What is ASCII?

What is ASCII?

ASCII is an abbreviation of American Standard Code for Information Interchange, is a standard for encoding characters. It assigns letters, numerals as well as other characters in the slots of 256 present in the code of 8-bit. It is a standard code that represents 128 English characters as numerals, where each letter is assigned a number initiating from 0 to 127. Binary (the computer’s language) creates the decimal number of ASCII. The ASCII code for “A” is 65 in decimal number, so the value of ‘Z’ is 90 in decimal number. The ASCII value for lowercase ‘a’ is 97 in decimal and so on.

ASCII was developed in 1963 by the X3 committee, which is the part of ASA i.e., American Standard Association. It was first published as ASA X3.4-1963 and the published standard was revised ten times between the period of 1967-1986.

The transfer of data from one computer to another has become possible because of the standard ASCII codes. The ASCII codes are used by several computers to represent texts. The text files are called ASCII files if stored in the format of ASCII. Though the files are not usually stored in ASCII format as it not being the default format for storing files, still some computer programs like word processors and text editors is capable to store the data, files in ASCII format. The files containing numeric data cannot be stored in the ASCII format.


The table of ASCII is categorized in three different parts:

  1. Non-printable: This system is used to code between the decimal number 0 to 31.
  2.  Lower ASCII: The decimal numbers lie in this section is from 32 to 127. The table is originated from the American system, which usually works on the character tables of 7 bits.
  3. Higher ASCII: The decimal numbers lie in this section is from 128 to 255. This section in the ASCII table is programmable; the characters under this section are based on your operating system’s language or the language of the program that you are using. The section also contains the foreign letters.

Most of the companies have suggested the extension of the currently present 128 characters.

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