' option for PDO as it doesn't work! See bug 47224 for details.
For a Zend Framework application that uses Zend_Application, add this to your ini file:
resources.db.params.charset = utf8
Now everything works as expected!
(as long as you don't have an output filter on your view that's too clever for its own good…)
Also, read About using UTF-8 fields in MySQL by Joshua Thijssen.