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ASCII: American Standard Code for Information Interchange. ASCII is one of several computer code systems for representing characters as numeric codes in computer storage, and it is the most midely used system in microcomputers. The ASCII character set of a microcomputer usually includes 256 characters or control codes. For example, the letter "A" is stored as ASCII 65, "B" as 66, "a" as 97, "b" as 98, etc. Some ASCII "characters" do not display as characters on the screen but instead control the display in other ways. For example, ASCII 8 is the backspace, 10 is the line feed, 13 is the carriage return, and 27 is escape. Other ASCII characters, consisting of letters from non-English alphabets and graphic symbols, fall in the range from ASCII 128 to 255. These "upper ASCII" characters will not always display or print in consistent ways. The most consistent ASCII characters are those that can be seen on the keyboard; they fall in the range from ASCII 32 to 127 (plus the combination of 13 and 10 as line terminators) and are called "plain ASCII." A "plain ASCII" file will not cause difficulties in display or printout.

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