Wrapper for mbstring with fallback to iconv for encoding conversion and string manipulation

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1.2.0 2023-01-11 23:05 UTC

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Last update: 2023-01-14 17:52:08 UTC


Charset conversion and string manipulation wrapper with a large defined set of aliases.

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The goals of this project are to be:

  • Well written
  • Tested where possible
  • Support as wide a range of charset aliases as possible

To include it for use in your project, please install via composer:

composer require zbateson/mb-wrapper


mb-wrapper requires PHP 7.1 or newer. Tested on PHP 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 8.0, 8.1, and 8.2 on GitHub Actions.


MbWrapper is intended for use wherever mb_* or iconv_* is used. It scans supported charsets returned by mb_list_encodings(), and prefers mb_* functions, but will fallback to iconv if a charset isn't supported.

A list of aliased charsets is maintained for both mb_* and iconv, where a supported charset exists for an alias. This is useful for mail and http parsing as other systems may report encodings not recognized by mb_* or iconv.

Charset lookup is done by removing non-alphanumeric characters as well, so UTF8 will always be matched to UTF-8, etc...


The following wrapper methods are exposed:

  • mb_convert_encoding, iconv with MbWrapper::convert
  • mb_substr, iconv_substr with MbWrapper::getSubstr
  • mb_strlen, iconv_strlen with MbWrapper::getLength
  • mb_check_encoding, iconv (for verification) with MbWrapper::checkEncoding
$mbWrapper = new \ZBateson\MbWrapper\MbWrapper();
$fromCharset = 'ISO-8859-1';
$toCharset = 'UTF-8';

$mbWrapper->convert('data', $fromCharset, $toCharset);
$mbWrapper->getLength('data', 'UTF-8');
$mbWrapper->substr('data', 'UTF-8', 1, 2);

if ($mbWrapper->checkEncoding('data', 'UTF-8')) {
    echo 'Compatible';


BSD licensed - please see license agreement.