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Other ANSIPLUS Features

User control

Menu driven, mouse controllable utilities give the user full control over selected colors, color palettes, border colors, video modes, text height, key reassignment, beep tone definition, driver table sizes, and all other configurable features.

Loading options

At load time, the ANSIPLUS driver can divide itself into pure code (18K to 29K) and other code/data (about 6K) sections, placing the pure code in XMS upper memory blocks (from 640K to 1M), in high memory (1M to 1M+64K), or in expanded memory (EMS) and leaving only the other code/data part in low memory. The Registered driver can be loaded as either a TSR program or a standard DOS device driver.

Reduced driver

For systems with very limited available memory, a reduced capability driver that is 35 percent smaller may be used instead of the full capability ANSIPLUS driver.

Windows aware

ANSIPLUS features have been tested and adjusted for maximum compatibility in Windows 98/95, Windows 3.x and Windows NT 4 DOS sessions, both full screen and within a window. The ANSIPLUS driver detects when Windows is running, and automatically disables or alters certain features, such as the screen blanker, that may interfere.

OS/2 compatible

ANSIPLUS can be used in OS/2 2.x and OS/2 Warp DOS sessions, loaded either as a standard device by CONFIG.sys or as a DOS TSR. The driver automatically makes minor adjustments under OS/2, such as suppressing the ANSIPLUS signon message because virtual DOS machines are created and initialized so often by OS/2.

Multitaskers and task switchers

ANSIPLUS detects and adjusts for DESQview. Under DESQview/386, ANSIPLUS is loaded separately for each window that needs it. Under task switchers like MS-DOS DOSSHELL, each task automatically has an independent copy of ANSIPLUS as its console.

ANSI support

All MS-DOS ANSI.sys escape sequences are supported, plus about two dozen other ANSI and VT-100 escape sequences for clearing the screen, erasing, inserting and deleting lines and characters, scrolling, page selection, tab control, and cursor positioning. ANSIPLUS also enhances many escape sequences by accepting extra parameters that increase their power. 

Bright key echo

ANSIPLUS highlights user-typed keys when they are displayed by DOS on the screen, giving a clear visual separation of typed entries from computer output. If unwanted, this feature can be disabled.

Scrolling regions

The driver has the ability to restrict DOS, ANSI and video BIOS output to any user-defined sub-screen region or "window." This can simplify writing or adapting certain applications, because screen output can be directed to any desired area of the screen while a subroutine or program "thinks" it is using a normal screen.

Key processing

ANSIPLUS includes several special key processing options: 
  • sticky shift keys for one handed or mouth stick typists;
  • the Shift +alphabetic keys can cause Caps Lock to unlock, much like a typewriter releases its shift lock whenever a shift key is pressed; 
  • the Enter key can restore Caps Lock after it was unlocked by a Shift +alphabetic key, thus restoring Caps on completion of an "entry";
  • Ctrl+C can cause a Ctrl+Break, for those users who prefer the Ctrl+C key; and
  • the DOS "Non-Destructive" read function can return the last key in the keyboard buffer instead of the first, so that it always reflects what has last been typed.

Key reassignment

ANSIPLUS has the ability to translate single keystrokes to full commands or other pre-determined key sequences. These key reassignments can be applied either to keys entered through DOS or to all keys entered via BIOS Interrupt 16h and DOS. Both expansion of keys and changes to key reassignments can be enabled or disabled independently. When key reassignment changes are disabled, a distinctive tone sounds on any attempt to redefine a key, making it easy to detect ANSI-type files that contain key redefinitions. Key reassignments can also be saved and restored, allowing simple restoration of a standard key set after using special reassignments in an application. 

Mono/CGA support

ANSIPLUS should give reasonable and readable displays in all display modes, including those with a very limited number of colors or shades. ANSI-type programs written in terms of 16 colors will be executable on machines with simpler video capabilities, if ANSIPLUS is running on that machine.

Line wrapping

When the length of a line displayed on the screen exactly equals the width of the screen, the standard DOS console device drivers cause a blank line to be output. ANSIPLUS suppresses output of these unintended blank lines.

Graphics cursor

The DOS console drivers do not show a cursor on the screen when in graphics modes. ANSIPLUS can display a cursor when keyed entries are requested by DOS in a graphics mode.


ANSIPLUS provides an option to trap and execute ANSI control sequences in BIOS Int 10h Write TTY output as well as in DOS standard console output.

Transparent mode

On occasion, it is undesirable to have the ANSI driver fill in the background color of each character space as it writes characters. ANSIPLUS includes a "transparent" background mode that will write each output character in the current foreground color over whatever background is currently at the cursor position.

Text treatments

In 16-color graphics modes, ANSIPLUS can apply bold, underline, black shadow, slant (italics), or black outline text treatments, in any combination, to output characters for emphasis or improved legibility.

Esc pass-through

Unlike the ANSI.sys driver, the Esc character is trapped by ANSIPLUS only when followed by a left bracket (" [ "), so programs that write Esc (a left arrow) to the screen will continue to do so after ANSIPLUS is installed.

VGA monochrome emulation

Because application developers with VGA color monitors sometimes need to see how their systems will look when run with a monochrome VGA monitor, ANSIPLUS provides an option to emulate a monochrome VGA monitor on a color monitor.

Status reporting

To allow programs to query ANSIPLUS about more than just the current cursor location, the device status report has been extended to report information about the current video mode, video page, numbers of rows, columns and colors, current or default definition of colors, and more.

Installation check and Int 2Fh API

To facilitate developing applications that can use and control ANSIPLUS features, ANSIPLUS responds to standard Int 2Fh ANSI.sys installation checks, and includes extensions that can distinguish ANSIPLUS from ANSI.sys. The ANSIPLUS Int 2Fh API provides special functions for programmers.

Free updates

ANSIPLUS is now Freeware. Updated versions can be downloaded and installed at the user's convenience.

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© Copyright 2000-2007, Kristofer Sweger. All rights reserved.
Rev. 11/01/07