Unicode vs. ASCII

Difference between Unicode and ASCII

Both, Unicode and ASCII are standards for encoding texts and used around the world. Codes or standards are universal and unique numbers for symbols to create better understanding of a language or program.  From individual software developers to Fortune 500 companies, Unicode and ASCII are of great importance. These standards, as part of universal encoding system, have contributed to develop a common yet unique platform to facilitate communication between different regions of the world.


Unicode was developed under the coordination of a non-profit organization Unicode Consortium. It supports languages like Microsoft, Java, XML, .Net and others. Due to the modification of a character shape, symbolic figure or glyptic art are greatly available. The modifications are done via some mechanism adopted by Unicode. Unicode has brought in major changes and modifications in themes, textures and graphics.  In Unicode, electrical pulse or natural numbers are easy to transmit through different networks and used to convert a text or picture.

The recent version consists of charts for visual reference, collation, two-way display, depicting, 109000 characters encoding methodology and standard for encoding. Unicode’s UTF-8 is one of the most widely used encodings. The non-profit organization Unicode Consortium brings together the expertise and skills of leading software and hardware companies like Apple, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, IBM, Yahoo, Google Oracle Corporation under one roof.  The first publication of the consortium saw the daylight in 1991 and in 2010, latest Unicode 6.0 was published.

On the other hand, ASCII stands for Short form of American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It is limited to128 characters. The 33 characters of ASCII are non-printing, 94 printable and a space makes total of 128 characters.  Based on the sequence of English alphabet, the encoding of ASCII is supported by all present day data encoding machines. It was first used by Bell data services as a seven bit Tele-printer.  The advent and use of binary system has changed the very face of personal computing. The modern day PC as we see it now, is the result of encoding and decoding. The languages were created on the basis of encoding which as a result, made PC user friendly and its functions- smoother.