Offering Optimal Uro Support
With the introduction of the euro, the Commission’s employees will start using the new euro symbol (€) in their documents, spreadsheets, e-mail messages, etc. This can be done on PCs running the new reference configuration NTP 3.5, since the basic implementation of the new character has already been included there. However, after September 1997, when the NTP 3.5 Setup CD was published, the incorporation of the euro in IT systems and standards was still subject to ongoing development. Consequently, DI-STB had to adapt the first basic euro implementation of NTP 3.5 in order to comply with the newly enacted standards, in addition to providing new functionality and fixing problems.
This guide is focused on providing guidelines to the Local System Administrators and show them how to offer optimal euro support on NTP PCs and on assisting the local help desk team in solving problems related to the euro.
During 1998, some software updates were published which impact the implementation of the euro. These updates (Service Packs and Service Releases) together with the changes pertaining the euro implementation they provide are described here. This guide also clarifies which updates have to be installed so that the information given by the euro “user’s guide” (see Appendix A) is correct. This user’s guide will be distributed at the end of February 1999 and is to be found at the euro section of the office automation area on Softline.
2.Euro support components
In order to enable the euro sign to be typed, displayed and printed in 16-bit/32-bit applications on Windows NT PCs, several system files have to be updated.
1.Keyboard layout files
In order to type the €, you need a keyboard layout that includes it. NT provides a lot of different keyboard layouts in accordance with various national customs. The most important keyboard layouts for the European Commission are: British, Czech, Czech Qwerty, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, French Belgium, German, Greek 319, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish (214), Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, US and US international. The € has been added to all these layouts except for the Russian layout. The key or key combination (such as AltGr+E) that produces the € is defined in the keyboard layout files (kbdbe.dll, kbdit.dll,…) and consequently may be vary among the various national layouts (see page 16).
In order to display and print the €, fonts are needed that include it. At the moment there are already several euro-enabled fonts available on the market. The most important among them such as Arial, Times New Roman and Courier New are installed on the NTP platform.
4.National language settings files
In order to support the € not only on 32-bit applications but also on legacy 16-bit applications as well, national language settings files (c_1252.nls, c_1253.nls…) are needed which include it. These files are used to convert the character’s Unicode value to its code-page-based 8-bit value and vice versa. The euro’s Unicode value is 20AC hexadecimal, its 8-bit value in most of Microsoft’s code tables (Windows-1252, Windows-1253…) is 80 hexadecimal.
This section contains a brief checklist of the recommended installations. The detailed descriptions of the features provided by these installations are to be found in the next section. The corresponding installation notices are published on Softline.
On NTP 3.5 and NTP 3.51 Workstations the following is needed to provide optimal euro support:
(1)Installation of the final NT Workstation euro script (see section 4.4) from the euro section of the office automation area on Softline.
(2)Installation of Service Release 2 for Office 97 (see section 4.3) from the office automation area on Softline
(3)Application of the system policy template (see sections 6.2, 6.2.3) from the euro section of the office automation area on Softline
In order to provide optimal support on NT printer servers the installation of the final NT Server euro product update from the euro section of the office automation area on Softline is needed. Servers that have been installed by Digital since May 98 don’t need this installation. For more detailed information, please refer to section 4.5.
5.Euro support sources
Basic euro support has already been provided in the EC’s reference configuration NTP 3.5. However, product updates such as Service Pack 2 for NTP 3.5 and Service Release 2 for Office 97 adapt the original NTP 3.5’s euro implementation in keeping with developments in the IT industry by adding new features and fixing problems.
Below follows the history and a description of the main properties of the various euro installations. For a detailed list of installed keyboards, fonts and national language files, please refer to Appendix B.
1.EC reference configuration NTP 3.5 (September 97)
NTP 3.5 already provided for full euro support. It installed European keyboard layout files that uniformly enabled the euro symbol to be produced via the key combination AltGr+E, in addition to a beta version of the euro-enabled core fonts Times New Roman, Arial and Courier New.
The beta version of the euro-enabled core fonts is outdated. In the final version the € design has been revised so that the size of the € harmonises with the size of figures and other currency symbols.
The fonts MS Sans Serif (used in system dialogs) and Tahoma (used in Excel dialogs) are not yet available.
Since September 97 the placement of the € on some European keyboards has changed. On most keyboards it is still produced via the key combination AltGr+E, however on the present British keyboard, for example, it is now produced via AltGr+4 because AltGr+E is already used for “Ã©”.
NTP 3.5 installs PowerPoint 97 SR1, which is not able to print the € on HP LaserJet 4 and 5 printers.
3.Service Pack 2 for NTP 3.5 (June 98)
Service Pack 2 for NTP 3.5 was published in June 98 and is to be found at the NTP area on Softline
As concerns the euro sign, it installs the final version of the three euro-enabled core fonts (Arial, Times New Roman, Courier New) and adds the Tahoma font.
The MS Sans Serif font (used in system dialogs) is not yet available.
The keyboard layouts have not been updated yet. For example, on the British keyboard the € is still produced via AltGr+e instead of AltGr+4.
The PowerPoint printing problem (see above) has not been solved yet.
4.Service Release 2 for Office 97 (November 98)
Service Release 2 for Office 97 was published in November 98 and is to be found at the office section of the office automation area on Softline.
Added value items:
The euro-enabled Comic Sans MS and Tahoma fonts have been added.
PowerPoint is now able to print the € on HP LaserJet 4 and 5 printers.
5.Final NT Workstation euro script (January 99)
This script was published on Softline in January 99 at the euro section of the office automation area (NTP). It installs the final European keyboard layouts, the final euro-enabled core fonts (Arial, Times New Roman, Courier New), the euro-enabled MS Sans Serif and Tahoma fonts and a number of additional euro-enabled office fonts (Arial Black, Arial Narrow, Book Antiqua, Bookman Old Style, Century Gothic, Comic Sans MS, Garamond, Haettenschweiler, Impact, Monotype Corsiva, Trebuchet MS and Verdana).
This script does not solve the PowerPoint printing problem. Service Release 2 for Office 97 is needed for this (cf. section 4.3).
7.Final NT Server euro product update (January 99)
This final NT 4.0 euro product update from Microsoft has been published on Softline at the euro section of the office automation area (NTP). It is advisable to use this update on all NT 4 printer servers in order to avoid problems with the HP LaserJet 4 and 5 printer families (see section 6.1.2).
Some servers might already be euro-enabled, because Digital has preinstalled the euro product update on all servers that have been delivered to the EC since May 98. In order to determine whether your server is already euro-enabled, check the currency subset of the Arial font in Start/Programs/ Accessories/Character Map. If it contains the €, installing the NT 4.0 Server euro product update on this server is not necessary.
6.How to use the Euro
DI-STB has published a little guide for the “end-user” which explains how the € can be used in people’s day-to-day work. It is to be found in Appendix A. The information given in this guide applies to the euro implementation provided by the installation of the final NT Workstation euro script (see section 4.4).
If the final NT Workstation euro script has not been installed, the key combination used for producing the € on the British and US international keyboards is different from the one described in the guide (see section 4). In addition, the MS Sans Serif and the Tahoma fonts are not euro-enabled yet. Thus, the € cannot be properly displayed in both the Regional Settings dialog box and Excel’s Format Cells dialog box.
Furthermore, in the users guide’s section on Excel 97 it is assumed that the € is defined as the default currency in the Regional Settings. How this configuration can be done automatically is explained in section 6.2.3.