What are control characters?

Control characters are characters that do not representable a printable character but instead serves to initiate a specific action.

There are various types of control characters, including printing control characters, data structuring control characters, and transmission control characters—many of which are often used in the prefix or suffix configurations of barcode and RFID scanners. Some applications, such as SerialMagic Gears allow you to append a control character to scan data at the software level. 

The table below provides information regarding some of the more common ASCII control characters.

Control CharacterNameExplanation
SOHStart of HeadingSignifies that start of a heading block in a transmission
STXStart of TextSignifies the end of a heading block and precedes a text block
ETXEnd of TextTerminates a text
EOTEnd of TransmissionIndicates the conclusion of the transmission of one or more text blocks (terminates a transmission)
LFLine FeedA format effector which advances the active position (the cursor position) to the same character position of the next line
CRCarriage ReturnA format effector which moves the active position to the first character position on the same line