Easy to Use ASCII Chart – Quickly Find Your Character Code

ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange acronym on notepad, technology concept background

Easy to Use ASCII Chart – Quickly Find Your Character Code

In computer science, programmers must have access to standardized representations of commonly used characters, so they can work efficiently and accurately. In addition, computers need to be able to process textual information effectively, regardless of the source. Out of these necessities, ASCII was born. This encoding system is almost as old as computers themselves, but we still widely use it today. We’re going to cover what ASCII is and provide you with an ASCII chart so you can quickly and easily find the character codes you’re looking for.

What Is ASCII and What Is It Used For?

ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, which sounds quite complicated. However, the underlying principles are fairly simple. Using a 7-bit encoding system, ASCII maps characters to a numerical representation, which is called an ASCII code. The standard ASCII represents 128 characters, including lowercase and uppercase letters, punctuation, digits, and special characters. These are often displayed in a grid format in ascending order so that you can quickly locate the character you need.

The standard ASCII orders the characters by decimal representation, but also provides hexadecimal and binary representations.

Decimal is the most familiar, where it represents values by digits 0 to 9.

Hexadecimal uses the letters A to F and the digits 0 to 9, where A to F represents the values 10 to 15. Each digit has a weight which is a power of 16. The rightmost digit being 0 and incrementing by 1 as we go left. For example, FF indicates 255, as (15 * 161) + (15 * 160) = 240 + 15 = 255.

Binary, on the other hand, only uses the digits 0 and 1. Each digit indicates a weight equal to a power of 2, starting with 0 at the right as before. For example, 1010 represents (1 * 23) + (0 * 22) + (1 * 21) + (0 * 20). This simplifies to (1 * 8) + (0 * 4) + (1 * 2) + (0 * 1) = 10.

ASCII has many applications. But its main purpose is to produce representations that different systems and programming languages can use. Standardized character codes help computers communicate with each other effectively, and helps programmers to convert and manipulate text. ASCII also helps in cryptography, where numbers often act as substitutes for characters.

Simple ASCII Chart

An ASCII Chart
This ASCII chart shows the decimal, hexadecimal, and binary values for each character.

Here is a simple standard ASCII chart, with 128 characters organized in ascending decimal order. It also gives hexadecimal and binary representations. Note that it numbers the characters starting at 0, and the first 32 characters are control characters. These can’t be printed and are mostly used for formatting.

Wrapping Up

To conclude, ASCII charts are very useful in computer science. They serve as standardized references for representing characters in decimal, hexadecimal, and binary formats. These unique numerical codes allow programmers to manipulate text-based information easily. ASCII also helps different computers and operating systems communicate and transmit data using a standard language.

Summary Table

DecimalUses digits 0 to 9
HexadecimalUses letters A to F and digits 0 to 9
BinaryUses digits 0 and 1

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ASCII?

ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, and provides an easy to understand standardized reference for commonly used text characters. Each character has a corresponding numerical representation in decimal, hexadecimal, and binary.


How many characters does ASCII represent?

The standard ASCII represents 128 characters using a 7-bit encoding system. However, there is extended ASCII that uses 8 bits to represent 256 characters.

What kinds of characters does ASCII include?

ASCII represents many types of characters, such as letters, digits, special symbols, control characters, and punctuation symbols.

What is the range of ASCII characters?

In standard ASCII, characters start being numbered at 0, and go up to 127, for a total of 128 characters. The first 32 are control characters, and represent functions that can’t be printed visually.

What is ASCII used for?

ASCII is used as a standard language so that computers and operating systems can communicate and transmit data, and helps programmers to perform text manipulation in a platform-independent way.

When was ASCII invented?

ASCII was developed in 1963, and was first known as ASCII-63. The version used today is also known as ASCII-1977, as it was introduced 14 years later.

What are ASCII charts?

ASCII charts provide the ASCII representations for characters, and are presented in a grid format in ascending order. This is so you can easily look up the character you’re looking for.

Is ASCII universal?

Yes, ASCII codes are supported by many different systems and devices. Most modern computers use ASCII as the basis for encoding characters.

What alternatives to ASCII are there?

Unicode is a commonly used alternative to ASCII. Unicode supports many more characters than ASCII, currently over 140,000. Unicode also uses different encoding systems, ranging from 8 to 16 to 32 bits, and supports languages other than English.

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