Character Set

What Does Character Set Mean?

A character set refers to the composite number of different characters that are being used and supported by a computer software and hardware. It consists of codes, bit pattern or natural numbers used in defining some particular character.


A character set may also be referred to as character map, charset or character code.

Techopedia Explains Character Set

A character set is the key component behind displaying, manipulating and editing text, numbers and symbols on a computer. A character set is created through a process known as encoding i.e. each character is assigned with a unique code or value.

All word and/or data processing applications are embedded with one or more character sets. The characters within a character set can be text, number or even symbols. Each character is represented by a number. ASCII characters set is one of the most popular character sets used by general computers to display text or numbers on computer screen. It represents uppercase and lower case English alphabets, number, mathematical operators and symbols from number 0–127.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…