So, I had to explain, several times, character encodings to a friend of mine. Yeah, you know who you are! This can mean one of two things:
While several people would agree that I just can’t explain stuff, and should avoid teaching of any kind at all cost, I’ll show them what I think about that by writing this explanation here as simple as possible.
The name “ANSI” is a misnomer, since it doesn’t correspond to any actual ANSI standard. Actually, ANSI is not just a “slight” misnomer, it is a completely wrong name. This name clearly implies that whatever it refers to is an ANSI standard, which it is not. With that said, it’s so widely used (and Microsoft accepted it) that we’re stuck with it.
ANSI encoding is a quasi generic term used to refer to the standard code page on a system, usually Windows. It is more properly referred to as Windows-1252 (at least on Western/U.S. systems, it can represent certain other Windows code pages on other systems). This is essentially an extension of the ASCII character set in that it includes all the ASCII characters with an additional 128 character codes. This difference is due to the fact that “ANSI” encoding is 8-bit rather than 7-bit as ASCII is (ASCII is almost always encoded nowadays as 8-bit bytes with the MSB set to 0).
ANSI does not necessarily have to map to CP1252. It does, however, always refer to the legacy code-page set for the system. This may be CP1252 on western European or US systems but don’t count on that.