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Posted on 1999-12-29
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
An associate wants to send me a file in a format called ANSI, though I requested ASCII.  What is ANSI and how is it different from ASCII? I thought ANSI was a board of experts, not a file format. Any information you can give will help. Thanks in advance!
Question by:williamsonp
  • 2

Expert Comment

ID: 2312922

Prior to Windows, DOS-based computers used the ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) character set. ASCII defines 128 codes, 96 of which represent printable characters. Windows 3.x and later uses the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) character set, which adds 128 "extended" or additional characters. In most ANSI fonts, extended characters include the copyright symbol, fractions, and characters not used in English.

Most Windows applications support extended ANSI characters. To type an ANSI character, do the following:
1. Turn on Num Lock (most keyboards have an LED that lights when Num Lock is on).
2. Click your insertion point where you want to add the ANSI character.
3. Press the Alt key while entering the four-digit ANSI code on the numeric keypad.

NOTE: You must type all four digits (the first number is always 0). Using only three digits gives you an ASCII character instead of an ANSI character.

If you do not know the ANSI code for the character you want to enter, you can access the number using the Windows Character Map Accessory or the PageMaker 5.0x Charset.pt5 template, which generates a complete set of ANSI codes for a font. You can also refer to documentation provided from the font manufacturer.


Expert Comment

ID: 2312928

ANSI is the plain text format used in the good old dos days.  ASCII is the standard that's used by Windows.  It contains the characters used by ANSI but it also has an extended set of characters.  

Normally you won't have problems with the ANSI file (many people confuse the 2).  


Accepted Solution

Anthem earned 200 total points
ID: 2312998
Besides what I provided above you may want to check out the following websites:

make sure you check the links out at the end of this site:


misc. sites:



How to add to webpage:


-Thanks :0)
LVL 85

Expert Comment

ID: 2313036
ANSI is the American National Standards Institute
ASCII is the  American Standard Code for Information Interchange a.k.a ANSI_X3.4-1968
Most other character encodings are extensions of ASCII, like ANSI_X3.110-1983

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