views updated May 23 2018

ASCII [Pronounced ‘Askee’; The abbreviation of, and the common term for, the American Standard Code for Information Interchange]. Also ASCII code. A set of computer codes devised in 1968 and standardized in 1982 as a means of storing and transmitting (American) English texts. The standard code covers 32 non-displayed control characters (such as ‘start of text’ and ‘carriage return’) and 96 displayed alphanumeric and other characters, every letter or other symbol having a number from 0 to 128: for example, 33 for!, 36 for $, 65 for A, 66 for B, 97 for a, and 98 for b. An ASCII keyboard contains all and only such symbols and enables them to be directly coded; ASCII files are text files set in ASCII only. The prime purpose of the code is compatibility among electronic networks, texts being composed in, or converted to, ASCII in order to be transmitted and received successfully. The system, at first used only in North America, has been rapidly adopted worldwide; however, because the standard code is inadequate for complex texts and for languages with writing conventions different from English, an Extended ASCII has been developed, containing letters with diacritical marks, some vulgar fractions, monetary symbols such as for the pound and yen, and a range of graphic symbols (255 in all). See CHARACTER SET, COMPUTING.


views updated May 18 2018

ASCII (or Ascii) Acronym for American standard code for information interchange. A standard character encoding scheme introduced in 1963 and used widely on many machines. It is a 7-bit code with no parity recommendation, providing 128 different bit patterns. The character set is shown in the table, together with the control characters (see also ISO-7).

International 8-bit codes that are extensions of ASCII have been published by ISO in the series of ISO 8859. In addition to several Latin alphabets covering English and various other European languages, there are also Cyrillic, Arabic, Greek, and Hebrew code tables.

See also character set.


views updated May 29 2018

ASCII / ˈaskē/ Comput. • abbr. American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a set of digital codes representing letters, numerals, and other symbols, widely used as a standard format in the transfer of text between computers.


views updated Jun 11 2018

ASCII (ˈæskiː) Computing American Standard Code for Information Interchange