Frequently Asked Questions

How much does AllChars cost?

Nop, nietes, nothing. AllChars is free to use at home and at your office and it may be installed on one, two or 1001 machines.

How to add characters that my keyboard is missing?

If we're talking 'normal' characters, edit the allchars.ini file and add them below [Tables] with a line like:

MissingChars=(({ ))}

See the manual for more information and read 'How do I make 'other' characters using AllChars?' below also.

How do I make 'other' characters using AllChars?

Step one is understanding (a bit) how things work

AllChars only sends a character value (between 1 and 255) to the application in use. The in this application used font and character set (often called ‘script') determine what character is shown.
Older Windows fonts have one (fixed) character set, but the newer Unicode fonts can have many character sets.

E.g. typing Ctrl 1 4 (character 188) gives a ¼ in the Arial font, but a in the WingDings font. And typing Ctrl ? ? (character 191) gives a ¿ in the Western character set, but a in the Greek character set.

The 'Char Table' option on the AllChars help screen shows the available characters. With the popup-menu you can change the font and character set (script), showing the characters in different fonts and character sets.

In the used application (e.g. Word) you have to select the font and optional the character set ('script') in this font. The Windows system itself normally uses the ANSI (Western) character set.

So what AllChars can and can not do

If you use a localized Windows and/or fonts for your language/region, you can configure AllChars with key combinations for the special characters in these localized fonts and/or character sets. Some of these configurations are available on this website. But remember: you might need other (localized or Unicode) fonts for these!

AllChars can not:

  • Give you characters that are not available in the active character set of the active font.
  • (Temporarily) change to another font like 'Symbol' or 'Wingdings' for special characters of these fonts.
  • (Temporarily) change the character-set in the font.

All this has to be done in the application itself.

Does AllChars work with Windows ME, 2000 or XP?

Yes, AllChars works fine on Windows ME, 2000 and XP.

Why do my macros (sometimes) not work?

  1. Some 'deadkey' characters are not allowed in macro-names: ` ´ ¨ ˆ ˜ ¸ ~ , ^ ' ", (ANSI 096, 180, 168, 136, 152, 184, 126, 044, 094, 039 and 034). So also no comma and no single quote and no double quotes!
  2. Is the macro time-out time set big enough for your typing speed?
    If you're not that fast in typing, increase the time. The time-out time is the maximum time between two typed characters in a macro-name. After not receiving any character during this time, AllChars will stop the macro, with one last try to translate the macro. If your macros are (sometimes) not translated, you are probably typing too slow for the time-out time set, so increase the time.
  3. If you use a program in which the macro name is not removed and the end of the macro text is removed instead, try activating the delay option: add in allchars.ini the line ‘MacroDelay=200’ in the ‘[Configuration]’ section. You can experiment with the delay time (200 ms in the example).

How do I avoid false macro translation?

To avoid problems with false macro translation:

  • Use a not often used character as start-character to avoid a false macro translation.
    E.g. do not use a dot if you are programming in a language using dots in identifiers, etc.
  • Do not use very short macro names, like one-character names.

How do I get the EURO symbol?

AllChars supports the EURO symbol (character 0128) if your Windows (fonts) supports it. For 'older' Windows versions you have run the Microsoft 'Euro Patch' first:

  • For Windows 95 you need the 'Windows 95 beta 1 EURO product update', and
  • For Windows NT 4 the 'Windows NT 4 codepage support patch' or 'Service Pack 4' or higher.
    (If you have installed the latest Windows core fonts, do not forget to delete them first - see Microsoft info.)

Go to the Microsoft 'EURO currency symbol' page, read all about it and get the patch you need:

In AllChars version 1.22, 2.10 and 3.x the EURO character is added.

How do I install AllChars on a network?

AllChars need writing rights for its configuration file; default allchars.ini in the AllChars directory.

For network configurations this file can be placed in another directory, so the AllChars program can be shared, while individuals have there own (local) configuration file.

For this start AllChars with the commandline option ‘-c’ followed by the full filepath and name of the configuration file. Both should be separated by a space. E.g.:

  • allchars.exe -c m:\configurations\allchars.ini
  • allchars.exe -C "c:\Program Files\AllChars\allchars.ini"

You can check which configuration file is used in the AllChars Configuration screen.