What Does Unicode Mean?

Unicode is a modern standard for text representation that defines each of the letters and symbols commonly used in today’s digital and print media. Unicode has become the top standard for identifying characters in text in nearly any language.


Techopedia Explains Unicode

Developed in the 1980s, Unicode represented a step toward a more global strategy for text representation than the previously used American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII). Different versions of Unicode have allowed for the representation of diverse languages, including Hebrew and Arabic, which are read differently than texts that use Western alphabets, and languages like Chinese, where more complex glyphs are used in place of individual letters representing a single phonetic sound.

Unicode is allowing for easier standardization of print or digital media conventions, whether for the printed page, or for devices such as smartphones. Unicode is maintained by the Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit that exists to advance the Unicode standard in order to make it easier to deal with cross-platform changes or other new representations of text across new media and technologies.


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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…