News & Events

Handling of international characters

Issue from the field

Markus, It is not the first time it happens to me. Pentagon Graphic were doing a french job and instead of printing a “e” with a accent normally “e9″in hexadecimal the value I was reading in the GT Hexadecimal view of the Data was “21” so I tried to change the character under position 21 to be “e9” using the translation table. You will see in the config attached with this email. No success at all. I tried to open the data file with notepad and all the accents are there.A other weird thing is that we see in the hexadecimal view of the data some character value in hexadecimal are “fff” and there is no way of changing them


The address file comes from the customer and has a certain code table. From ASCII 0-127 things are normally clear, it is the code from 128-255 that varies.

The most common code tables are:
• DOS – ASCII, PC8: it is in older operating systems. By the way, the Jetarray and A400 normally use also this code table. I say normally because all resident fonts in the Jetarray and A400 use PC8. However, with the Character Editor, one can assign new codes to other fonts. As a default, it is PC8.
• Windows – ASCII: As the name says it, it is used by MS-Windows. By The way, the Bitjet normally uses also this code table. I say normally because all fonts in the Bitjet are Windows. However, with the Character Editor, one can assign new codes to other fonts. The controller itself too, because it is a Windows controller.
• EBCDIC: this is an older IBM code table. Usually found in magnetic tapes.
• Unicode: this is new (Windows XP) and not implemented yet in the controller. It handles Chinese, Japanese, etc. A character is 2 bytes long instead of 1 byte long.

Viewing Address File

The EditorGT provides a nice conversion table to accommodate for different code tables used in address files. Note that some customers get address files from their different customers, that is, one can be PC8, another ASCII, and so on.

You want to convert any address file into Windows-ASCII when using the EditorGT because the display will show the right character.

When you select an address file, you will come to the FileView below. The conversion table is a button. You can also look at the raw data in Hex.

You see the table is correct because you can see in this example all the characters in Field 2 with the right accentuation. That is what you want to achieve in a first step.

If you are not sure about the code table, you can press the [Hex] button and see the hex value. For example below, the hex value for é is E9 the code in Windows-ASCII.

The hex code for é would be 82 if the data were in PC8. In this case, press the table button and select PC8.

Sending it to Inkjet

In the case of this customer, he had the Windows-ASCII characters, that the EditorGT runs with, converted to PC8 again.

Usually, the fonts used in the Bitjet go by the Windows-ASCII table, not the PC8 table. Unless, for example a customer absolutely wanted a Jetarray font, that when taken over to the Bitjet remained in PC8.

Thus, in this case the problem was converting it into PC8.

Normally, you “Convert to PC8” checked for Jetarray and A400, not checked for Bitjet.