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Encoding and Windows Forms Globalization

Windows Forms are entirely Unicode-enabled, meaning that each character is represented by a unique number, no matter what the platform, program, or language. For more information on Unicode, see the Web site of the Unicode consortium (

Benefits of Unicode-enabled forms include the ability to work with scripts that are Unicode-only, such as Hindi. In addition, you can use multiple languages on a single form. In Unicode, all characters are two bytes long, so no special effort is needed to represent double-byte characters. You can also write a single set of code which will work on all platforms. This is a change from previous versions of Visual Basic, in which you had to write different code for different platforms such as Windows NT and Windows 98.

However, certain controls do not support Unicode in Windows 98 and Windows Millennium Edition. These controls, all of which inherit from the common control, will process data with the Windows code pages, as ANSI. These controls are: TabControl, ListView, TreeView, DateTimePicker, MonthCalendar, TrackBar, ProgressBar, ImageList, ToolBar, and StatusBar. The result of this is that you cannot display Unicode data in these controls on the listed platforms. For example, you cannot display Japanese characters on an English Windows 98 system.

See Also

Globalizing Windows Forms | Globalizing and Localizing Applications