Common mistakes when working with accentuated characters

Working with accentuated characters in CakePHP can definitely be a pain if you’re unfamiliar with a few basic guidelines.
All your files must be encoded in UTF-8
Make sure all your files containing accentuated characters are encoded in UTF-8 (no BOM or it’ll screw everything up!). If your file does not have the correct encoding, any string that contains an accentuated character will just be considered as empty, which can be frustrating to debug.
Database connection must use UTF-8 encoding
This will prevent elements from the database to be considered as empty.

//In /app/config/database.php
var $default = array(
'driver' => 'mysql',
'persistent' => false,
'host' => 'some_host',
'login' => 'some_user',
'password' => 'some_ow',
'database' => 'some_db',
'prefix' => '',

Set App.Encoding to UTF-8 in core.php
Actually, I’m not sure why we’re doing this, but I figured it couldn’t hurt. Everytime I start a project I make sure my App.Encoding is set to UTF-8 in core.php.

Configure::write('App.encoding', 'UTF-8');

Make sure to define the charset in your html files
Definitely not as hard to debug as the other, but remember to define the charset in your layout.

echo $html->charset();

Hope it helps!