Last updated 2023-03-15 10:00:09

What Is ASCII?

Table of contents


ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a set of chosen numbers used to represent letters, numbers, and unique actions.

Use cases and Examples

065 is the number used to represent A.

The question then is why and for what reason do we need this mapping?

Well, computers store data using an on and off state like a light bulb. We represent this using the numbers 1 and 0, respectively.

If we wanted to store A what would be the approach? The easiest answer is to represent it using a number since that's all we can store with the computer (more or less). But we have way more than two alphabets so 0 and 1 is not enough. But if you pair more 0s and 1s together, for example, 01000001, you can store all the alphabet. And since we can convert binary numbers to decimal numbers, we can convert 01000001 to 065. This decimal is what is known as ASCII.


This number-to-character mapping allows computers to interpret the information stored as binary back to readable text.

Also, representing a computer's on and off state as binary allows engineers to present electronics and computation in mathematical form for example, boolean algebra [↗] and logic gates [↗].

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