Applies To:
  • CitectSCADA

How do I set up Citect for a site in Japan (or other oriental character sets)? This site will have Japanese operators.

Some questions about this include:

1. A system is required which supports both the English and Japanese character sets (J on site and E for remote stuff)

2. Are there any known issues?

3. Is the J char set compatible with a US NT?

4. Is it as simple as providing an English.dbf file?

5. Is this conversion as easy as it sounds like it should be?

How do I set up Citect for a site in Spain (or other European character sets)? This site will have Spanish operators.


The oriental characters are encoded with two bytes per character whereas English and most European character sets are encoded with one byte per character. Therefore, the issue is more complex for the Japanese site (or other Oriental sites) than for the Spanish site (or other European sites).

The OS required to support BOTH the Japanese and English character sets is a Japanese Windows operating system. The US Windows operating system will not do this. A US Windows 2000 OS is capable of supporting foreign language sets such as the European languages (eg Spanish) as the character sets are of the same byte size as the English character sets, however the US Windows 2000 OS will have issues in supporting the Oriental character sets. Especially since they are Legacy sets and not Unicode.

So that a Citect implementation will display in Japanese at runtime - a database file, ie. Japanese.dbf needs to be created which offers the corresponding Japanese character string for the English used in software development or in English runtime. To create the Japanese.dbf file you will need to use a Japanese Windows OS and a Japanese version of MS Excel. The database file that is created MUST be saved using the "save_dbf.xls" Excel macro that Citect supplies in the Citect\bin directory.

The reason for this macro is that Citect only reads database files of type db3. Excel may save the database in a different file version (db4), thereby corrupting the database into a format that Citect can't read. Also, critical field widths may have changed during editing and the macro ensures that the dbf is correctly formatted for Citect. Open up the dbf in Excel, then run the macro. A right click within the spreadsheet will offer a popup menu. Choose the save dbf option. The dbf file will then be saved in the correct format.

At development time, the majority of the project can be developed in English on a US Windows OS, however as mentioned above, to create the Japanese DBF file, the Japanese Windows OS will be required, along with a version of a Japanese Excel.

At runtime, the Japanese operator will need a Japanese OS installed in order to view the Japanese character sets correctly. The Japanese OS will support the English character set as well, which permits switching the runtime between Japanese and English. At runtime, the English operator can use a US Windows OS to view with the English character set.

For Spanish, a US Windows 2000 OS can be used for development and at run time, however a Spanish Excel is recommended/required for the creation of the Spanish database. The user will be able to switch between character sets at will on a US Windows OS.

In answer to the questions asked:

1. A system can be customised as described above to achieve this.

2. Known issues are as outlined with the use of a non Japanese (or oriental) Windows OS for create the Japanese character set (or another Oriental character set). It won't work. The characters will display as machine language symbols.

3. No

4. No. Special care is needed to produce a Language.dbf with the correct set that will display on the customer's system platform.

5. It's as easy as following the instructions as mentioned above. If you choose to follow your own instructions (or lack of them), then at least try to have fun with it when you explore how to make it work!

There is no escaping the need to have access to the foreign operating system which will present your screens to the customer's operators.