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GNU Emacs Lisp Reference Manual

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33.5 Character Sets

Emacs classifies characters into various character sets, each of which has a name which is a symbol. Each character belongs to one and only one character set.

In general, there is one character set for each distinct script. For example, latin-iso8859-1 is one character set, greek-iso8859-7 is another, and ascii is another. An Emacs character set can hold at most 9025 characters; therefore, in some cases, characters that would logically be grouped together are split into several character sets. For example, one set of Chinese characters, generally known as Big 5, is divided into two Emacs character sets, chinese-big5-1 and chinese-big5-2.

ASCII characters are in character set ascii. The non-ASCII characters 128 through 159 are in character set eight-bit-control, and codes 160 through 255 are in character set eight-bit-graphic.

Function: charsetp object
Returns t if object is a symbol that names a character set, nil otherwise.

Function: charset-list
This function returns a list of all defined character set names.

Function: char-charset character
This function returns the name of the character set that character belongs to.

Function: charset-plist charset
This function returns the charset property list of the character set charset. Although charset is a symbol, this is not the same as the property list of that symbol. Charset properties are used for special purposes within Emacs; for example, preferred-coding-system helps determine which coding system to use to encode characters in a charset.

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