A character code, also known as a character set or encoding, is a specific way of mapping bits of a text sequence to the characters they represent. ASCII is the most common code page, but modern systems use more elaborate character codes such as Unicode, which can represent the majority of characters from many languages.
How Does Character Encoding Work?
Character encoding involves assigning numeric values to graphic characters so that they can be stored, transmitted, and transformed by digital computers. The numeric values are called code points and together form a code space or character map.
Types of Character Encoding
There are various character encodings today, including ASCII, 8-bit, and Unicode-based encodings. ASCII is the most common encoding and is a basis for most code pages. Early character codes could only represent a limited set of characters used in written languages, while more elaborate codes such as Unicode can represent the majority of characters in many languages.
Benefits of Character Encoding
Character encoding using international standards facilitates the exchange of text in electronic format worldwide. It allows computers to interpret zeros and ones as real characters and match numbers to characters to create words and sentences from characters that are grouped into a character set.
FAQs About Character Codes
What is a Code Page?
A code page is a list of characters that can be represented in a specific encoding system.
What is a Character Map?
A character map is a layout of all possible characters in a specific encoding system.
What is Unicode?
Unicode is a global encoding standard that can represent almost all characters from many languages in use worldwide. It supports bidirectional text implementation, allowing languages that are read right to left (such as Arabic and Hebrew) and left to right languages (such as English and French) to be used together in one document.
Character encoding is crucial in ensuring the exchange of text in electronic format worldwide. Understanding how character codes work and their benefits can help you determine which encoding system to use for your electronic documents.