Microsoft's ANSI Character Set

From: Markus Kuhn (
Date: Tue Jun 08 1999 - 07:47:47 EDT

A question, just to satisfy my historic interest:

Why is the MS-Windows documentation full of references to the "ANSI
character set" and what ANSI standard does this refer to?

It this just ANSI/ISO 8859-1 or has CP1252 at some point become
an ANSI standard?

Some branches of the (low end) computing literature have become full of
references to the "ANSI character set", but know body seems to know what
that means, except that everyone copies it from Microsoft documents.
Indeed it seems that references to the "ANSI character set" have become
a good indicator for the general level of competence of the author of a
computing publication.


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
Email: mkuhn at,  WWW: <>

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