Lotus International Character Set

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The Lotus International Character Set (LICS) is a proprietary single-byte character encoding introduced in 1985 by Lotus Development Corporation. It is based on the 1983 DEC Multinational Character Set (MCS) for VT220 terminals. As such, LICS is also similar to two other descendants of MCS, the ECMA-94 character set of 1985[1] and the ISO 8859-1 (Latin-1) character set of 1987.

LICS was first introduced as the character set of Lotus 1-2-3 Release 2 for DOS in 1985.[2][3][4][5] It is also utilized by 2.01,[3][4][5] 2.2,[6][7][5] 2.3 and 2.4[8][9][10][11] as well as by Symphony. It was also utilized in a number of third-party spreadsheet products emulating the file format. LICS was superseded by the Lotus Multi-Byte Character Set (LMBCS) introduced by Lotus 1-2-3 Release 3 in 1989.[11]

Character set[edit]

Codepoints 20hex (32) to 7Fhex (127) are identical to ASCII (as well as to LMBCS).[11] For some characters the table also lists dedicated Lotus 1-2-3 compose key sequences to ease character input beyond the Alt Numpad input method.

Lotus International Character Set[12][13]
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
2x  SP  ! " # $ % & ' ( ) * + , - . /
3x 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : ; < = > ?
4x @ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O
5x P Q R S T U V W X Y Z [ \ ] ^ _
6x ` a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o
7x p q r s t u v w x y z { | } ~
8x ◌̀ ◌́ ◌̂ ◌̈ ◌̃
9x ◌̀ ◌́ ◌̂ ◌̈ ◌̃ ı ◌̱ NBSP
Ax ƒ ¡ ¢ £ ¥ § ¤ © ª « Δ π ÷
Bx ° ± ² ³ µ/μ · ¹ º » ¼ ½ ¿
Cx À Á Â Ã Ä Å Æ Ç È É Ê Ë Ì Í Î Ï
Dx Ð Ñ Ò Ó Ô Õ Ö Œ Ø Ù Ú Û Ü Ÿ Þ ß
Ex à á â ã ä å æ ç è é ê ë ì í î ï
Fx ð ñ ò ó ô õ ö œ ø ù ú û ü ÿ þ
  Differences from ISO-8859-1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Standard ECMA-94: 8-bit Single-Byte Coded Graphic Character Set (PDF) (1 ed.). European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA). March 1985 [1984-12-14]. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-12-02. Retrieved 2016-12-01. Since 1982 the urgency of the need for an 8-bit single-byte coded character set was recognized in ECMA as well as in ANSI/X3L2 and numerous working papers were exchanged between the two groups. In February 1984 ECMA TC1 submitted to ISO/TC97/SC2 a proposal for such a coded character set. At its meeting of April 1984 SC decided to submit to TC97 a proposal for a new item of work for this topic. Technical discussions during and after this meeting led TC1 to adopt the coding scheme proposed by X3L2. Part 1 of Draft International Standard DTS 8859 is based on this joint ANSI/ECMA proposal....Adopted as an ECMA Standard by the General Assembly of Dec. 13–14, 1984.
  2. ^ Schemenaur, P. J. (1986-10-27). "Firm to Debut Clone Version of Lotus 1-2-3 - Program Offers 2.0 Compatibility". InfoWorld. Retrieved 2016-11-29. Twin Release 2 keeps the IBM extended character set of Version 1A, rather than Release 2.0's Lotus International Character Set, which... causes problems with commercial templates designed for Lotus 1-2-3, Release 1A.
  3. ^ a b Attia, Zayn 'Utbah (2015-03-11). "ASCII graphic characters, range names". Computer Tips. Archived from the original on 2016-11-30. Retrieved 2016-11-29. Release 1A's capability to use extended graphics characters to dress up a screen was an undocumented feature. These characters allowed you to draw boxes and add special symbols on the screen. With Release 2, Lotus has assigned different meanings to these characters, the Lotus International Character Set, LICS. Any these extended characters must be erased or replaced with regular keyboard characters before the character can appear acceptable on an Release 2 screen. Release 2.01 offers an install option to use extended characters rather than LICS characters.
  4. ^ a b Cobb, Douglas; Cobb, Steven (1988-10-31). "Spreadsheet clinic: How to adjust SuperCalc's financial functions to analyze annuities due, create flashing screen messages in 1-2-3, and access upper-level ASCII characters in Quattro and 1-2-3". PC Magazine: 411. Archived from the original on 2016-12-02. Retrieved 2016-12-01. Unlike 1-2-3, Quattro uses the ASCII character set. By default, 1-2-3, Release 2.01, uses the Lotus International Character Set (LICS) — the same character set that Release 2.0 always uses...you can command Release 2.01 to use the ASCII character set, just as Quattro does....load the install program, and select Advanced Options...select TextDisplay...choose Universal Text Display — ASCII-No LICS...Now, when you load 1-2-3 using the modified driver set, the @CHAR function will produce upper-level ASCII characters...(NB. By "Upper-level ASCII", the authors actually meant the 8-bit OEM character set.)
  5. ^ a b c "Kapitel 4. Kompatibilität mit anderen 1-2-3 Versionen - Zeichensätze" [Chapter 4. Compatility with other 1-2-3 Versions - Character Sets]. Lotus 1-2-3 Version 3.1 Upgrader's Handbuch [Upgrader's handbook] (in German) (1 ed.). Cambridge, MA, USA: Lotus Development Corporation. 1989. pp. 4-10–4-11. 302173.
  6. ^ "HP 95LX". InfoWorld: 72. 1991-12-16. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  7. ^ Matzkin, Jonathan (July 1991). "Hewlett-Packard Co. HP 95LX Palmtop PC". PC Magazine: 216, 220, 222. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  8. ^ Lee, Yvonne (1993-05-03). "HP 100LX rolled out as successor to palmtop". InfoWorld: 27. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  9. ^ Marshall, Patrick (1993-08-23). "Hewlett-Packard makes a good thing better by packing 100LX with features". InfoWorld. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  10. ^ "Questions and Answers about HP Palmtops: Q. What software is built into the 200LX ROM?". The HP Palmtop Paper Online. Archived from the original on 2016-11-27. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  11. ^ a b c Kamenz, Alfred; Vonhoegen, Helmut (1992). Das große Buch zu Lotus 1-2-3 für DOS (in German) (1 ed.). Data Becker. pp. 131–132, 357–358. ISBN 3-89011-375-3.
  12. ^ "Appendix F: Lotus International Character Set (LICS)" (PDF). HP 95LX User's Guide (2 ed.). Corvallis, OR, USA: Hewlett-Packard Company, Corvallis Division. June 1991 [March 1991]. pp. 792–799. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-11-28. Retrieved 2016-11-27.
  13. ^ "Anhang 2. Der Lotus Multibyte Zeichensatz (LMBCS)" [Appendix 2. The Lotus Multibyte Character Set (LMBCS)]. Lotus 1-2-3 Version 3.1 Referenzhandbuch [Lotus 1-2-3 Version 3.1 Reference Manual] (in German) (1 ed.). Cambridge, MA, USA: Lotus Development Corporation. 1989. pp. A2-1–A2-13. 302168. (While for Lotus 1-2-3 Release 3.1+ for DOS, the manual also contains a few notes on LICS.)

Further reading[edit]