Understanding character encoding standards allows us to better prepare for, and understand, the localization process, from engineering, linguistic, and project management points of view.
While it seems that character codes should fall exclusively in the domain of international application developers, this technology is relevant for all localization professionals. Character encoding explains why those strange boxes and Ó characters show up on some websites and why we often cannot open multilingual files.
Character encoding is the organization of the set of numeric codes that represent all the meaningful characters of a script system in memory. Each character is stored in memory as a number. When a user enters characters, the user's keypresses are converted to character codes; when the characters are displayed onscreen, the character codes are converted to the glyphs of a font. The link below will guide you to a PDF file with more information and a helpful table of the most popular character encoding standards.