I am working on a project where different unicode characters has to be stored in table. math equations, physics formulae , subscript X2 , superscript X2.

greek characters like Link

I have made all tables collation and charset as utf16 , but problem I am facing is in data entry.

I have to manually enter data into tables because of some reasons, I am using sequel pro tool for data entry, many characters coming fine but subscript and superscript not coming properly, they will be treated as normal character. Also I am not sure whether sequel pro supports any kind of data or not, later I may face problem with some other characters. So is there any proper way to deal with this?

Also let me know whether utf16 is ok for collation and charset ?

Kindly let me know if any such tool which support all kind of data.

2 Answers 2


Do you have some way of entering utf16? I don't know of such, except internally in Java. The world is moving toward utf8, not utf16.

I recommend using utf8mb4 throughout. The collation may not matter; the default is utf8mb4_general_ci, but _bin or _unicode_ci are also possibilities.

A little history lesson on why I suggest utf8mb4 instead of utf8. More than a decade ago, MySQL added utf8, but coded it only to the extent of the 3-byte encodings. Recently, a number of 'new' Chinese characters have come out that need a 4-byte encoding. And there are other sets that need 4 bytes. MySQL realized that expanding its utf8 to 4 bytes would be far too incompatible, so it added utf8mb4 (think "MultiByte4"). A lot more info on utf8, etc: http://mysql.rjweb.org/doc.php/charcoll

  • thank you, but even if I use utf8mb4 how should i do data entry ? mainly subscript and superscript like elements. when it is subscript , superscript, it looks like normal digit like X2, not actually like subscript.
    – Sadanand
    Feb 15, 2015 at 0:53
  • Data entry depends on your client. There are many possibilities, a few are given in search.yahoo.com/yhs/…
    – Rick James
    Feb 15, 2015 at 6:04

To save math equation into database, a text format is more applicable. You can convert it to any format.

Refer to this question understanding a mathematica equation on mathematica.stackexchange.com, there are many math formula with many specified chars and in text format.

There are many ways to render a text formula.

  1. <script type="math/tex" id="MathJax-Element-19">n(r) = \frac{2\pi r^2}{\sqrt{3}}</script>, the math equation is with text format n(r) = \frac{2\pi r^2}{\sqrt{3}} in latex format.

  2. <math xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML"><mi>n</mi><mo stretchy="false">(</mo><mi>r</mi><mo stretchy="false">)</mo><mo>=</mo><mfrac><mrow><mn>2</mn><mi>&#x03C0;</mi><msup><mi>r</mi><mn>2</mn></msup></mrow><msqrt><mn>3</mn></msqrt></mfrac></math> is in mathml format.

  3. You also can use a render in your server or a client render to render the text formual to a image, like <img src="https://example.com/?e=n(r) = \frac{2\pi r^2}{\sqrt{3}}">

So you can choose a common formula format, when use it you can render it directly or convert it to other format, or image.

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