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Comparing ISO-8859-1 and ISO-8859-15

The character encodings ISO-8859-1 and ISO-8859-15 are very similar and easily confused. This leads to several typical problems. The following chart show the differences between these encodings and are useful for debugging the associated problems.

ISO-8859-1 vs. ISO-8859-15

The ISO-8859-1 character set is full; Every code point is assigned to a character. In 1999, ISO needed to make the Euro currency symbol available. There were also a few other characters that were desired. So ISO created ISO-8859-15, which is identical to ISO-8859-1 except for 8 characters.

ISO-8859-15 is often used on Unix systems in Europe, especially in France.

Typical Problems

The characters removed from ISO 8859-1 to make room for those added to ISO 8859-15
ISO-8859-1 RemovedISO-8859-15 Added
CharacterCharacter NameCharacterCharacter NameUnicode
Code Point
A4¤Currency SignEuro SignU+20AC
A6¦Broken BarŠLatin Capital Letter S With CaronU+0160
A8¨DiaeresisšLatin Small Letter S With CaronU+0161
B4´Acute AccentŽLatin Capital Letter Z With CaronU+017D
B8¸CedillažLatin Small Letter Z With CaronU+017E
BC¼Vulgar Fraction One QuarterŒLatin Capital Ligature OEU+0152
BD½Vulgar Fraction One HalfœLatin Small Ligature OEU+0153
BE¾Vulgar Fraction Three QuartersŸLatin Capital Letter Y With DiaeresisU+0178

Additional References