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ASCII

First 128 ASCII characters in Excel

The numbers returned by the CHAR function in Excel come from ASCII. ASCII stands for "American Standard Code for Information Interchange" and is a 7-bit character set that contains characters from 0 to 127.

The original ASCII specification encodes 128 characters into numbers (see table below). These include the numbers 0 to 9, lowercase a-z, uppercase A-Z, and punctuation. The first 31 characters are non-printing "control codes", most of which are no longer used, with the exception of the carriage return (13), line feed (10), and tab (9).

ASCII codes in Excel

Excel contains two functions designed to work with ASCII codes: the CHAR function and the CODE function. To specify a character according to its ASCII number, you can use the CHAR function like this:

=CHAR(65) // returns "A"
=CHAR(13) // carriage return

To return the ASCII number for a character, you can use the CODE function:

=CODE("A") // returns 65

Note: The Unicode character set is widely used these days on the web and in modern applications. Unlike ASCII, Unicode is a standard designed to support all of the world's languages, and has many thousands of characters. Excel has two functions designed to work with this extended character set: UNICHAR and UNICODE.

ASCII codes

The table below shows standard printable ASCII characters and codes. The second table shows non-printable control codes.

Character Number Notes
  32 space character
! 33 exclamation mark
" 34 quotation mark
# 35 number sign
$ 36 dollar sign
% 37 percent sign
& 38 ampersand
' 39 apostrophe
( 40 left parenthesis
) 41 right parenthesis
* 42 asterisk
+ 43 plus sign
, 44 comma
- 45 hyphen
. 46 period
/ 47 slash
0 48 digit 0
1 49 digit 1
2 50 digit 2
3 51 digit 3
4 52 digit 4
5 53 digit 5
6 54 digit 6
7 55 digit 7
8 56 digit 8
9 57 digit 9
: 58 colon
; 59 semicolon
< 60 less-than
= 61 equals-to
> 62 greater-than
? 63 question mark
@ 64 at sign
A 65 uppercase A
B 66 uppercase B
C 67 uppercase C
D 68 uppercase D
E 69 uppercase E
F 70 uppercase F
G 71 uppercase G
H 72 uppercase H
I 73 uppercase I
J 74 uppercase J
K 75 uppercase K
L 76 uppercase L
M 77 uppercase M
N 78 uppercase N
O 79 uppercase O
P 80 uppercase P
Q 81 uppercase Q
R 82 uppercase R
S 83 uppercase S
T 84 uppercase T
U 85 uppercase U
V 86 uppercase V
W 87 uppercase W
X 88 uppercase X
Y 89 uppercase Y
Z 90 uppercase Z
[ 91 left square bracket
\ 92 backslash
] 93 right square bracket
^ 94 caret
_ 95 underscore
` 96 grave accent
a 97 lowercase a
b 98 lowercase b
c 99 lowercase c
d 100 lowercase d
e 101 lowercase e
f 102 lowercase f
g 103 lowercase g
h 104 lowercase h
i 105 lowercase i
j 106 lowercase j
k 107 lowercase k
l 108 lowercase l
m 109 lowercase m
n 110 lowercase n
o 111 lowercase o
p 112 lowercase p
q 113 lowercase q
r 114 lowercase r
s 115 lowercase s
t 116 lowercase t
u 117 lowercase u
v 118 lowercase v
w 119 lowercase w
x 120 lowercase x
y 121 lowercase y
z 122 lowercase z
{ 123 left curly brace
| 124 vertical bar
} 125 right curly brace
~ 126 tilde

ASCII control codes

The table below shows the first 31 characters in ASCII, which are non-printing control codes. These codes were originally intended to control devices, and are no longer used, with the exception of the carriage return (13), line feed (10), and tab (9).

Character Number Notes
NUL 0 null character
SOH 1 start of header
STX 2 start of text
ETX 3 end of text
EOT 4 end of transmission
ENQ 5 enquiry
ACK 6 acknowledge
BEL 7 bell (ring)
BS 8 backspace
HT 9 horizontal tab
LF 10 line feed
VT 11 vertical tab
FF 12 form feed
CR 13 carriage return
SO 14 shift out
SI 15 shift in
DLE 16 data link escape
DC1 17 device control 1
DC2 18 device control 2
DC3 19 device control 3
DC4 20 device control 4
NAK 21 negative acknowledge
SYN 22 synchronize
ETB 23 end transmission block
CAN 24 cancel
EM 25 end of medium
SUB 26 substitute
ESC 27 escape
FS 28 file separator
GS 29 group separator
RS 30 record separator
US 31 unit separator
DEL 127 delete control character