Microsoft Windows 3

How to properly set up Win3.11 for KOI8-R:

ATTENTION: KOI8-R encoding is not native for Microsoft Windows. The right solution should be conversion between KOI8-R and CP1251 for all operations with KOI8-R materials.

See also:


NOTE: Although all the fonts below are Win3.1 conformant, they are hacked in WFWG 3.11 or Win95 sense (Microsoft switch to Unicode font storage in this versions): unlike true Cyrillic Windows fonts in CP1251, Russian characters in these fonts are located in the 128-255 code range instead of their Unicode positions.

After downloading/unzipping, add them using the standard Windows procedure, i.e. via Control Panel|Fonts.

WARNING: Beware of the so-called fonts "adopted for WWW usage," they do not quite conform to KOI8-R. Quoting Dmitry Kirsanov <>:

"As a sort of a workaround, creators of several KOI8-R Cyrillic fonts for use on the Web chose to move the copyright sign from its standard-prescribed code 191 to Latin-1-inspired 169. As Alan Flavell of CERN has put it, "breaking your font in order to help a broken browser is a bad idea." It is obvious that, with the internationalized HTML gaining wide recognition, the problem may become more severe, because Unicode character references in conforming documents are much more likely to go out of sync with the external character encoding of a document."

Keyboard Switchers:

  • Standard switchers adapted to KOI8-R:

    ATTENTION: All keyboard switchers from this list (except WinKey and R-WIN) in standard distribution support CP1251 character set only, not KOI8-R! You need to download and install corresponding keyboard descriptions from below as well as KOI8-R fonts from above to make the software work with KOI8-R.

    Recommended: R-WIN, ParaWin 2.0 or CyrWin 4.0, all commercial.

    KOI8-R Keyboard Descriptions for Switchers:

  • Per-application CP1251->KOI8-R keyboard , K8.EXE prefix must be prepended to invocation command line.

Applicable Software:

  • Forte Agent 16bit (a good newsreader, supports MIME and KOI8-R) NOTE: Forte Agent has a special mode when it attempts to use translation tables (called Russian KOI8-R to CP1250) but goes wrong in many places (e.g in article headers), so I don't recommend using this mode.
  • NetTerm (dialup, telnet, zmodem, ftp server, finger, skey, & more; supports VT100 pseudographics)
    Uses translation tables, so only default Russian Windows support is required.
    NOTE: CP866<->KOI8-R translation is used for video, so use Terminal (DOS/OEM) font.

Software Tuning: