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About the Unicode® Standard

Characters for the World

The Unicode Standard is the universal character encoding designed to support the worldwide interchange, processing, and display of the written texts of the diverse languages and technical disciplines of the modern world. In addition, it supports classical and historical texts of many written languages.

The Standard

Formally, a version of the Unicode Standard is defined by an edition of the core specification, The Unicode Standard, together with the Code Charts, Unicode Standard Annexes and the Unicode Character Database. The detailed breakdown of the contents of each version are given in the Archive of Unicode Versions. About Versions explains how versions are defined and how version numbering works. Publication information is provided in the History of Release and Publication Dates.

Machine readable data supporting all versions of the Unicode Standard, as well as other specifications published by the Unicode Consortium, are available for free download at Official Unicode Online Data.

Interactive access to specialized information about CJK characters is available at the Unified Han (Unihan) Character Database.

Latest Version

The documentation for the latest version of the Unicode Standard can always be found at:


Alpha and Beta Review

Periodically, drafts of new versions of the Unicode Standard, including the Unicode Character Database and annexes, are available for early review and public feedback. Consult Beta Review Status to see if an alpha or beta review of the Unicode Standard is underway.


The Unicode Standard and a number of other specifications are continuously maintained by the Unicode Technical Committee. See the following resources relevant to ongoing maintenance:

Location Description
Updates and Errata Cumulative list of pending corrections
Proposed New Characters The latest information available on pending future extensions to the character repertoire of the Unicode Standard
Supported Scripts All of the scripts that have already been added to the Unicode Standard, organized by year and version of addition
As Yet Unsupported Scripts Information about some of the scripts that have not yet been added
Character Encoding Stability Policies An important collection of policies that contstrain future changes to the Unicode Standard, designed to give guarantees of stability for implementers

More Information

Location Description
Where is my Character? Suggestions on how to find out whether a character has been encoded in the Unicode Standard
Unicode Glossary Definitions of technical terms defined by or used in Unicode specifications
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Frequently asked questions about the Unicode Standard and its development process, as well as other activities of the Unicode Consortium
Specifications FAQ Comprehensive list of particular specifications within the Unicode Standard and its Annexes, as well as other specifications published separately by the Unicode Consortium
Unicode Tutorials and Overviews Summary of useful tutorials and other overviews about the Unicode Standard—a good place to start for general information about how the standard works
Technical Introduction Brief introduction to the Unicode Standard
Main Page Links to all the different technical committees and parts of the website related to the technical work of the Unicode Consortium