Unicode

Normal 8-bit coding provides 256 characters in a standard character set, which is insufficient for all the special symbols, punctuation and accented characters used in various languages. And it’s certainly inadequate for the vast range of symbols used in pictographic languages such as Chinese or Japanese.

Unicode, also known as ISO 10646-M, uses 16-bit codes to define up to 65,536 characters. These are grouped as shown in the following table:-

FromToUsage
08191Alphabetic ​Characters ​(0-255 ​as ​ISO)
819212287Alphabetic ​punctuation, ​symbols, ​dingbats
1228816383Pictographic, ​auxiliary ​alphabets, ​punctuation
1638459391Pictographic ​characters
5939265024Special
6502565535Software ​development

Although all of these Unicode codes are fully standardised, many applications or computer operating systems are limited to showing only some of the characters.

Further details regarding some these groups appear in the following sections.


• Click here to see a more extensive list of the Unicode groups.


• Click here to see a full textual description of all Unicode characters.


Codes 0 to 255: Alphabetic Characters and Punctuation

The characters generated by these codes are identical to those defined by the ASCII standard and the ISO 8859-1 standard, the latter also known as Latin-1. This makes it easy to convert material that’s coded using a western-based character set, often known as Roman, into Unicode form.

The ISO 8859-1 character set is as follows:-

Unicode 0-255

The codes from 128 to 159 should be avoided, as these can be used for non-standard characters.

Codes 256 to 912: Special Characters and Accents

This area is used for less common accented characters, many of which appear with an accent separate to the letter itself, as shown below. Characters that can’t be displayed by your browser appear as a ? (query) or as a keyboard button symbol.

Unicode 256-912

Of these, and other codes in this group, the following are the most useful:-

HexDecDescriptionChar
152338OE ligatureŒ
153339oe ligatureœ
160352S caronŠ
161353s caronš
178376Y diaeresisŸ
192402Small hook fƒ
2C6710Letter circumflexˆ
2D8728Breve accent˘
2D9729Dot accent˙
2DA730Ring accent˚
2DB731Ogonek˛
2DC732Small tilde˜

The remaining codes in this block are assigned to other obscure characters.

Codes 913 to 982: Greek characters

These characters are often used in maths and other applications. For simplicity, unassigned codes have been omitted from the following table.

HexDecDescriptionChar
391913Capital alphaΑ
392914Capital betaΒ
393915Capital gammaΓ
394916Capital deltaΔ
395917Capital epsilonΕ
396918Capital zetaΖ
397919Capital etaΗ
398920Capital thetaΘ
399921Capital iotaΙ
39A922Capital kappaΚ
39B923Capital lambdaΛ
39C924Capital muΜ
39D925Capital nuΝ
39E926Capital xiΞ
39F927Capital omicronΟ
3A0928Capital piΠ
3A1929Capital rhoΡ
3A3931Capital sigmaΣ
3A4932Capital tauΤ
3A5933Capital upsilonΥ
3A6934Capital phiΦ
3A7935Capital chiΧ
3A8936Capital psiΨ
3A9937Capital omegaΩ
3B1945Small alphaα
3B2946Small betaβ
3B3947Small gammaγ
3B4948Small deltaδ
3B5949Small epsilonε
3B6950Small zetaζ
3B7951Small etaη
3B8952Small thetaθ
3B9953Small iotaι
3BA954Small kappaκ
3BB955Small lambdaλ
3BC956Small muμ
3BD957Small nuν
3BE958Small xiξ
3BF959Small omicronο
3C0960Small piπ
3C1961Small rhoρ
3C2962Small final sigmaς
3C3963Small sigmaσ
3C4964Small tauτ
3C5965Small upsilonυ
3C6966Small phiφ
3C7967Small chiχ
3C8968Small psiψ
3C9969Small omegaω
3D1977Small theta symbolϑ
3D2978Upsilon with ​hook symbolϒ
3D5981Symbolϕ
3D6982Pi symbolϖ

Codes 8192 to 12287: Special Characters and Punctuation

These codes are used for rather less common characters and punctuation. The following table only shows the more usual characters, with numerous rows omitted for clarity. Some codes don’t appear to create any visible character but are in fact used for a range of different types of spaces. Those characters that can’t be displayed by your browser are indicated by a ? or by a keyboard button symbol.

Unicode 8192-12287

Of these, the following are commonly used:-

HexDecDescriptionChar
20028194N-space
20038195M-space
20098201Thin ​space
200C8204Zero ​width ​non-joiner
200D8205Zero ​width ​joiner
200E8206Left-to-right ​mark
200F8207Right-to-left ​mark
20138211N-dash
20148212M-dash
20188216Left ​quote
20198217Right ​quote
201A8218Single ​low-9 ​quote
201C8220Left ​double ​quote
201D8221Right ​double ​quote
201E8222Double ​low-9 ​quote
20208224Dagger
20218225Double ​dagger
20228226Bullet
20268230Horizontal ​ellipsis
20308240Per ​mille ​sign
20328242Prime
20338243Double ​prime
20398249Single ​left ​angle ​quote
203A8250Single ​right ​angle ​quote
203E8254Overline
20448260Fraction ​slash
20AC8364Euro ​symbol
21118465Imaginary ​part
21188472Weierstrass ​p
211C8476Real ​part
21228482Trade ​mark
21358501Alef ​symbol
21908592Left ​arrow
21918593Up ​arrow
21928594Right ​arrow
21938595Down ​arrow
21948596Left ​right ​arrow
21B58629Carriage ​return ​arrow
21D08656Left ​double ​arrow
21D18657Up ​double ​arrow
21D28658Right ​double ​arrow
21D38659Down ​double ​arrow
21D48660Left ​right ​double ​arrow
22008704For ​all
22028706Partial ​differential
22038707There ​exists
22058709Empty ​set
22078711Nabla
22088712Element ​of
22098713Not ​an ​element
220B8715Contains ​as ​member
220F8719Product
22118721Sum
22128722Minus
22178727Low ​asterisk
221A8730Radical ​or ​square ​root
221D8733Proportional
221E8734Infinity
22208736Angle
22278743Logical ​AND
22288744Logical ​OR
22298745Cap
222A8746Cup
222B8747Integral
22348756Therefore
223C8764Similar ​to
22458773Approximately ​equal
22488776Asymptotic
22608800Not ​equal
22618801Equivalent
22648804Less-than ​or ​equal
22658805Greater-than ​or ​equal
22828834Subset
22838835Superset
22848836Not ​subset
22868838Subset ​or ​equal
22878839Superset ​or ​equal
22958853Circled ​plus
22978855Circled ​times
22A58869Perpendicular
22C58901Dot ​operator
23088968Left ​ceiling
23098969Right ​ceiling
230A8970Left ​floor
230B8971Right ​floor
23299001Left ​angle ​bracket
232A9002Right ​angle ​bracket
25CA9674Lozenge
26609824Black ​spades
26639827Black ​clubs
26659829Black ​hearts
26669830Black ​diamonds

©Ray White 2004.