"Char" Standard Type

Char is the shared name used by Elements on all platforms and languages for the type used to represent a single UTF-16 character, as used standalone or in Strings. Chars are value types and in many ways the same as an unsigned 16-bit Integer – except in what they represent.

In C#, the char keyword can also be used to refer to this type.


  • In Oxygene, char literals can be defined with single quotes, e.g. 'A'.

  • In Oxygene, you can also use a hash symbol (#), followed by either a decimal or a hexadecimal numeric value to write a char literal (without quotes): #65 or #$41 both also represent the letter "A".

  • In C# and Java, char literals are also defined with single quotes, e.g. 'A'. This can include the backslash escape symbol followed by a special character, such as '\n' for a newline character (#10) or by 'x' or 'u' and a hexadecimal unicode character code, such as '\x0041'. The backslash character itself also needs to be escaped, e.g. '\\' represent a single backslash character.

  • In Swift, string literals that are exactly one character in length (be it one actual character, or a backslash with a character code similar to C#) can be cast to a Char to become character literals.

Type Mappings


The AnsiChar type is provided to support legacy 8-bit characters, where needed.