ASCII is an abbreviation for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. ASCII is a standard single-byte character encoding scheme used for text-based data. ASCII uses designated 7-bit or 8-bit number combinations to represent either 128 or 256 possible characters. Standard ASCII uses 7 bits to represent all uppercase and lowercase letters, the numbers 0 through 9, punctuation marks, and special control characters used in U.S. English. Most current x86-based systems support the use of extended (or "high") ASCII. Extended ASCII allows the eighth bit of each character to identify an additional 128 special symbol characters, foreign-language letters and graphic symbols. Work on ASCII began in 1960 and it received a major revision in 1967. Text files stored in ASCII format are sometimes called ASCII files.
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