Mac OS Roman is a character encoding primarily used by the classic Mac OS to represent text. It encodes 256 characters, the first 128 of which are identical to ASCII, with the remaining characters including mathematical symbols, , and additional punctuation marks. It is suitable for English language and several other Western languages. Mac OS Roman is a superset of the original Macintosh character set, used in System 1.
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority identifies this encoding using the string " macintosh". The MIME Content-Type for this encoding is therefore "text/plain; charset=macintosh". Mac OS Roman is also referred to as MacRoman or the Apple Standard Roman character set. The Microsoft Windows code page number is 10000.
The following table shows how characters are encoded in Macintosh Roman. Each character is shown with its Unicode
equivalent right below and its decimal code at the bottom.
The (usually nonprintable) character 0x11 is mapped to the Command key glyph (⌘) in many fonts, particularly those intended for use as system fonts. It is mappable to the Unicode character . The codes 0x12, 0x13, and 0x14 were also used for icons to indicate the shift key, option key, and control key keys in menu items.
The codes 0xA2, 0xA3, 0xA9, 0xB1, and 0xB5 coincidentally have the same character assignment as ISO 8859-1 (and thus Unicode).
Before Mac OS 8.5, the character 0xDB mapped to currency sign (¤), Unicode character U+00A4.
The character 0xF0 is a solid Apple logo. The Unicode equivalent U+F8FF is in the Corporate Private Use Area, but it is probably not supported on non-Apple platforms.
With the release of Mac OS X, Mac OS Roman and all other "scripts" (as the Mac OS called them) were replaced by UTF-8 as the standard character encoding for the Macintosh operating system. However, the default character encoding in Java for macOS is still MacRoman (see Mac Dev Center
), and the keyboard layout
with its combination of control key
, option key
still map to the original characters in MacRoman. The default character encoding for Java can be changed to UTF-8 by adding the following line to x-mac-roman:
export set JAVA_OPTS="$JAVA_OPTS -Dfile.encoding=UTF8"
Western Latin character sets (computing)
Apple Computer, Inc. (1993). Inside Macintosh: Text. New York: Addison-Wesley. .
Apple Computer, Inc. (1985). Inside Macintosh Volume I. New York: Addison-Wesley. .