def encode_for_xml(unicode_data, encoding='ascii'): """ Encode unicode_data for use as XML or HTML, with characters outside of the encoding converted to XML numeric character references. """ try: return unicode_data.encode(encoding, 'xmlcharrefreplace') except ValueError: # ValueError is raised if there are unencodable chars in the # data and the 'xmlcharrefreplace' error handler is not found. # Pre-2.3 Python doesn't support the 'xmlcharrefreplace' error # handler, so we'll emulate it. return _xmlcharref_encode(unicode_data, encoding) def _xmlcharref_encode(unicode_data, encoding): """Emulate Python 2.3's 'xmlcharrefreplace' encoding error handler.""" chars = [] # Step through the unicode_data string one character at a time in # order to catch unencodable characters: for char in unicode_data: try: chars.append(char.encode(encoding, 'strict')) except UnicodeError: chars.append('&#%i;' % ord(char)) return ''.join(chars) if __name__ == '__main__': # demo data = u'''\ Encoding Test

accented characters:


''' print encode_for_xml(data, 'ascii')