# What is Binary or Base2 And How Does It Work?

This article explains the concept of Binary or Base2 and demonstrates how to convert text into binary using ASCII encoding.

## What Is Binary or Base2?

Binary, often referred to as Base2, is a numeral system that employs only two symbols: 0 and 1. This system serves as the foundation of digital technology and computing, as it represents data and information in a format that computers can understand and manipulate.

Each digit or “bit” in the binary system can take one of two values: 0 or 1. These bits serve as the foundation for all digital information. Binary coding can represent numbers, text, pictures, and other data by arranging bits in sequences. Each bit represents a power of two, with the rightmost bit representing 0 (1), the next bit to the left representing 2 (1), the next bit to the left representing 2 (2), and so on. Binary may express any number by combining these powers of two.

Binary is the heart of all digital devices and computing systems. It is the basis for how data is stored, processed, and transmitted within computers and across networks. Understanding binary is fundamental for anyone working with computers, as it forms the basis for higher-level programming languages, data storage techniques, and digital communication protocols.

## How Does Binary Work?

Binary uses individual digits called “bits.” Each bit can have one of two values: 0 or 1. A single binary digit is the smallest unit of binary information.

Similar to our decimal system (Base10), where each digit’s position has a different place value (ones, tens, hundreds, etc.), binary follows a place value system, but it’s powers of 2. The rightmost bit has a place value of 20 (1), the next bit to the left has a place value of 21 (2), the next 22 (4), and so on. This allows binary to represent larger numbers by combining these powers of 2.

In binary, numbers are represented by sequences of bits. For example, the binary number “1101” represents the decimal number 13. You calculate it as follows:

``````1 * 23 = 8
1 * 22 = 4
0 * 21 = 0
1 * 20 = 1

Total: 8 + 4 + 0 + 1 = 13``````

Other forms of data can be represented by binary in addition to integers. Text characters, for example, can be encoded using binary codes. ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) encoding assigns distinct binary codes to characters, allowing text to be represented in binary form.

## Convert Text Into Binary Or Base-2

When converting text to Base2, each character is represented as a sequence of 0s and 1s. This is referred to as character encoding. ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) is the most often used character encoding method for this purpose.

Here’s how you can convert text into binary or Base2 using ASCII encoding:

1. Character to Decimal: Each character in the text is first converted to its corresponding decimal (Base10) value using the ASCII table. ASCII assigns a unique decimal number to every character, including letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and control characters.
2. Decimal to Binary: Once you have the decimal value for each character, you can convert it into binary (Base2). To do this, you repeatedly divide the decimal number by 2 and note the remainders until the quotient becomes zero. The remainders, read from bottom to top, give you the binary representation.

Let’s take an example to illustrate this process:

Suppose you want to convert the text “HELLO” into binary.

1. Character to Decimal:
• ‘H’ corresponds to 72 in decimal.
• ‘E’ corresponds to 69 in decimal.
• ‘L’ corresponds to 76 in decimal.
• ‘L’ corresponds to 76 in decimal.
• ‘O’ corresponds to 79 in decimal.
2. Decimal to Binary:
• For ‘H’ (72), the binary representation is 01001000.
• For ‘E’ (69), it’s 01000101.
• For ‘L’ (76), it’s 01001100.
• For ‘L’ (76), it’s 01001100.
• For ‘O’ (79), it’s 01001111.

So, the text “HELLO” in binary is represented as: 01001000 01000101 01001100 01001100 01001111.

Each character is converted to its binary equivalent, and spaces are used to separate the binary representations of different characters.

## Online Text to Binary Converter

An online Text to Binary Converter is a useful tool for converting text or other characters into their binary (Base2) representation. This tool is especially useful for a variety of computer science, data storage, and data transport applications.

Click here to try our Text to Binary Converter. If you want to do the same thing in reverse, i.e. convert Base2 to Text, click here.