Javascript – Failed to execute ‘btoa’ on ‘Window’: The string to be encoded contains characters outside of the Latin1 range.

google-chromejavascript

The error in the title is thrown only in Google Chrome, according to my tests. I'm base64 encoding a big XML file so that it can be downloaded:

this.loader.src = "data:application/x-forcedownload;base64,"+
                  btoa("<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"utf-8\"?>"
                  +"<"+this.gamesave.tagName+">"
                  +this.xml.firstChild.innerHTML
                  +"</"+this.gamesave.tagName+">");

this.loader is hidden iframe.

This error is actually quite a change because normally, Google Chrome would crash upon btoa call. Mozilla Firefox has no problems here, so the issue is browser related.
I'm not aware of any strange characters in file. Actually I do believe there are no non-ascii characters.

Q:
How do I find the problematic characters and replace them so that Chrome stops complaining?

I have tried to use Downloadify to initiate the download, but it does not work. It's unreliable and throws no errors to allow debug.

Best Solution

If you have UTF8, use this (actually works with SVG source), like:

btoa(unescape(encodeURIComponent(str)))

example:

 var imgsrc = 'data:image/svg+xml;base64,' + btoa(unescape(encodeURIComponent(markup)));
 var img = new Image(1, 1); // width, height values are optional params 
 img.src = imgsrc;

If you need to decode that base64, use this:

var str2 = decodeURIComponent(escape(window.atob(b64)));
console.log(str2);

Example:

var str = "äöüÄÖÜçéèñ";
var b64 = window.btoa(unescape(encodeURIComponent(str)))
console.log(b64);

var str2 = decodeURIComponent(escape(window.atob(b64)));
console.log(str2);

Note: if you need to get this to work in mobile-safari, you might need to strip all the white-space from the base64 data...

function b64_to_utf8( str ) {
    str = str.replace(/\s/g, '');    
    return decodeURIComponent(escape(window.atob( str )));
}

2017 Update

This problem has been bugging me again.
The simple truth is, atob doesn't really handle UTF8-strings - it's ASCII only.
Also, I wouldn't use bloatware like js-base64.
But webtoolkit does have a small, nice and very maintainable implementation:

/**
*
*  Base64 encode / decode
*  http://www.webtoolkit.info
*
**/
var Base64 = {

    // private property
    _keyStr: "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/="

    // public method for encoding
    , encode: function (input)
    {
        var output = "";
        var chr1, chr2, chr3, enc1, enc2, enc3, enc4;
        var i = 0;

        input = Base64._utf8_encode(input);

        while (i < input.length)
        {
            chr1 = input.charCodeAt(i++);
            chr2 = input.charCodeAt(i++);
            chr3 = input.charCodeAt(i++);

            enc1 = chr1 >> 2;
            enc2 = ((chr1 & 3) << 4) | (chr2 >> 4);
            enc3 = ((chr2 & 15) << 2) | (chr3 >> 6);
            enc4 = chr3 & 63;

            if (isNaN(chr2))
            {
                enc3 = enc4 = 64;
            }
            else if (isNaN(chr3))
            {
                enc4 = 64;
            }

            output = output +
                this._keyStr.charAt(enc1) + this._keyStr.charAt(enc2) +
                this._keyStr.charAt(enc3) + this._keyStr.charAt(enc4);
        } // Whend 

        return output;
    } // End Function encode 


    // public method for decoding
    ,decode: function (input)
    {
        var output = "";
        var chr1, chr2, chr3;
        var enc1, enc2, enc3, enc4;
        var i = 0;

        input = input.replace(/[^A-Za-z0-9\+\/\=]/g, "");
        while (i < input.length)
        {
            enc1 = this._keyStr.indexOf(input.charAt(i++));
            enc2 = this._keyStr.indexOf(input.charAt(i++));
            enc3 = this._keyStr.indexOf(input.charAt(i++));
            enc4 = this._keyStr.indexOf(input.charAt(i++));

            chr1 = (enc1 << 2) | (enc2 >> 4);
            chr2 = ((enc2 & 15) << 4) | (enc3 >> 2);
            chr3 = ((enc3 & 3) << 6) | enc4;

            output = output + String.fromCharCode(chr1);

            if (enc3 != 64)
            {
                output = output + String.fromCharCode(chr2);
            }

            if (enc4 != 64)
            {
                output = output + String.fromCharCode(chr3);
            }

        } // Whend 

        output = Base64._utf8_decode(output);

        return output;
    } // End Function decode 


    // private method for UTF-8 encoding
    ,_utf8_encode: function (string)
    {
        var utftext = "";
        string = string.replace(/\r\n/g, "\n");

        for (var n = 0; n < string.length; n++)
        {
            var c = string.charCodeAt(n);

            if (c < 128)
            {
                utftext += String.fromCharCode(c);
            }
            else if ((c > 127) && (c < 2048))
            {
                utftext += String.fromCharCode((c >> 6) | 192);
                utftext += String.fromCharCode((c & 63) | 128);
            }
            else
            {
                utftext += String.fromCharCode((c >> 12) | 224);
                utftext += String.fromCharCode(((c >> 6) & 63) | 128);
                utftext += String.fromCharCode((c & 63) | 128);
            }

        } // Next n 

        return utftext;
    } // End Function _utf8_encode 

    // private method for UTF-8 decoding
    ,_utf8_decode: function (utftext)
    {
        var string = "";
        var i = 0;
        var c, c1, c2, c3;
        c = c1 = c2 = 0;

        while (i < utftext.length)
        {
            c = utftext.charCodeAt(i);

            if (c < 128)
            {
                string += String.fromCharCode(c);
                i++;
            }
            else if ((c > 191) && (c < 224))
            {
                c2 = utftext.charCodeAt(i + 1);
                string += String.fromCharCode(((c & 31) << 6) | (c2 & 63));
                i += 2;
            }
            else
            {
                c2 = utftext.charCodeAt(i + 1);
                c3 = utftext.charCodeAt(i + 2);
                string += String.fromCharCode(((c & 15) << 12) | ((c2 & 63) << 6) | (c3 & 63));
                i += 3;
            }

        } // Whend 

        return string;
    } // End Function _utf8_decode 

}

https://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/utf8.htm

  • For any character equal to or below 127 (hex 0x7F), the UTF-8 representation is one byte. It is just the lowest 7 bits of the full unicode value. This is also the same as the ASCII value.

  • For characters equal to or below 2047 (hex 0x07FF), the UTF-8 representation is spread across two bytes. The first byte will have the two high bits set and the third bit clear (i.e. 0xC2 to 0xDF). The second byte will have the top bit set and the second bit clear (i.e. 0x80 to 0xBF).

  • For all characters equal to or greater than 2048 but less that 65535 (0xFFFF), the UTF-8 representation is spread across three bytes.

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