The Complete ASCII to Binary Conversion Table (+ PDF File)

The complete ASCII to binary conversion table.

This ASCII to binary table contains all 256 ASCII characters and their binary counterparts.

So if you want to get the complete ASCII to binary conversion table, then this article is for you.

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

What Is ASCII in a Nutshell?

Have you ever stopped to wonder how your computer works?

You may know that computers use binary (combinations of the numbers zero and one) to store information, but how does that translate into the comprehensive text you read on your screen?

The answer lies with ASCII.

ASCII Explained

ASCII stands for the American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Essentially, it is the computer’s own language.

Computers have a seven-digit code to represent each letter, number, and punctuation. This code is binary, so it only uses a combination of zeros and ones. 

For example, the bits (binary digits) for a capital A are 01000001, while the bits for a lowercase A are 01100001. 

If you counted how many digits there are, you might be confused about why there are eight digits instead of seven.

Well, each byte in the standard ASCII starts with zero, so the following seven digits are those that differentiate the characters.

ASCII has codes for 255 characters.

Instead of remembering the byte for each letter, symbol, and number, the founders organized them numerically and assigned them a decimal value.

For example, capital A (as mentioned above) is number 65, while the lowercase A is 97. 

ASCII Sections

To further organize these codes, the founders separated the characters into two sections, which later became three as people developed codes for more specialized characters. 

The first ASCII section is a control group that contains unprintable characters.

There are a total of 32 characters in this subgroup, labeled from 0 to 31.

These unprintable numbers are only to control different external devices, like a keyboard or a printer. 

In the next section, you’ll find the printable characters that occupy spaces 32 to 127.

Any character you see on the keyboard will be in this group, from the % symbol to the letters and numbers.

Even the spacebar and the delete key have their own codes (numbers 32 and 127, respectively). 

The final section, ranging from character code 128 to 255, was a more recent addition.

Every code has eight bits, each starting with one (as opposed to zero as in the previous two sections).

The characters in this section vary depending on the particular operating system language you are using. Many foreign characters (like Á and Ö) fall into this category.

History of ASCII

Sixty years ago, a conversation about creating a unified coding system for all types of characters began.

The first meeting of the American Standard’s Association’s subcommittee X3.2 occurred in October 1960, and the members started with a teleprinter code from the Bell company. 

From there, they published the first version in 1963, which only had numbers and capital letters. In 1967, they added the first section of control characters and lowercase letters. 

Fourteen years later, they implemented the extension group. This third section includes characters from 128 to 255. 

The majority of computing systems still use ASCII, but new variations are becoming popular with specific systems.

Using the ASCII

Whether you’ve realized it or not, you already use ASCII! Just using a computer system utilizes the ASCII. 

Nevertheless, it’s helpful to learn and understand ASCII—even if you aren’t interested in the technical details – so you can quickly get a foreign language letter whenever you need it. 

For example, with Windows, you can press the ALT key and the given code to get any particular character.

Instead of copying and pasting those accented letters or unique currency signs, you can use this quick method not to break the flow of your typing. 

Variations of ASCII

Since the ASCII contains mainly American characters, several variations with non-English letters developed around the world.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) created the third section of the ASCII, including eight-bit codes.

The extension, called the ISO 8859, has numerous language variations.

  • Western European languages: Latin-1
  • Eastern European and non-Cyrillic central languages: Latin-2
  • Esperanto and southern European languages: Latin-3
  • Northern European languages: Originally Latin-4, now called Latin-10 or Latin-6
  • Turkish: Latin-5
  • Cyrillic: 8859-5
  • Arabic: 8859-6
  • Greek: 8859-7
  • Hebrew: 8859-8

The numerous names for the code for northern European languages show that the information interchange code is continually changing as people develop more efficient systems.

A fantastic example of these continual changes is the creation of Unicode.

The Universal Coded Character Set aims to provide a completely comprehensive code set for all characters.

There are currently 143,859 characters, including historical scripts and emojis. 

Thanks to its goal of including thousands of characters, it has become a popular choice for computer software.

Learn every little tiny bit about ASCII in this in depth article about ASCII: What Is ASCII & What Is ASCII Used For?

What Is the Binary Numeral System In a Nutshell?

The binary numeral system is the concept of using only the digits 0 and 1 to compose a given number. It’s used in both mathematics and computer systems. 

Any number can be represented by a sequence of binaries. And any machine that can be in two mutually exclusive states can represent a binary number.

Binary numbers have been around for thousands of years.

Countries like India, China, and Egypt used them for quaternary divination, describing prosody, and fractions, respectively. 

Binary Vocab

We’ll be using some words in this article that might be new to you.

So, here’s a quick cheat sheet of binary numeral vocabulary. 

  • Positional Notation: The concept that the position of a digit influences its value. For example, in the traditional decimal system, the number 36 indicates that there are three tens and six units.
  • Radix: The number of unique digits in a numeral system. Since 0 and 1 are the only two binary digits, the binary numeral system has a radix of two.
  • Bit: What each digit is referred to, regardless if it’s a 0 or 1. For example, the number 10011 has five bits.
  • Decimal system: The number system we’re most familiar with. It has a radix of 10 with numbers 0 – 9.

How to Count in Binary

Binary counting is similar to the decimal system in the sense that the numbers depend on positional notation.

However, since binary numerals have a radix of two, the numbers 1 and 0 are the only numbers used.

When reading binary numerals, you must do so as individual digits. 

Let’s use the number 101 (which equates to 5 in the decimal system) as an example.

We’re raised to read it as one-hundred-one.

However, with the binary numeral system, you would read it as “one zero one.”

Here is a video that makes sure that you get the idea of the binary counting system:

Binary Numeral System in Action

Now that you have a basic understanding of the binary numeral system, you might be wondering: how exactly does it work?

Let’s take a look at examples of using binary numbers in fractions, addition, and subtraction, and multiplication.

Example #1: Fractions

Let’s consider the fraction 1/10 (0.1) in the decimal system.

At first glance, you may assume this is also a binary fraction.

However, consider this: the number 10 in the decimal system has prime factors 2 and 5.

Fractions in binary arithmetic terminate only if 2 is the only prime factor in the denominator.

Thus, 1/10 does not have a finite binary representation.

For this reason, the fraction 1/10 equates to 0.000110011… in the binary numeral system.

Decimal to binary conversion table.

Example #2: Addition

Addition is one of the easiest mathematical equations to perform in binary.

For instance:

0 + 0 = 0

0 + 1 = 1

1 + 0 = 1

After this point, you’ll need to carry 1. 

For binary addidition exists three basic rules:

  1. 0 + 0 = 0
  2. 0 + 1 = 1
  3. 1 + 1 = 10

If the sum of 2 bits is greater than 1, a column on the left needs to shift.

In the decimal numeral system is 1 + 1 = 2.

And in the binary numeral system is the notation of 2 = 10—because of 1 * 2^1 + 0 * 2^0.

So 0 remains in the first column and 1 needs to be carried over to the second column.

For clarification is below a list of decimal numbers 0 – 100 and their binary equivalent:

First 100 binary table.

Example #3: Subtraction

When it comes to subtraction in the binary numeral system, here’s the golden rule:

Whenever you subtract the number 1 from 0, it equals 1.

You’ll then need to take that number 1 and subtract it from the next column over.

There’s another trick to remember, too:

When you’re subtracting 0 and 1 from each other, the result is always 1, regardless of the order it’s in.

For example:

1 – 0 = 1

0 – 1 = 1

Example #4: Multiplication

Multiplying binary numbers is a similar process to decimal numbers.

If you’re multiplying four-digit numbers longhand, this means you’d create four lines as you work through the multiplication equation.

For example: 1011 x 1010 = 1101110

Note that commas to split up numbers aren’t used in these binary examples, as this is only a feature of the traditional decimal system.

Advantages of Binary Numbers for Electronics

This may surprise you: it’s easier for electronics to work with binary numbers than the decimal system. 

If, for example, computers operated on the 10-digit decimal system, countless rules would have to be incorporated into the computer for it to function.

Thanks to binary systems, computers only have to follow four rules to perform their calculations. And just as important, binary numbers take up less storage space. 

So, you might be wondering: what kinds of devices rely on the binary numeral system?

Just about everything!

Laptops, calculators, cell phones, and digital watches are among the many electronic devices that rely on binary numbers to operate.

Complete ASCII to Binary Table

Complete ASCII to Binary Conversion Table.

Find the complete ASCII master table in this in depth article about ASCII.

Complete ASCII to Binary Table as PDF

More ASCII Conversion Tables

If you’re looking for any other ASCII conversion table than the complete ASCII to binary table, then you’ll find it here.

All tables come as a PDF version as well: