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Character set conversion when using DBMS_LOB (Doc ID 267356.1)

Last updated on MARCH 03, 2019

Applies to:

Oracle Database - Enterprise Edition - Version to [Release 8.0.3 to 11.2]
Oracle Database Cloud Schema Service - Version N/A and later
Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Machine - Version N/A and later
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure - Database Service - Version N/A and later
Oracle Database Cloud Exadata Service - Version N/A and later
Information in this document applies to any platform.


Document on how to load a file directly into a CLOB.


Note that we advice to use SQLdeveloper (and not sqlplus) as client when testing with UTL_FILE, this is a "know good client" that needs no NLS configuration.
You can download Sqldveloper from
If the data is displayed correctly in SQLdeveloper then you are sure it's correct in the database.

It is also good to first read <Note:227531.1> Character set conversion when using UTL_FILE

The database needs to be able to STORE the characterset of the files you try to load.
If you have (for example) a file in a CL8MSWIN1251 characterset (=russian windows system) containing cyrillic then you simply cannot store it as a text/Clob field in a WE8ISO8859P1 database.
WE8ISO8859P1 cannot handle cyrillic. Here the solution is to go to a UTF8 database or to store that file as Blob .


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