ascii, unicode – interpret ASCII, Unicode characters


ascii [ -8cnt ] [ -dox | -b n ] [ text ]

unicode hexmin-hexmax

unicode [ -t ] hex [ ... ]

unicode [ -n ] characters

look hex /lib/unicode


Ascii prints the ASCII values corresponding to characters and vice versa; under the -8 option, the ISO Latin-1 extensions (codes 0200-0377) are included. The values are interpreted in a settable numeric base; -o specifies octal, -d decimal, -x hexadecimal (the default), and -bn base n.

With no arguments, ascii prints a table of the character set in the specified base. Characters of text are converted to their ASCII values, one per line. If, however, the first text argument is a valid number in the specified base, conversion goes the opposite way. Control characters are printed as two- or three-character mnemonics. Other options are:


Force numeric output.  


Force character output.  


Convert from numbers to running text; do not interpret control characters or insert newlines.  

Unicode is similar; it converts between UTF and character values from the Unicode Standard (see utf(6)). If given a range of hexadecimal numbers, unicode prints a table of the specified Unicode characters their values and UTF representations. Otherwise it translates from UTF to numeric value or vice versa, depending on the appearance of the supplied text; the -n option forces numeric output to avoid ambiguity with numeric characters. If converting to UTF , the characters are printed one per line unless the -t flag is set, in which case the output is a single string containing only the specified characters. Unlike ascii, unicode treats no characters specially.

The output of ascii and unicode may be unhelpful if the characters printed are not available in the current font.

The file /lib/unicode contains a table of characters and descriptions, sorted in hexadecimal order, suitable for look(1) on the lower case hex values of characters.


ascii -d

Print the ASCII table base 10.  

unicode p

Print the hex value of ‘p’.  

unicode 2200-22f1

Print a table of miscellaneous mathematical symbols.  

look 039 /lib/unicode

See the start of the Greek alphabet’s encoding in the Unicode Standard.  



table of characters and descriptions.  




look(1), tcs(1), utf(6), font(6)