Symbol Meaning

The Backspace symbol, also known as “delete”, was originally designed for use in teletype and other communication systems to erase the previous character and move the cursor one step back.

When it comes to text editors and computer terminals, the Backspace symbol is typically used to delete the character before the current cursor position. In modern computer systems and applications, the Backspace symbol is a standard control element and is often associated with the ← Backspace button on the keyboard.

On some devices Backspace could be used to lay one character over another. For example, c\b^ (where \b is the escape sequence for U+0008) would type ĉ.

echo "ab\bc"; // would type "ab c", not "ac"

Like all other control characters, this symbol has no visual representation and does not occupy much space on screen or in typed text. There is a separate symbol in Control Pictures2400–243F representing a graphical image of the Backspace symbol. It's the abbreviation BS (Backspace) — .

Escape sequence: \b.

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

The symbol “Backspace” 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 Backspace
Unicode Number
CSS Code
Unicode Block Basic Latin
Unicode Subblock C0 controls
Unicode Version 1.1 (1993)
Keyboard shortcut ^H
Escape sequences \b
Version 1.1
Block Basic Latin
Type of paired mirror bracket (bidi) None
Composition Exclusion No
Case change 0008
Simple case change 0008
Encoding hex dec (bytes) dec binary
UTF-8 08 8 8 00001000
UTF-16BE 00 08 0 8 8 00000000 00001000
UTF-16LE 08 00 8 0 2048 00001000 00000000
UTF-32BE 00 00 00 08 0 0 0 8 8 00000000 00000000 00000000 00001000
UTF-32LE 08 00 00 00 8 0 0 0 134217728 00001000 00000000 00000000 00000000