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Convert Accented Characters

For instance, if you want to use a string as part of a URL but need to make it safe for that kind of use.

function replace_accents($str) {
   $str = htmlentities($str, ENT_COMPAT, "UTF-8");
   $str = preg_replace('/&([a-zA-Z])(uml|acute|grave|circ|tilde);/','$1',$str);
   return html_entity_decode($str);
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