American Standard Code for Information Interchange

  • Allocates a number to each key on the keyboard that can be traded and read by most computer systems. A text file.
  • ASCII: The acronym for the American Standard Code for Information Interchange, which has assigned a coded set of numbers to represent letters and other special characters. ASCII data consists only of text with no formatting (e.g. bold or italics).
  • A standard code used for data exchange between computers. An ASCII (pronounced “as-key “) text file contains only the letters of the alphabet, numbers, punctuation, and certain communications symbols, but no embedded word-processing codes. An ASCII data file (or ASCII delimited file) has the data in fields that are separated by quotation marks or commas and that allows easy transfer into a database or spreadsheet.
  • Pronounced ask-ee. American Standards Committee II. An eight bit computer coding structure for letters, numbers and characters in which seven bits are used to identify each individual entity (128 maximum), with one bit for parity. When no parity bit is used, all eight bits can be used to represent up to 256 characters; this character set is extended ASCII.
  • ASCII is a code that assigns a number to each key on the keyboard. ASCII text does not include special formatting features and therefore can be exchanged and read by most computer systems.
  • The code by which English letters are represented inside a computer. Most commonly used to discuss a document from which all formatting information (other than spaces and paragraph breaks) has been removed. The text of those documents. MS Word documents, for example, include a lot of information in addition to the text that specifies how the document should look, revisions, and so forth. The so-called ASCII text of this document just contains the text of the document, with everything else removed.


  1. Vinson & Elkins LLP Practice Support, EDD Glossary.
  2. Ibis Consulting, Glossary.
  3. Legal Electronic Document Institute, Basic Principles of Automated Litigation Support (2005).
  4. Formerly American Document Management, Glossary of Terms, now 5i Solutions Glossary.
  5. Kroll Ontrack, Glossary of Terms