What Is Unicode?

This section provides a quick introduction of the Unicode character set, which contains all characters used in all written languages of the world.

Unicode is a coded character set that contains all characters used in all written languages of the world. It also contains many symbols.

Unicode is fully compatible with the ISO/IEC 10646 standard.

Glyph: A visual representation of one fundamental element of written languages or symbols printed on paper or screen. For example, the letter "Z" is a glyph; and the letter "a" with "^" on top is another glyph.

Glyph is a measurement of shapes and forms of a language. Glyphs are font dependent, the same letter can be display with different glyphs, if different fonts is used.

Code Element: A digital representation of one fundamental semantic value of written languages and symbols. For example, the letter "Z", no matter how many different forms and shape it can be printed on paper or screen, it only has one semantic value - the capital letter "Z". So it can be represented by one code element. Another example is the letter "a" with "^" on top. Semantically, it may be represented by two values: the small letter "a" and the circumflex accent "^". So it can be represented by two code elements.

Character: Same as code element in Unicode context. But in other contexts, a character might be a larger measurement. For example, the letter "a" with "^" on top, is called one character in many non-Unicode contexts, but it is represented by two code elements, or two characters in Unicode context.

Code Point: A unique number assigned to a code element, usually represented in hexadecimal form with the prefix of "U+". For example, the code point of code element for the letter "Z" in Latin language is U+005A; and the code point of code element for the circumflex accent is U+0302.

Code Name: A name assigned to a code element. Code names used in Unicode are compatible with character names defined in ISO/IEC 10646.

Putting all those concepts together, now we can say that Unicode is a character set, in which, each character has:

Last update: 2009.

Table of Contents

 About This Book

 Character Sets and Encodings

 ASCII Character Set and Encoding

 GB2312 Character Set and Encoding

 GB18030 Character Set and Encoding

 JIS X0208 Character Set and Encodings

Unicode Character Set

What Is Unicode?

 Examples of Unicode Characters

 Unique Features of Unicode

 Unicode Standard Releases

 Code Point Blocks

 Unicode 8.0 Character Samples

 Unicode 7.0 Character Samples

 Unicode 6.0 Character Samples

 Unicode 5.0 Character Samples

 Unicode 4.0 Character Samples

 UTF-8 (Unicode Transformation Format - 8-Bit)

 UTF-16, UTF-16BE and UTF-16LE Encodings

 UTF-32, UTF-32BE and UTF-32LE Encodings

 Java Language and Unicode Characters

 Character Encoding in Java

 Character Set Encoding Maps

 Encoding Conversion Programs for Encoded Text Files

 Using Notepad as a Unicode Text Editor

 Using Microsoft Word as a Unicode Text Editor

 Using Microsoft Excel as a Unicode Text Editor

 Unicode Fonts

 Unicode Code Point Blocks - Code Charts

 Outdated Tutorials

 References

 PDF Printing Version