Text - The ASCII table

What is ASCII?

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The ASCII table

The ASCII table is divided into 8 blocks of 16 characters each. The blocks are called sticks.

The first 2 blocks are non-printable control codes.


Stick Position Octal Hex Decimal Character Control Code Control Code Description
010000x000NULNull
20010x011SOHStart of heading
30020x022STXStart of text
40030x033ETXEnd of text
50040x044EOTEnd of transmit
60050x055ENQEnquiry
70060x066ACKAcknowledge
80070x077BELAudible bell
90100x088BSBackspace
100110x099TABHorizontal tab
110120x0a10LFLine feed
120130x0b11VTVertical tab
130140x0c12FFForm feed
140150x0d13CRCarriage return
150160x0e14SOShift out
160170x0f15SIShift in
110200x1016DLEData link escape
20210x1117DC1Device control 1 (XON)
30220x1218DC2Device control 2
40230x1319DC3Device control 3 (XOFF)
50240x1420DC4Device control 4
60250x1521NAKNegative acknowledgement
70260x1622SYNSynchronous idle
80270x1723ETBEnd transmission block
90300x1824CANCancel
100310x1925EMEnd of medium
110320x1a26SUBSubstitution
120330x1b27ESCEscape
130340x1c28FSFile separator
140350x1d29GSGroup separator
150360x1e30RSRecord separator
160370x1f31USUnit separator
210400x2032[SPACE]
20410x2133!
30420x2234"
40430x2335#
50440x2436$
60450x2537%
70460x2638&
80470x2739'
90500x2840(
100510x2941)
110520x2a42*
120530x2b43+
130540x2c44,
140550x2d45-
150560x2e46.
160570x2f47/
310600x30480
20610x31491
30620x32502
40630x33513
50640x34524
60650x35535
70660x36546
80670x37557
90700x38568
100710x39579
110720x3a58:
120730x3b59;
130740x3c60<
140750x3d61=
150760x3e62>
160770x3f63?
411000x4064@
21010x4165A
31020x4266B
41030x4367C
51040x4468D
61050x4569E
71060x4670F
81070x4771G
91100x4872H
101110x4973I
111120x4a74J
121130x4b75K
131140x4c76L
141150x4d77M
151160x4e78N
161170x4f79O
511200x5080P
21210x5181Q
31220x5282R
41230x5383S
51240x5484T
61250x5585U
71260x5686V
81270x5787W
91300x5888X
101310x5989Y
111320x5a90Z
121330x5b91[
131340x5c92\
141350x5d93]
151360x5e94^
161370x5f95_
611400x6096`
21410x6197a
31420x6298b
41430x6399c
51440x64100d
61450x65101e
71460x66102f
81470x67103g
91500x68104h
101510x69105i
111520x6a106j
121530x6b107k
131540x6c108l
141550x6d109m
151560x6e110n
161570x6f111o
711600x70112p
21610x71113q
31620x72114r
41630x73115s
51640x74116t
61650x75117u
71660x76118v
81670x77119w
91700x78120x
101710x79121y
111720x7a122z
121730x7b123{
131740x7c124|
141750x7d125}
151760x7e126~
161770x7f127DELDelete
Stick Position Octal Hex Decimal Character Control Code Control Code Description

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What is ASCII?

ASCII is a 7-bit character encoding. The name ASCII is an acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange.

What does this mean? What is a character encoding?

Computers store text as a sequence of numbers.
The association between a number and a character is called a character encoding.

A simplistic character encoding might be 'a' is 1, 'b' is 2, 'c' is 3, etc.

ASCII was one of the earliest character encodings (created in 1960 by Bob Bemer). As an American character encoding (the A in ASCII) it supports American English characters only. The dollar symbol $ is there, but the British Pound £ for example is not.

As a 7-bit character code, ASCII can represent 2^7 (128) different characters. It includes 33 control codes, the 10 Arabic numerals, the Latin alphabet (26 upper and 26 lower), the space character, and various characters for arithmetic and punctuation.

Before ASCII, computer system manufacturers used proprietary character encodings. A document created on one manufacturer's system could not be read on another.
Thus, the American Standard Code for Information Interchange was created.

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© Richard McGrath