big5(5)big5(5)NAMEbig5 - A character encoding system (codeset) for Traditional Chinese
The big5 codeset is one of several codesets that support the Tradi‐
tional Chinese language. This codeset includes the following character
sets: ASCII Big-5
The big5 codeset uses a combination of single-byte data and two-byte
data to represent ASCII characters, symbols, and Chinese ideographic
All ASCII characters are represented in the form of single-byte, 7-bit
data in the big5 codeset; that is, the most significant bit (MSB) of a
byte that represents an ASCII character is always set off. For more
information, see ascii(5).
Big-5 Character Groups
The Big-5 character set defines the following character groups: Special
symbols (408) Level 1 characters (5401) Level 2 characters (7652) Level
1 user-defined space (785) Level 2 user-defined space (2983) Level 3
user-defined space (2041)
Code Values for Big-5 Characters
Each Big-5 character is represented by a two-byte code that compiles
according to the Big-5 standard. The MSB of the first byte is always
set on while that of the second byte can be on or off. Code ranges for
characters in the different character groups are as follows: Special
symbols: A140 to A3BF Level 1 characters: A440 to C67E Level 2 charac‐
ters: C940 to F9D5 Level 1 user-defined space: FA40 to FEFE Level 2
user-defined space: 8E40 to A0FE Level 3 user-defined space: 8140 to
In this space, the valid code range for the first byte is 81 to
FE, while that for the second byte is 40 to 7E and A1 to FE.
The following codeset converter pairs are available for converting Tra‐
ditional Chinese characters between big5 and other encoding formats.
Refer to iconv_intro(5) for an introduction to codeset conversion. For
more information about the other codeset for which big5 is the input or
output, see the reference page specified in the list item.
Converting from and to DEC Hanyu: dechanyu(5) dechanzi_big5,
Converting from and to DEC Hanzi: dechanzi(5) eucTW_big5,
Converting from and to Taiwanese Extended UNIX Code: eucTW(5)
Converting from and to Shift Big-5: sbig5(5) telecode_big5,
Converting from and to Telecode: telecode(5) UTF-16_big5,
Converting from and to UTF-16: Unicode(5) UCS-4_big5, big5_UCS-4
Converting from and to UCS-4: Unicode(5) UTF-8_big5, big5_UTF-8
Converting from and to UTF-8: Unicode(5)
The big5 encoding format is identical to the encoding format used in PC
code pages that support Traditional Chinese. Therefore, you can use
codeset converters that convert between big5 and UTF-16, UCS-4, or
UTF-8 to convert Traditional Chinese data between PC code-page and Uni‐
code encoding formats. Refer to code_page(5) for a discussion of how
the operating system supports PC code pages.
Fonts for Big-5 Characters
The operating system supports Big-5 code by internally converting char‐
acters to DEC Hanyu. Therefore, DEC Hanyu fonts are used for Big-5
characters. Both display and printer fonts are provided for DEC Hanyu
and these are listed in the dechanyu(5) reference page.
For general information about printer support for and codeset conver‐
sion of Asian text, refer to i18n_printing(5).
Others: ascii(5), Chinese(5), code_page(5), dechanyu(5), dechanzi(5),
eucTW(5), GB18030(5), GBK(5), i18n_intro(5), i18n_printing(5),
iconv_intro(5), l10n_intro(5), sbig5(5), telecode(5), Unicode(5)big5(5)