No, I haven't but based on your suggestion and on others comments (thanks to all), I will now do that. Incidentally, to answer questions from others, some of the data in the file is coming from a mySQL database and having checked some of the fields are in UTF and some are latin1 so maybe that is the problem (although I believe you are right - my service provider should give more feedback and I am going to badger them to do this). Other values are just coming from the script itself. I read that PERL internally uses UTF-8 format. So doesn't that mean that all data values unless sourced direct from the database are UTF-8 and therefore my latin1 encoded XML should never have worked? Or is it just that I was probably lucky as latin1 is 'almost' a subset of UTF-8?