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ASCII file
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Acronym for the American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Pronounced ask-ee, ASCII is a code for representing English characters as numbers, with each letter assigned a number from 0 to 127. For example, the ASCII code for uppercase M is 77. Most computers use ASCII codes to represent text, which makes it possible to transfer data from one computer to another.

Text files stored in ASCII format are sometimes called ASCII files. Text editors and word processors are usually capable of storing data in ASCII format, although ASCII format is not always the default storage format. Most data files, particularly if they contain numeric data, are not stored in ASCII format. Executable programs are never stored in ASCII format.

The standard ASCII character set uses just 7 bits for each character. There are several larger character sets that use 8 bits, which gives them 128 additional characters. The extra characters are used to represent non-English characters, graphics symbols, and mathematical symbols. Several companies and organizations have proposed extensions for these 128 characters. The DOS operating system uses a superset of ASCII called extended ASCII or high ASCII. A more universal standard is the ISO Latin 1 set of characters, which is used by many operating systems, as well as Web browsers.

Another set of codes that is used on large IBM computers is EBCDIC.

Standard ASCII (Alphanumeric Characters)

33! 491 65A 81Q 97a 113q
34" 502 66B 82R 98b 114r
35# 513 67C 83S 99c 115s
36$ 524 68D 84T 100d 116t
37% 535 69E 85U 101e 117u
38& 546 70F 86V 102f 118v
39' 557 71G 87W 103g 119w
40( 568 72H 88X 104h 120x
41) 579 73I 89Y 105i 121y
42* 58: 74J 90Z 106j 122z
43+ 59; 75K 91[ 107k 123{
44, 60< 76L 92\ 108l 124|
45- 61= 77M 93] 109m 125}
46. 62> 78N 94^ 110n 126~
47/ 63? 79O 95_ 111o 127_
480 64@ 80P 96` 112p

For pages about ASCII, . Also, check out the following links!

More Information

Outstanding Page Data Representation
This is Chapter 1 of Randall Hyde's book, "Art of Assembly Language." It describes the binary and hexadecimal numbering systems, binary data organization (bits, nibbles, bytes, words, and double words), signed and unsigned numbering systems, arithmetic, logical, shift, and rotate operations on binary values, bit fields and packed data, and the ASCII character set. Updated on Aug 5, 1998

  ASCII symbol page with HTML codes
Provides a table with ISO Latin 1 character entities and HTML escape sequence codes. Updated on Jun 18, 1997

  Character Set Standards
Provides information on character sets that can be used for data interchange. Updated on Jul 22, 1998

  Robelle's overview of ASCII control characters
Explains what a control character is, and offers tables of all the control characters in ASCII, plus the regular, printing characters. Updated on Nov 16, 1997

  Yahoo!'s ASCII data format page
Yahoo!'s directory of ASCII data format. Updated on Aug 4, 1998


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