Symbol Meaning

The Bell symbol was developed for telegraph and other communication systems. It was used to trigger an audio or visual signal on the receiving device. As for computer terminals and text editors, Bell was often used to notify the user about some event, such as the completion of a task or an accidental error. It was commonly done via the system speaker.

To enter the Bell symbol, the Escape sequence \a was introduced:

s = "Hey you: \a!!";
echo s;

Apart from that, you could also send this symbol using the Ctrl-G key combination. Fortunately, most modern systems don't burst out squeaking after being triggered by a simple text command.

Nowadays the use of the U+0007 Bell symbol has become less common in modern computer systems and applications, since its functions are often replaced by other methods of notifications, such as pop-up messages or sound effects.

Like other control characters, this symbol has no visual representation and doesn't occupy a lot of space on screen or in typed text. There is a separate symbol in Control Pictures2400–243F that represents a graphical image of the Bell symbol as the abbreviation BEL — .

Escape sequence: \a.

It's one of the eight control symbols, the presence of which is required by POSIX:

The symbol “Bell” is included in the “C0 controls” subblock of the “Basic Latin” block and was approved as part of Unicode version 1.1 in 1993.

Text is also available in the following languages: Русский;



Unicode Name Bell
Unicode Number
CSS Code
Plane 0: Basic Multilingual Plane
Unicode Block Basic Latin
Unicode Subblock C0 controls
Unicode Version 1.1 (1993)
Keyboard shortcut ^G
Escape sequences \a
Type of paired mirror bracket (bidi) None
Composition Exclusion No
Case change 0007
Simple case change 0007
scripts Common
Encoding hex dec (bytes) dec binary
UTF-8 07 7 7 00000111
UTF-16BE 00 07 0 7 7 00000000 00000111
UTF-16LE 07 00 7 0 1792 00000111 00000000
UTF-32BE 00 00 00 07 0 0 0 7 7 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000111
UTF-32LE 07 00 00 00 7 0 0 0 117440512 00000111 00000000 00000000 00000000