Glossary of Printing & Digital Media Terms

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Term Definition

A file encoded in the industry-standard representation for text, ASCII (acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange; pronounced "ask-e"). An ASCII file contains only plain text and basic text formatting. The ASCII character set of a microcomputer usually includes 256 characters or control codes. For example, the letter "A" is stored as ASCII 65, " as 66, "a" as 97, "b" as 98, etc. Some ASCII "characters" do not display as characters on the screen, but instead control the display in other ways. ASCII 8 is the backspace, 10 is the line feed, 13 is the carriage return, and 27 is escape. Other ASCII characters, consisting of letters from non-English alphabets and graphic symbols, fall in the range from SCII 28 to 255. These "upper ASCII" characters will not always display or print in consistent ways. The most consistent ASCII characters are those that can be seen on the keyboard; they fall in the range from ASCII 32 to 127 and are called "plain ASCII." Any computer can read plain ASCII.

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