CPI Files

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Using PROCON's High Visibility Full Screen VGA Fonts in Codepage Information Files

What is a Codepage Information (CPI) File?

All versions of MS-DOS and Windows (from DOS 3.3 on), allow you to customise the keyboard mapping - and full screen font characters - to suit different languages. The font and keyboard information is contained in Codepage Information (CPI) Files.

MS-DOS and Windows 3.x/9x/Me do not require a CPI file to create full screen modes. (If a CPI file is not used they default to using the "hardware" fonts in the video card's ROM BIOS - as the PC does when it first boots.)

Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/7 does not have this hardware dependence (except when  booting and running MS-DOS programs like COMMAND.COM under its DOS Virtual Machine). Windows cannot then create a full screen Console unless it has been able to load a CPI file when booting. (If you use a "Spy" utility to list the open file "handles" it will normally include a file like:-  C:\WINNT\System32\EGA.CPI.)

As these CPI files contain embedded representations of the character glyphs, the easiest way to replace the default VGA font is by using a different CPI file.

CPI Files Containing the HVFont

The HVFont CPI File package contains the necessary files and information to install a Codepage Information (CPI) File that uses PROCON's Hi-Visibility HVFont.

The CPI File allows the superior HVFont to be used in all full screen console modes running under:-
Windows 3.x/95/98/Me "DOS Boxes", and
Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/7 CMD.EXE Console modes.

It will not, of course, change the font used in:-

Windows DOS or Terminal "Boxes" run in a "Windowed" Window, or
Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/7 16 bit COMMAND.COM MS-DOS "Boxes".

(Our HVDOSBox.FON is designed to be used in "Windowed" terminal modes.)

Windows 3.x/95/98/Me Codepage Information Files Using a different CPI file - MS-DOS and Windows 3.x/95/98/Me

MS-DOS CPI files may be in any directory. Windows normally places them in the COMMAND subdirectory. To load a different CPI file:-

First obtain a list of any existing CPI files on your system. Open an MS-DOS window and type:-
   DIR %windir%\COMMAND\*.CPI
Take a note of the value of %windir% (it is probably C:\WIN or C:\WINDOWS).
Copy the new CPI file (e.g, HVEGAE.CPI) to this directory. For example, type:-
Use a plain text editor (e.g., Notepad) to add some lines to your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files to ensure that the new CPI file is loaded at boot time.
Using the correct Windows directory - and the new CPI filename - edit C:\CONFIG.SYS to add - or modify - these lines:-

Rem [==== Load Support Drivers for Country CodePages ====]
Rem [====================================================]

Similarly edit C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT and add - or modify - these lines:-

Rem [=========== Prepare & Select a Codepage ============]
MODE CON CODEPAGE SELECT=437                              
Rem [====================================================]

Reboot into Windows.

The system will load - and use - the new fonts in all full screen modes.

Windows XP Codepage Information Files Using a different CPI file - Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/7

Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/7 CPI files are in the SYSTEM32 subdirectory. To use a different CPI file:-

Open a console window and type:-
   DIR %SystemRoot%\System32\*.CPI
to obtain a list of CPI files on your system. There should be at least one - normally EGA.CPI . Note the value of %SystemRoot%  (probably C:\WINNT or C:\WINDOWS ). If only one CPI file exists - and you are using only English language settings - you can replace the Windows EGA.CPI file.
Copy the new CPI file into the SYSTEM32 directory. Type:-
Save a copy of the existing file (most important!). Type:-
Set the file "Read Only " in case you attempt to overwrite it:-
To ensure the copy has been successful, list both files with:-
   DIR EGA.*
Windows won't allow the EGA.CPI file to be replaced directly as it is open and locked - precluding its replacement while Windows is running. To get access to the file you must either:-
  1. Boot to DOS from a floppy disk, or
  2. Use the supplied MVINUSEF.EXE utility and batchfile to make the replacement.
Once the file has been replaced, reboot into Windows.

Windows will now load - and use - the new EGA.CPI file with the appropriate set of fonts in all full screen modes except for boot messages and MS-DOS Boxes.

What is included in the HVFont CPI File Package?

The HVFont CPI File package contains:-

Various CPI File Utilities, and
HVFont Codepage Information Files

Click here to download an Evaluation version of the HVFont Full Screen package. The HVFont CPI File package is part of this package.)

Click here to purchase a licence for any of the HVFont packages.

Purchase HVFont Packages by Credit Card

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Last modified: 22 August 2010
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