About DEL

Integer ASCII code: 127
Binary code: 0111 1111
Octal code: 177
Hexadecimal code: 7F
Group: control
Seq: ^?

Unicode symbol: , int code: 9249 (html &#9249) hex code: 2421 (html &#x2421)


Delete key can't be technically called a part of the C0 control character range. Initially it was used in order to designate previously erased characters on paper tape, because any character could be changed to all ones by punching holes in any place. On VT100 compatible terminals, this is the character produced by the key marked ⌫ . On modern machines it is called backspace and doesn't match the PC delete key.

Sometimes the delete character is also called a rubout. In computing it is the last character in the ASCII repertoire, having the code of 127 (decimal). Being a control character instead of a graphic one, in caret notation it's designated as ^? and has a graphic representation of ␡ in Unicode (because all ASCII control characters have their own graphic representations).

On modern systems terminal emulators it usually turn keys designated as "Delete" or "Del" into an escape sequence like ^~. Terminal emulators may produce DEL when ← Backspace key or Control+← Backspace or Control+? are being typed. Some other programs, for example Notepad insert this character using the same keys.


Initially this code was used in order to mark the characters that were deleted on punched tape, because any character could be changed to all ones just by punching holes in any place. In cases, when a character was punched mistakenly, punching out all seven bits made this position to be ignored or even deleted, a computer version of correction fluid. In hexadecimal, this is 7F to rubout 7 bits, and FF to rubout 8 bits. Lines were usually ended up by the three characters CR, LF, and rubout for teleprinters, for example Teletype Model 33. The rubout left some time in order for the print mechanism to physically move to the left margin. On VT100 compatible terminals, the Delete key generated this character. It transmits a delete character (octal 177, hexadecimal 7F) to the host system. On VT510 compatible terminals, this character is generated by the key designated ?, On modern machines it is commonly called backspace, and doesn't match the PC "Delete" key.

Current use

Unix-like operating systems are widely used it in the role of the clean up control character. In plain words, it's function is to delete the previous character in the line mode. However, it differs from its initial function where this code physically replaced characters on a punched tape to be deleted.

Unlike Unix, DOS/Windows haven't even tried to use this character in any function. Instead of it, Windows used backspace (0x08, or control-H) in order to delete the previous character. EGA/VGA fonts, being fonts that are used by Win32 console, usually have the "house" symbol ⌂ at 127 (0x7F) code point (see Code page 437 for details). Nevertheless, the heritage of it can be seen in some applications that can be considered as a part of the Windows operating system. Let's see an example: typing the Control and ← Backspace key combination in Microsoft Notepad will product the delete character.


MD5 Delete character

input value base output hash
DEL char 83ACB6E67E50E31DB6ED341DD2DE1595
127 dec EC5DECCA5ED3D6B8079E2E7E7BACC9F2
01111111 bin B979B632218272F114633BB8697E0C67
0111 1111 bin 316064B28584B8FFA4E1810C6A56824C
177 oct 96DA2F590CD7246BBDE0051047B0D6F7
7F hex E0FB29C277351BDED7C7591A7A7E669F
0x7F hex 96833BBD570CC586C447FB97921B949D

SHA256 Delete character

input value base output hash
DEL char 620BFDAA346B088FB49998D92F19A7EAF6BFC2FB0AEE015753966DA1028CB731
127 dec 922C7954216CCFE7A61DEF609305CE1DC7C67E225F873F256D30D7A8EE4F404C
01111111 bin 07FBD4DAE28E11E49EC4C5F7E34E341B7135D17A6AD7C74F4BB624BB5E18BE66
0111 1111 bin BA160788865126ABF23B79238DC8A505680F6FEE875D2BAD9E4E27DFFF8EC5FD
177 oct 8CD2510271575D8430C05368315A87B9C4784C7389A47496080C1E615A2A00B6
7F hex E632012007B23CCE76EC0CC614310BB08EBCE28588BD8176506A37F6D5DC24E8
0x7F hex C23423CA43528C17CA92312496AE023C50ACD76849962505D2B3A2FC777A7D08

Base64 Delete character

input value base output hash
DEL char fw==
127 dec MTI3
01111111 bin MDExMTExMTE=
0111 1111 bin MDExMSAxMTEx
177 oct MTc3
7F hex N0Y=
0x7F hex MHg3Rg==
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 2018-2023 © Dmytro Koshovyi. Ukraine, Mykolayiv.