Microsoft KB Archive/103833

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Knowledge Base

Using Alternate Character Sets Provided by Code Pages

Article ID: 103833

Article Last Modified on 12/1/2003


  • Microsoft Visual FoxPro 3.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft FoxPro 2.5b for MS-DOS
  • Microsoft FoxPro 2.5a
  • Microsoft FoxPro 2.5b for MS-DOS
  • Microsoft FoxPro 2.5b
  • Microsoft FoxPro 2.5a
  • Microsoft FoxPro 2.5b

This article was previously published under Q103833


You can use different character sets in FoxPro and other programs by changing the code page, as described below. The default code page for U.S. English is 437.


Pressing the ALT key in conjunction with the numbers on the numeric keypad will create extended, or special, characters. Extended characters are those characters above ASCII 127. Different code pages support different extended characters. For example, when you are using code page 437, pressing ALT+157 produces a Y with two short horizontal lines through it. With code page 850, these keys produce a zero with a line through it.

To use different code pages, add the following commands to the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files:

  • In the CONFIG.SYS file, add:

          device=c:\dos\display.sys con=(ega,437,2)
  • In the AUTOEXEC.BAT file, add:

          chcp 850
          REM change to the 859 character set
          keyb us,,c:\dos\keyboard.sys
          REM need only for keyboard change

Please note that the "EGA" in the above commands is used for both EGA and VGA monitors.

You can also change the code page at the MS-DOS prompt by issuing the following command:

   chcp 437

The code page change issued after a RUN command does not affect the current session of FoxPro because the RUN command starts another MS-DOS session.

In Windows, the default code page is 1252; you can change it to 850 or some other code page by quitting Windows and running the Windows Setup program.


Microsoft MS-DOS "User's Guide," version 6.0, pages 238-242, 271-276
Microsoft MS-DOS "User's Guide," version 5.0, pages 352-353, 632-637

Additional query words: VFoxWin FoxDos FoxWin foreign ascii codepage

Keywords: kbsetup KB103833