IBM iSeries AS/400 Character Encoding

BC3 logo BC version 3 or 4

When viewing files on an AS/400 via a Remote Share (\\sharename\folder\file), you may need to manually specify the character encoding.  To specify the character encoding, create a new File Format:

  1. From the Tools menu, select File Formats.  Create a new Text Format named "IBM".
  2. Move the "IBM" format:
    • To the bottom of the File Format list to prevent it from activating automatically.
    • Or to the top of the File Format list and assign it a Mask of "*.*" to activate it for all files.
  3. In the Conversion tab of the "IBM" file format, change the Miscellaneous setting Encoding from "Detect" to the character encoding used by your files.  Some AS/400 systems use EBCDIC as their character encoding.
  4. Set the Characters per line limit to the appropriate value for your files.  This may be 100, 80, or another value.
  5. Click Save, then close the File Format dialog.

The "IBM" file format is now available if you open two text files in the Text Compare:

If the IBM file format isn't automatically used when you load your files, there are three ways to manually select it:

  • On the toolbar, the right-side of the Format button is a dropdown arrow.  Pick the format name from the dropdown list to apply it to both sides of the comparison.
  • The file info panel for the left and right sides lists the current file format.  Select a file format from the dropdown to apply it to just one side of the comparison.
  • From the Session menu, select Session Settings.  Go to the Format tab, then can pick the Left and Right formats.  As an alternative to using a file format, you can override the character encoding in this tab as well.

    *Note, the Format tab cannot be saved as a default for future Text Compare sessions.  Any changes here only apply to the current view.

Pro only Advanced tip for BC Pro Edition users

  1. From the Tools menu, select File Formats.
  2. Move the "IBM" format to the bottom of the list and disable it by unchecking the box next to the name in the left-side list.
  3. Associate the mask to match on all files:  "*.*".
  4. Close the File Formats dialog.
  5. In the Folder Compare session, select Session Settings from the Session menu.  Go to the Misc tab.
  6. Uncheck all formats except for the new "IBM" format, which should be enabled.
  7. Save the Folder Compare session.

Any files opened in this Folder Compare will automatically use the new File Format, while other Folder sessions will use the default formats.

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