The Multinational Character Set
) is a character encoding created in 1983 by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) for use in the popular VT220 terminal. It was an 8-bit extension of ASCII
that added accented characters,
, and other character glyphs missing from 7-bit ASCII. It is only one of the
implemented for the VT220 National Replacement Character Set (NRCS).
MCS is registered as IBM code page 1100
( Multinational Emulation
) since 1992.
Depending on associated sorting Oracle Database
calls it WE8DEC
, or SF8DEC
Such "extended ASCII" sets were common (the National Replacement Character Set provided sets for more than a dozen European languages), but MCS has the distinction of being the ancestor of ECMA-94 in 1985
and ISO 8859-1 in 1987.
The code chart of MCS with ECMA-94, ISO 8859-1 and the first 256 code points of Unicode have many more similarities than differences. In addition to unused code points, differences from ISO 8859-1 are:
In the following table, code points that differ from ISO/IEC 8859-1 are shown boxed.
Lotus International Character Set (LICS), a very similar character set
BraSCII, a very similar character set
8-bit DEC Greek (Code page 1287)
8-bit DEC Turkish (Code page 1288)
8-bit DEC Hebrew
8-bit DEC Cyrillic (KOI-8 Cyrillic)
8-bit DEC Special Graphics (VT100 Line Drawing) (DEC-SPECIAL)
8-bit DEC Technical Character Set (DEC-TECHNICAL)
DEC Kanji (JIS X 0208)