Text - Character


A character is:

A character is the smallest component of written language that has semantic value; refers to the abstract meaning and/or shape …

Characters will not appear on your screen as intended unless you have the appropriate font (that contains the appropriate glyph)

Character are the basic unit of organization of encoded text.

A character is usually represented as an Unicode code point where an int value from 0 to 65535 represents all Unicode code points, including supplementary code points.


A Character can also be simply a set of characters:

  • letters,
  • numbers,
  • symbols (mathematical),
  • ideograms,
  • logograms (from non-phonetic writing systems such as kanji),
  • etc…

For example, the following character set appears in several code pages:

  • 26 non-accented letters A through Z ( A,B,C….X,Y,Z)
  • 26 non-accented letters a through z ( a,b,c,…x,y,z)
  • digits 0 through 9
  • special characters:
    • punctuation: . , : ; ? !
    • ( ) ' “ / - _ & + % * = < >




You can type character directly from a keyboard where each key represents a character according to the keyboard layout

Encoding, File Storage



Problem: Which character is


echo $LANG

The Hexadecimal in UTF8 of this character is e2 80 93. It corresponds to the unicode character 2013 - EN DASH. See Translation of a UTF-8 Multibyte sequence to Unicode - Example 2. 0a is the end of file.

echo – | hexdump -C
00000000  e2 80 93 0a                                       |....|


The charCodeAt() method returns the UTF-16 code unit (an integer between 0 and 65535) at the given index.

Example with the f8


The below code point reporter is based on the above function and shows for each character of a string its code point.


The character map application of windows where you can search



For example, Character.isLetter(0x2F81A) returns true because the code point value represents a letter (a CJK ideograph).


Characters such as an hyphen (-) and a dash are really difficult to separate from each other visually.

In this case, you should transform them as code point to see the difference. See the dedicated page: How to see the difference between two characters (hyphen and dash) ?


Each character requires:

Documentation / Reference

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