Character sets

This page contains information on Signum! character sets.

One Signum! document could have up to 7 so-called character sets or chsets for short. Each character set is a collection of up to 127 characters which are indentified by a 7-bit number.

These character sets were identified by a filename without the extension (e.g. ANTIKRO), which was used to find the correspoding editor (E24) and printer (P24, P09, L30) font files.

See also: E24 Font Format

Key codes

Other than their graphical representation, these charsets did not carry any information about the meaning of each glyph. The users relied on the fact that the glyph in the E24 file that was printed on screen matched the glyph in the printer font file at the same position.

The following images show an Atari ST keyboard with every key that can produce a Signum! character marked with H/L corresponding to the hexadecimal value for that key used in the font files.

For example, the uppercase letter A is on the Button next to Control if Shift is held. It has the code $41 in ASCII and Signum and is marked as 4 (high) over 1 (low) in this diagram.

The standard notation to talk about Signum! font character identity was introduced by the program itself and its “ASCII” compatibility mode. A single letter corresponds to the character you get when pressing that key on an ATARI keyboard, a z after a number indicates that it’s the variant from the numpad and a Z indicates that it’s the shift of that variant.

It is basically going backwards from a font file through the keyboard mapping in the image above and checking which key would appear on that spot in a normal text input on a standard german keyboard, like this one.

HL _0 _1 _2 _3 _4 _5 _6 _7 _8 _9 _A _B _C _D _E _F
0_   (Z )Z /Z *Z 0Z 1Z 2Z 3Z 4Z 5Z 6Z 7Z 8Z 9Z (z
1_ )z /z *z 0z 1z 2z 3z 4z 5z 6z 7z 8z 9z +z -z .z
2_ § ! # $ % & ( ) * + , - . /
3_ 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : ; < = > ?
4_ ü A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O
5_ P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ö Ü ä ^ _
6_ ` a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o
7_ p q r s t u v w x y z Ö | Ä ~ ß

ASH font discs

Application Systems sold a collection of font discs. The named ones were professional creations, while the Signum-Font-eXchange (SiFoX) was set up to redistribute user-generated fonts to Signum licensees.

By sending in a complete font of your own design for distribution through SiFoX or paying 30,- DM, you would get one SiFoX-Disc of fonts for your printer type (24 needle, 9 needle or laser) that you didn’t have already. There was a list of fonts available in the manual if you wanted a specific one.

Some of these fonts ended up in disk images on the web. The following pages use those to display a preview of the keyboard mapping using the editor font. I’m not (re)distributing the actual font files on purpose.

Some non-standard fonts that I came across are listed here. There’s also a list of all charsets and a list of characters not in Unicode.

Delta Labs



ST Scancodes