OEM character sets (Original Equipment Manufacturer). The 8th bit often contained characters for line drawings as a carry over from pre-GUI (Graphics User Interface) days. Different countries or companies did whatever they wanted with that 8th bit. Used by DOS, OS/2, floppy disks, and the FAT system (File Allocation System).

American DOS predominantly uses one of two character sets: 437 and 850.

In Windows you can use the chcp [nnn] command to display or set the active code page number.


Aka: CP437, OEM 437, PC-8, MS-DOS Latin US, OEM font, High ASCII, Extended ASCII.

Used in IBM DOS, OS/2, and MS-DOS. Codes 32-126 are teh same as ASCII. 437 is often the default active code page. Keyboard shortcut: Alt+#, EG: Alt+21 enters the section sign §.

437 ECS character set


Aka: 850 Multilingual.

850 is Microsoft's "improvement" on 437. Some of the line drawing characters since the world was becoming GUI.

Used in MS DOS.

850 Multilingual character set

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