IDNs (Internationalized Domain Names) allow you to use local language characters with TLDs.
Multilingual domains are governed by the same registration agreement as their English equivalents. All customers registering IDNs must be bound to the existing ICANN sanctioned registration terms and conditions.
Note: Only Punycode compliant (xn--) IDNs are supported; RACE encoded submissions will not be accepted. If you are trying to register a domain in a language other than English, first convert the domain name using an IDN conversion tool.
Converting to Punycode and verifying Punycode compliance
The Punycode converter allows you to view a domain name in all encoding formats (RACE, UTF-8, Punycode). You can use the Punycode converter to ensure that any domain names you want to submit are in the correct Punycode format.
The Punycode converter is publicly available at http://precow.tucows.com/cgi-bin/IDN/index.cgi. It accepts domain names in any of the formats listed below, and converts the domain name to the other formats.
This option allows you to enter the domain in the native language, using the language characters in Unicode, or using an IME (Input Method Editor), and returns the domain’s representation in Punycode, RACE, and UTF-8 format.
This option allows the input of a RACE converted name and converts it to UTF-8 and Punycode format. When entering a RACE encoded name, make sure that the name is prefaced with bq--.
This option allows the input of a Punycode converted name and converts it to UTF-8 and RACE format. When entering a Punycode encoded name, make sure the name is prefaced with "xn--".
To verify a domain name for Punycode compliance
- In the Punycode converter, copy and paste the complete, Punycode-converted domain name into the Input field.
- From the Type options, select Punycode.
- Click Convert.
The page reloads, displaying the conversion results.
If the Input String name does not resemble your input, then your data is not encoded in Punycode, and cannot be used for IDN registrations.
Note: The data may not exactly match your input due to case folding and other syntactical rules of Punycode.
IDN bulk registrations
The following list outlines the steps that you should take to prepare and submit your files for bulk registrations.
Step 1: Collect domain name registration requests from your customers.
Step 2: Create flat files based on the names collected. For more information, see "Creating an IDN flat file".
Step 3: We strongly recommend that you visually inspect your files to ensure that the representation of the domain name in the flat file matches the domain name requested by the customer. You should also verify that the data you’ve entered is Punycode compliant using the Punycode converter. For more information, see "Converting to Punycode and verifying Punycode compliance".
Step 4: Submit your requested domain names in a flat file as described in "Creating an IDN flat file".
Step 5: The system reads the batch file and converts the local language characters to Punycode.
Step 6: Once the requested domain name has been transformed into Punycode by the browser, the system uses Punycode to transform the requested domain name into a representational ASCII character string.
Note: Bulk IDN registration works only with supported languages. For a list of the supported languages for each TLD, see the TLD Reference Chart.
Entering data in Punycode for bulk registrations
In order to create the flat file you need to use for bulk IDN registrations (or to create single domain names to use via the standard registration process or the client code), you need a method of inputting data in Punycode or UTF-8 format. There are various methods available to you; three possible options are explained below.
Method 1: Encoding using characters native to your system
This method assumes that you already have a process and the tools to translate from your native encoding type into Punycode or UTF-8. If this is the case, simply enter the Punycode or UTF-8 characters into the domain name field (or in the text file for the bulk loader) and everything will work properly.
To test whether your data is properly Punycode encoded, see "Converting to Punycode and verifying Punycode compliance".
Method 2: Encoding using Microsoft Word and a Unicode font
Microsoft Word 2000 and later versions are packaged with a Unicode font and a character input tool. Before accessing the tool, first make sure you have a Unicode font installed. A Unicode font (such as Arial Unicode MS) is required to represent all the various possible characters. This font is available with Microsoft Office 2000, or from the Microsoft web site.
Once you’ve installed the font, open MS Word and perform these steps:
- From the Insert menu, choose Symbol.
- From the Symbol dialog box, make sure that the Symbols tab is active.
- From the Font drop-down list, choose Arial Unicode MS (or your Unicode font).
- From the Subset drop-down list, choose the character set you want to use.
- Enter the string you want to register as a domain name.
- Repeat steps 1 to 5 for each domain name.
- Once you have added all domain names to your file, see "Creating an IDN flat file" for file saving instructions.
Method 3: Obtain a freeware IME (Input Method Editor)
An IME is an application that allows users to input foreign language characters. IMEs usually display foreign language characters using an on-screen keyboard which you can also use to enter each character.
We have done limited testing with SC UniPad for Windows, and have found that it works as a Unicode character input tool: http://www.sharmahd.com/unipad/unipad.en.html
With proper mapping information, available from http://www.unicode.org, this tool will work for all supported languages.
Creating an IDN flat file
The following procedures describe the easiest and safest way to create a batch IDN Bulk File.
To submit bulk registrations, the file should be in a CSV (comma delimited) format and must conform to the file format as outlined below.
Note: The length presented in the table above is, of necessity, an approximate value. There is no way to tell the length of the Punycode converted name before conversion.
Creating a flat file
1. Enter each registration in MS Word using the following format:
Domain_Name, User_Name, Password, Reg_Period Domain_Name, User_Name, Password, Reg_Period ...
- Be sure to use one of the input methods described in "Entering data in Punycode for bulk registrations".
- Domain_Name = the domain in the desired UTF8 encoded characters (found using the Input Symbol tool as described above). The TLD (.COM, .NET) must use English characters.
- Username = the username for Registrant control of the name.
- Password = the password for Registrant control of the name.
- Reg_Period = the registration term.
2. Save the Word file as HTML: choose File | Save As | Web Page.
3. Open the HTML file in IE 5.0 or greater.
4. Re-save the file in IE:
- From the File menu, choose Save As.
- Rename the file to something in ASCII (e.g. domains).
- From the Save as type drop-down list, choose Text File.
- From the Encoding drop-down list, choose Unicode (UTF-8).
- Click Save.
You’re now ready to upload the file.
Submitting bulk IDN registrations
Important: This feature is currently only available through the RWI. To access the RWI, click Classic Reseller Interface at the top of the Control Panel.
1. In the Domain Management section, click Bulk Domain Change Management and then click Place Bulk Order Manually.
The Domain Registration Form opens.
2. Ensure that all required fields in this form are filled out with your default settings for your placement of batch domains (Admin, Billing, and Technical, and Nameservers). You can also submit these names based on an existing domain profile.
3. Once all of the required fields are filled out, click Browse in the Upload File section and locate the flat file that you created (for example, domains.txt).
4. Click Submit.
The browser reads your batch file and opens the Domain List page, listing all of the domains from the submitted batch file.
5. Ensure that all domains appear correctly, and check that your browser is set to UTF-8 Encoding. Corrections or changes to any domains may be done directly on this page.
While your batch file is being read, it is checked for any duplicates and/or invalid domains before displaying this page. A routine is then run to discard any duplicates or invalid names.
6. To submit your batch file from a numbered position, enter the number in the Start registration process at number field. This feature is useful in case your registrations stops at any point during the registration process and you need to resubmit part of the batch.
7. Once you have visually inspected your domains, click to begin the bulk lookup and registration process.
The time it takes to register your bulk file depends on the size of the batch file. Each name appears on the screen as it either registers or fails to register because it’s taken. The word Done appears at the bottom of the domain list once the file is completely done, and a new page is displayed showing the status of each request.
In some cases, especially with large files or during times when the registry’s response is slow, your browser may not display live updates of the registration progress until it has completed the file. Do not shut down your browser and try again; instead, let the browser complete the process.
IDN supported TLDs and languages
For a list of the languages that are supported for each TLD, see the gTLD and ccTLD Reference Chart on the OpenSRS website.