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Single-byte European Character Support

The ISO 8859 Latin-n character sets define character codes in the range 160 to 255 to handle the accented letters and punctuation needed by various European languages. If you disable multibyte characters with `--unibyte', Emacs can still handle one of these character codes at a time. To specify which of these codes to use, invoke M-x set-language-environment and specify a suitable language environment such as `Latin-n'.

Emacs can also display those characters, provided the terminal or font in use supports them. This works automatically. Alternatively, if you are using a window system, Emacs can also display single-byte characters through fontsets, in effect by displaying the equivalent multibyte characters according to the current language environment. To request this, set the variable unibyte-display-via-language-environment to a non-nil value.

If your terminal does not support display of the Latin-1 character set, Emacs can display these characters as ASCII sequences which at least give you a clear idea of what the characters are. To do this, load the library iso-ascii. Similar libraries for other Latin-n character sets could be implemented, but we don't have them yet.

There are three different ways you can input single-byte non-ASCI characters characters:

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