What is character? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

1) In information technology, a character is a printable symbol having phonetic or pictographic meaning and usually forming part of a word of text, depicting a numeral, or expressing grammatical punctuation. In information technology today, a character is generally one of a limited number of symbols, including the letters of a particular language's alphabet, the numerals in the decimal number system, and certain special symbols such as the ampersand (&) and "atsign" (@).

Several standards of computer encoding have been developed for characters. The most commonly used in personal computers is ASCII. IBM mainframe systems use EBCDIC. A new standard, Unicode, is supported by later Windows systems.

2) A distinction is sometimes made between a character and a glyph. In this distinction, a character can be distinguished from other characters in terms of meaning and sound and a glyph is the graphic image used to portray the character. In different implementations, a character can have more than one possible glyph, and a glyph can represent more than one possible character.

This was last updated in April 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • project management

    - Project management is a methodical approach that uses established principles, procedures and policies to guide a project from start to finish to produce a defined outcome. (SearchCIO.com)

  • haptics

    - Haptics (pronounced HAP-tiks) is the science of applying touch (tactile) sensation and control to interaction with computer applications. (WhatIs.com)

  • business continuance (business continuity)

    - Business continuance (sometimes referred to as business continuity) describes the processes and procedures an organization puts in place to ensure that essential functions can continue during and a... (SearchStorage.com)

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.