stri_encode: Convert Strings Between Given Encodings#


These functions convert strings between encodings. They aim to serve as a more portable and faster replacement for R’s own iconv.


stri_encode(str, from = NULL, to = NULL, to_raw = FALSE)

stri_conv(str, from = NULL, to = NULL, to_raw = FALSE)



a character vector, a raw vector, or a list of raw vectors to be converted


input encoding: NULL or '' for the default encoding or internal encoding marks’ usage (see Details); otherwise, a single string with encoding name, see stri_enc_list


target encoding: NULL or '' for default encoding (see stri_enc_get), or a single string with encoding name


a single logical value; indicates whether a list of raw vectors rather than a character vector should be returned


stri_conv is an alias for stri_encode.

Refer to stri_enc_list for the list of supported encodings and stringi-encoding for a general discussion.

If from is either missing, '', or NULL, and if str is a character vector then the marked encodings are used (see stri_enc_mark) – in such a case bytes-declared strings are disallowed. Otherwise, i.e., if str is a raw-type vector or a list of raw vectors, we assume that the input encoding is the current default encoding as given by stri_enc_get.

However, if from is given explicitly, the internal encoding declarations are always ignored.

For to_raw=FALSE, the output strings always have the encodings marked according to the target converter used (as specified by to) and the current default Encoding (ASCII, latin1, UTF-8, native, or bytes in all other cases).

Note that some issues might occur if to indicates, e.g, UTF-16 or UTF-32, as the output strings may have embedded NULs. In such cases, please use to_raw=TRUE and consider specifying a byte order marker (BOM) for portability reasons (e.g., set UTF-16 or UTF-32 which automatically adds the BOMs).

Note that stri_encode(as.raw(data), 'encodingname') is a clever substitute for rawToChar.

In the current version of stringi, if an incorrect code point is found on input, it is replaced with the default (for that target encoding) ‘missing/erroneous’ character (with a warning), e.g., the SUBSTITUTE character (U+001A) or the REPLACEMENT one (U+FFFD). Occurrences thereof can be located in the output string to diagnose the problematic sequences, e.g., by calling: stri_locate_all_regex(converted_string, '[\ufffd\u001a]'.

Because of the way this function is currently implemented, maximal size of a single string to be converted cannot exceed ~0.67 GB.


If to_raw is FALSE, then a character vector with encoded strings (and appropriate encoding marks) is returned. Otherwise, a list of vectors of type raw is produced.


Marek Gagolewski and other contributors


Conversion – ICU User Guide,

See Also#

The official online manual of stringi at

Gagolewski M., stringi: Fast and portable character string processing in R, Journal of Statistical Software 103(2), 2022, 1-59, doi:10.18637/jss.v103.i02

Other encoding_conversion: about_encoding, stri_enc_fromutf32(), stri_enc_toascii(), stri_enc_tonative(), stri_enc_toutf32(), stri_enc_toutf8()