Unicode in the Windows API

Windows API functions that manipulate characters are generally implemented in one of three formats:

  • A generic version that can be compiled for either Windows code pages or Unicode
  • A Windows code page version with the letter "A" used to indicate "ANSI"
  • A Unicode version with the letter "W" used to indicate "wide"

Some newer functions support only Unicode versions. For more information, see Conventions for Function Prototypes.

The following topics discuss Unicode data types and how they are used in functions and messages; the use of resources, file names, and command line arguments; and methods of translating between different types of strings.

About Unicode and Character Sets