Text and numbers can be encoded in a computer as patterns of binary digits. Hexadecimal is a shortcut for representing binary. ASCII and Unicode are important character sets that are used as standard.

Hexadecimal (or **hex**) is a base 16 system used to simplify how binary is represented. A hex digit can be any of the following 16 digits: **0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F**.

Each hex digit reflects a 4-bit binary sequence.

This table shows each hex digit with the equivalent values in binary and denary.

Denary | Binary | Hexadecimal |
---|---|---|

0 | 0000 | 0 |

1 | 0001 | 1 |

2 | 0010 | 2 |

3 | 0011 | 3 |

4 | 0100 | 4 |

5 | 0101 | 5 |

6 | 0110 | 6 |

7 | 0111 | 7 |

8 | 1000 | 8 |

9 | 1001 | 9 |

10 | 1010 | A |

11 | 1011 | B |

12 | 1100 | C |

13 | 1101 | D |

14 | 1110 | E |

15 | 1111 | F |

This means an 8-bit binary number can be written using only two different hex digits - one hex digit for each nibble (or group of 4-bits). It is much easier to write numbers as hex than to write them as binary numbers.

For example:

**11010100**in binary would be**D4**in hex**FFFF3**in hex would be**11111111111111110011**in binary