Difference between ANSI and Unicode
ANSI and Unicode:
ANSI and Unicode can be defined as two popular mthods of encoding text as numbers that were widely used all over the world. While both serve pretty much the same purpose, there are certain characteristics between the two that indeed sets them apart.
What is ANSI?
ANSI, also known as Windows 1252, stands for American National Standards institute. It is a character encoding metod which is intended for the usage of operating systems like Windows 95/98 and older which thereby makes it the older application. It is an application which contains around 200 characters from foreign languages, letters, numbers, punctuation marks, etc, and yet, although Microsoft has released several updated versions of ANSI, it never contained enough characters to suit Asian languages which poses as a problem. However it was an easy to use fast application which had several drwbacks all the same.
What is Unicode?
Unicode was introduced as the open standard for text encoding by the Unicode Consortium which is a non-profit organization. It is the newer version of text encoding method which emerged out of the collaboration between Apple and Xerox. It possesses the code points of UTF-8 and it is capable of supporting nearly 65,536 different characters which allows text files written in many languages to be exchanged and read by multiple operating systems. And yet, it cannot be supported by the older systems as the newer operating systems have Unicode to set standards for the characters and thereby, these do not coincide with the approach of the previous systems.
What is the difference between Unicode and ANSI?
ANSI and Unicode are two methods introduced for the same purpose of character encoding, ANSI was the method that was introduced a long time back by Microsoft for operating systems such as 95/98 and older and as a result, they are not suited for the newer more sophisticated operating systems of today. Unicode is the newer and improved version intended for the newer operating systems and this was introduced by the Unicode Consortium which is a non-profit organization which emerged out of the collaboration between Apple and Xerox.
While ANSI was a fast and easy method of character encoding those days, it only contained around 200 characters from foreign languages, letters, numbers, punctuation marks which did not include the facility to support Asian languages which possessed more characters than the languages which derived out of the the Roman alphabet. And yet, Unicode which has the ability to support 65,536 different characters, supports the profusion of characters that the Asisan languages carry with them.
Also, while ANSI only uses 8 bits to represent every code point which only supports a total of 256 different combinations, Unicode uses 32 bit for each code point with other variations such as UTF-8 and UTF-16 which used only 2 bits to store a character. Thereby, Unicode can only be supported by the newer operating systems which have Unicode to set standards for the characters and it cannot be supported by the older operating systems at all. On the other hand, ANSI can be supported by the newer operating systems and yet, this process is very slow and takes up quite a lot of hard disk space because the system needs to convert it in to Unicode in order for it to be used.