Control character

In computing and telecommunication, a control character or non-printing character (NPC) is a code point (a number) in a character set, that does not represent a written symbol. They are used as in-band signaling to cause effects other than the addition of a symbol to the text. All other characters are mainly printing, printable, or graphic characters, except perhaps for the "space" character (see ASCII printable characters).

All entries in the ASCII table below code 32 (technically the C0 control code set) are of this kind, including CR and LF used to separate lines of text. The code 127 (DEL) is also a control character[citation needed]. Extended ASCII sets defined by ISO 8859 added the codes 128 through 159 as control characters, this was primarily done so that if the high bit was stripped it would not change a printing character to a C0 control code, but there have been some assignments here, in particular NEL. This second set is called the C1 set.

These 65 control codes were carried over to Unicode. Unicode added more characters that could be considered controls, but it makes a distinction between these "Formatting characters" (such as the zero-width non-joiner), and the 65 control characters.

The Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code (EBCDIC) character set contains 65 control codes, including all of the ASCII control codes plus additional codes which are mostly used to control IBM peripherals.

[1] 0x00 0x10
0x00 NUL DLE
0x01 SOH DC1
0x02 STX DC2
0x03 ETX DC3
0x04 EOT DC4
0x05 ENQ NAK
0x06 ACK SYN
0x07 BEL ETB
0x08 BS CAN
0x09 HT EM
0x0A LF SUB
0x0B VT ESC
0x0C FF FS
0x0D CR GS
0x0E SO RS
0x0F SI US
0x7F DEL

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Control character, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.