What is ASCII?

ASCII is a character encoding standard. It was created because there was no room on the phone to store all the characters needed for different languages. ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) is an 8-bit character set with 256 slots available, including numbers, letters, and various symbols. The full name of this code page is “ANSI_X3.4-1986”.

The ASCII character set, originally known as X3, was developed and released by the ASA (American Standards Association) in 1963. The original ASCII standard was published as ASA X3.4-1963, with 10 updates to the standard issued between 1967 and 1986.

For example: the ASCII code for the letter A is 65. The ASCII code for the number 5 is 53. The ASCII code for the symbol for pounds sterling is £ is type-shifted by holding down the Alt key and typing 0163 on the numeric keypad.

ASCII includes control codes that originated with teleprinter systems in order to provide formatting information such as how text should be centered or italicized when being typeset from a computer terminal; these codes are used by some non-English language communities as well but have been superseded by more powerful formatting capabilities in modern programming languages and web browsers.

ASCII was first widely used on the PDP-11, CP/M machines, and DEC’s RSX-11M OS as a way for user programs to communicate with each other and with the human operators on a time-shared system using teleprinters at a remote central site, replacing the old punched card systems or dedicated one-of-a-kind hardware terminals.

ASCII also continues to be used internally by some software applications for data storage and retrieval. In modern times, ASCII has largely been superseded by Unicode, which supports a wider range of characters and provides more editing capabilities. Unicode is now the most common character encoding standard in use on the web.

ASCII Table

CharDecBinaryCharDecBinaryCharDecBinary
!03300100001A06501000001a09701100001
03400100010B06601000010b09801100010
#03500100011C06701000011c09901100011
$03600100100D06801000100d10001100100
%03700100101E06901000101e10101100101
&03800100110F07001000110f10201100110
03900100111G07101000111g10301100111
(04000101000H07201001000h10401101000
)04100101001I07301001001i10501101001
*04200101010J07401001010j10601101010
+04300101011K07501001011k10701101011
,04400101100L07601001100l10801101100
04500101101M07701001101m10901101101
.04600101110N07801001110n11001101110
/04700101111O07901001111o11101101111
004800110000P08001010000p11201110000
104900110001Q08101010001q11301110001
205000110010R08201010010r11401110010
305100110011S08301010011s11501110011
405200110100T08401010100t11601110100
505300110101U08501010101u11701110101
605400110110V08601010110v11801110110
705500110111W08701010111w11901110111
805600111000X08801011000x12001111000
905700111001Y08901011001y12101111001
:05800111010Z09001011010z12201111010
;05900111011[09101011011{12301111011
<06000111100\09201011100|12401111100
=06100111101]09301011101}12501111101
>06200111110^09401011110~12601111110
?06300111111_09501011111_12701111111
@06401000000`09601100000   

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