What is "wide ASCII"?

"Wide" or "double width" ASCII (zenkaku eisūji (全角英数字), "full-width alphabet and numerals") are a set of characters equivalent to the usual ASCII characters but with character forms that are wider than the usual ASCII characters. They are similar to half-width katakana (see What is half-width katakana?) in that they are an alternative representation of a set of characters which differ only in their width.

The Wide ASCII characters were first included in the JIS X 0208 encoding (see Encodings of Japanese). They can now be found in Unicode with codes from U+FF01 to U+FF5E, in the same order as ASCII, except for one character, the ideographic space character, which is found at U+3000.

In contrast, in Japanese hankaku eisūji (半角英数字) means the normal form of ASCII characters.


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