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Code pages

When it was first developed and introduced, Windows Installer was available for Windows 95 and Windows 98. While the 90s were a great decade, those 16-bit versions of Windows came with some significant limitations. One of them is lack of support for Unicode. Windows Installer inherited that limitation and uses code pages to support characters outside of the traditional 7-bit ASCII we know and love.

That said, Windows Installer has limited support for code page 65001 as UTF-8. WiX uses code page 65001 by default but you can override the default using the Codepage attribute in the Package, SummaryInformation, Module, Patch, and PatchCreation elements. Codepage attribute values can be integers like 1252 for Windows ANSI or by Web name like Windows-1252.

You can specify coded page 0 as a "neutral" code page. The only characters supported are the aforementioned known and loved 7-bit ASCII characters (0 to 127). For more information, see Creating a Database with a Neutral Code Page.

Centralizing code pages via localization files

WiX localization (.wxl) files contain localized strings and can also specify code pages for both packages and their summary information stream using the Codepage and SummaryInformationCodepage attributes, respectively:

<WixLocalization xmlns=""