OS/2 eZine - http://www.os2ezine.com
November 16, 2002
John Bijnens is a CAM/CAM engineer in the KHLim - Dep. IWT which is some kind of technical university in Belgium. He gives training in Pro/E and also writes CNC postprocessors (all development is done on OS/2.)

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Does the following problem sound familiar to you ? You have codepages 437 (US) and 850 (International) installed and then you get an email from a Windows addicted friend containing several special characters like , , which can only be properly viewed when using codepage 1004. But you can only have two codepages ready to use so you have to make a change in your config.sys and substitute 437 or 850 for 1004. Or ... you can use a magnificent program called CPPal (CodePage Pal) which takes advantage of the less known feature of PMShell to have multiple codepages in use at the same time. CPPal is written by Rich Walsh, the author of the well known WPS enhancement DragText.

Installation and Use

The latest version at this moment is 0.30 You can download it from hobbes (cppal030.zip.)

Just unzip the file in the directory you want it to install in and start the program by executing cppal.exe. The following dialog window now appears on your desktop

The two codepages that you can see at the bottom of the window are the codepages you have specified in your config.sys.

CPPal has two functions:

  • You can query which codepage is used in a particular window. To do this just drag the question mark over the window you want to query and release the right mouse button.
  • You can set the desired codepage to be used in a particular window. To do this just select the desired codepage in the listbox and drag the exclamation mark over the window you want to change the codepage of drop it by releasing the right mouse button.

In the pictures below you can see the effect of changing the codepage of a Window from 437 to 1004.

Original window of PMMail

[Click image to view full size.]

Select the desired codepage.

After dropping the exclamation mark on the window we get the following result.

[Click image to view full size.]

Although the author says in the accompanying readme file that use of the program may lead to extremely undesirable effects like files whose names contain non-ASCII characters (i.e. characters not in the English alphabet which is something I never do) may become inaccessible if the current process codepage does not match the one in effect when the file was created. I never experienced any trouble. Nevertheless you are warned to use it at your own risk.

Additional information

The author Rich Walsh can be contacted by email.

Don't forget that all this software is written by the author in his own spare time so if you like this software, please send a sign of life and your appreciation to him. This way he knows his work is valued very much and it will give a stimulation to develop new versions. If anything isn't working as expected don't start to yell but try to provide the author with a full reproducible error report so he is able to correct the problem in case of a bug.


And then it is up to you. Give CPPal a try.

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