Electronically decoding variable length minimal redundancy binary input codes into characters in a character set. Code flexibility is provided by easily supporting (1) different transmitted codes for the same outputted character set, and (2) the same transmitted code for different output character sets. Tree structured codes are used for translating minimal redundancy codes into characters, which are well-known in the prior art of Huffman codes, in which the sink vertices in a binary tree correspond to characters in a character set. The set of path vectors in the binary tree is the minimal redundancy encoding for the characters represented by the sinks. A bit sequence store T has its bit positions set to represent the binary tree, in which the bit positions are set to correspond to the vertices in the tree when it is scanned in left list order; and a 1 setting represents an inner vertex and a 0 setting represents a sink vertex in the binary tree. Store T is easily reset to permit easy changes in the binary tree represented therein, in order to support (1) and (2) above. The path vectors in the tree are transmitted as the coded characters are decoded using the correct tree set into store T.