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Hi guys,

I'm converting an old VB application into C#, and part of the system requires me to convert certain special characters to their ASCII equivalent.

In VB, the code is:

sValue = Asc("œ")  'which gives 156

sValue = Asc("°")  'which gives 176

sValue = Asc("£")  'which gives 163

These are the correct values according to

But when doing the same conversion in C#, the first of these values gives a strange answer.

Here is the code:

As ints:

int i1 = (int)Convert.ToChar("œ");    // which gives 339

int i2 = (int)Convert.ToChar("°");    // which gives 176

int i3 = (int)Convert.ToChar("£");    // which gives 163

As bytes:

byte i1 = (byte)Convert.ToChar("œ");    // which gives 83

byte i2 = (byte)Convert.ToChar("°");    // which gives 176

byte i3 = (byte)Convert.ToChar("£");    // which gives 163

What gives?! :( I'm suspecting it's something to do with the sign bit, but I can't see what.

Many thanks
Updated 24-Sep-21 6:08am
Sergey Alexandrovich Kryukov 27-Dec-12 22:23pm    
Who told you it should be ASCII? ASCII won't work for you...

Richard is right. To get the same bytes in C# as the bytes in VB, use this:
byte i1 = Encoding.Default.GetBytes("œ")[0];

The GetBytes method returns a byte array, with Encoding.Default.GetBytes("œ")[0] you get the first value of the byte array.

Hope this helps.
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Nick Fisher (Consultant) 28-Dec-12 5:45am    
Yes, this works now. Many thanks. Nick
Thomas Daniels 28-Dec-12 7:45am    
You're welcome!
Deki syahputra 19-Apr-15 21:38pm    
Many Thanks Bro.
Hello Nick,

What you refer to as being ASCII is *not* ASCII (see[^]).
Only the 7-bit ASCII character encoding is unambiguously given.

There exist several 8-bit extensions to the original 7-bit encoding.

Your page claims to list œ as being part of latin-1. But reding carefully, the page says

[...] The extended ASCII codes (character code 128-255)
There are several different variations of the 8-bit ASCII table. The table below is according to ISO 8859-1, also called ISO Latin-1. Codes 129-159 contain the Microsoft® Windows Latin-1 extended characters. [...]

Microsoft decided some years ago to "modify" the standard to fit their needs. See[^] or more specific on[^].

Standard Latin-1 does *not* contain œ. That is included in Latin-9 (also known as ISO/IEC-8859-15), see also ISO Latin 9 as compared with ISO Latin 1[^] and[^].

Now, how to solve your issue?
Neither latin-1 nor latin-9 works on Windows.
You need to take Encoding.GetEncoding(1252) which happens to be the same result as calling Encoding.Default (as ProgramFOX[^] described in Solution #3).

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Sergey Alexandrovich Kryukov 27-Dec-12 22:19pm    
Exactly. This is some legacy trash called "extended ASCII". Practically, none of the modern systems support it, for a good reason.
Unicode representation of these characters should be used, that's it.
My 5.
Andreas Gieriet 27-Dec-12 22:43pm    
Hello Sergey,
thanks for your 5!
Nick Fisher (Consultant) 28-Dec-12 5:45am    
Excellent answer, thanks. Nick
Andreas Gieriet 28-Dec-12 8:01am    
You are welcome!
Espen Harlinn 28-Dec-12 7:40am    
Good guess, a 5 :-D
Use the GetBytes[^] of the Encoding.ASCII[^] encoding to get the characters converted to ascii.

Best regards
Espen Harlinn
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Andreas Gieriet 27-Dec-12 21:24pm    
Hello Espen,
this would remove diacritics by mapping the windows code page 1252 characters to 7-bit ASCII instead of converting to unicode encoding. See also Solution #3 and #4.
Espen Harlinn 28-Dec-12 7:39am    
OP asked for ASCII, repeatedly ...

And as you wrote in your answer - you're doing a conversion to code page 1252, which is what OP actually needed, but it wasn't what he asked for.
Andreas Gieriet 28-Dec-12 8:06am    
Hello Espen,
I focussed more on his example code and felt that asking for ASCII ist wrong...
It's interesting though, that converting to ASCII results in removing diacritics (œ --> o) - that was new to me.
Sergey Alexandrovich Kryukov 27-Dec-12 22:21pm    
Sorry, but won't work in this case. You probably answered formally, but did not look at the characters themselves. Please see the correct solution #4 and my comments.
(I did not vote this time.)
C# uses Unicode rather than ASCII to represent characters and strings.
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byte i1 = (byte)Convert.ToChar("œ");

C# uses unicode and unicode of 'œ' is 339 in both cases. (byte and int)

As we know that the range of this byte is from 0-255 so it can't hold as it is unsigned in C# but unicode of "œ" character is 339 so the Unicode value is overflowing range of byte. But as we are not concerned with overflow or underflow So there exists a pattern on which overflow value is stored in byte
Range of byte = 2^8 = 256
In case of overflow : (339 - 256 = 83 )
Now 83 is storing in a byte.

There is a way to check overflow and underflow.
byte i1 = checked((byte)Convert.ToChar("œ"));
Now using checked you will get a runtime exception which is System.overflow exception.
And u know Exception handling ......!
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