TRANSLIT is the "grandaddy" of all Cyrillic text conversion programs.  It was developed by Jan Labanowski in the early 1990s.  TRANSLIT is a shell program from an era that required the user to type rather long and tedious command lines, but the tedium is more than made up by the configurability and flexibility of the program.

TRANSLIT is/was usually found on the internet as source code, but you may download an already-compiled DOS version here.  This is a self-extracting archive.  Download and run the file, and extract the archived files to the folder of your choice;  in the following examples we will assume that you extracted the files to the c:\translit folder.  If you selected a different folder, modify the instructions accordingly.  You may run the command from the Start Menu Run line, or open a DOS window and run it from there.

The general TRANSLIT command line format is as follows:

translit  -i infile -o outfile -t trtable.rus
...where infile is the input plaintext file path and name, outfile is the output plaintext file path and name, and trtable.rus is the translation table file path and name.  For our installation, all translation tables are unzipped into the \tables subfolder in the folder in which you unzipped the TRANSLIT files.  The tables are ASCII text with the .rus file extension.  The input file must be plaintext, not a word processor or other format file.

Here is a more specific example, given our folder structure, assume we have a file called Mytext.txt located in c:\MyJunk, that we wish to convert from KOI8 text to Windows-1251 text under the name My1251.txt and leave it in the same folder.  The entire command should be typed on one line:

c:\translit\translit.exe -i c:\MyJunk\Mytext.txt -o c:\MyJunk\My1251.txt -t c:\translit\tables\k8-1251.rus
This program was compiled prior to the advent of Windows 95 long filenames, so file and directory names cannot exceed 8 characters plus a three character extension.

A variety of different Cyrillic encoding and romanized transliteration formats are supported, including Alternative Variant, KOI7, KOI8, GOST, Windows-1251,  LaTeX, Library of Congress phonetic, Pokrovsky phonetic, and a few others.  Tables are generally provided for conversion between KOI8 and each format rather than every possible combination, so conversion between any two formats can usually be made in a maximum of two TRANSLIT runs.

The .rus translation table files generally contain a human-readable self-description;  further information, including instructions on how to generate your own custom translation tables, is found in the documentation files.  A few sample text files are included with the package also.