Last updated: 22 October 1997

IT aspects of the euro currency sign


The euro is the European Union currency that should be introduced from the 1 January 1999. For details, including the official euro glyph, look at This document discusses aspects related to the euro currency sign and IT (information technology).

7 and 8 bits

Today, most computer systems use 7 and 8 bits character sets. For the euro, one has to re-adapt present computer systems and facilitate the introduction of new computer systems in the most economical way. Whenever possible, it is strongly recommended to use Unicode as 7 and 8 bits character sets should be considered in the way out. But these legacy systems will be here for a long while.

Two new character sets are proposed:

The same as ASCII (ISO 646), but replacing the position VERTICAL LINE (U+007C) by the EURO SIGN (U+20AC). Another name for this character set could be ESCII.

The same as Latin1 (ISO 8859-1), but replacing the position VERTICAL LINE (U+007C) by the EURO SIGN (U+20AC).


Table Position number Glyph Name
euro-ASCII and euro-Latin1 7C EuroGlyph EURO SIGN


Next step: registering the tables.


There is a nearly completed proposition to have in Unicode:

Unicode position Glyph Name
U+20AC EuroGlyph EURO SIGN

To verify the status check Proposed Unicode Characters at

Warning : The following position in Unicode Version 2.0 is for the ecu and not the euro, even if the word euro is part of description.

Unicode position Glyph Name

In the glyph "CE" both characters are interlaced with the E lower.

HTML entity

One new entity is proposed for the euro in HTML:


It is recommended that this entity be used in preference to the 7 or 8 bits code corresponding to the position of the euro. This will make the intention clearer.

The euro could be also be refered using the decimal value of the Unicode position U+20AC :


If the browser cannot process:

Next step: Through W3C.

Glyph registration

For ISO 10036 work in progress.

Currency code

For ISO 4217 "EUR" has been registered.


Microsoft will support the euro. The information is at


There must be publicity focused on the IT vendors on the approved euro glyph, the positions in 7 bits, 8 bits and Unicode. Otherwise the computer equipment needed would not be available with the correct glyph: if a programmer in San Jose were requested to introduce the euro currency sign, he would probably consult the Unicode book and copy the wrong "CE" glyph.


IT aspects of the euro currency sign
This document

Year 2000 and the Euro: IT challenges of the century
CORDIS (Community Research and Development Information Service)

EURO standardisation issues - History - Status

The Euro and Standardization



Association for Font Information Interchange


M.T. Carrasco Benitez

Comments to

Disclaimer: This document represent only the views of the author.