# What is Octal or Base8 And How Does It Work?

In this article we will go through the most basic topics of Octal (aka Base8): what is octal, how it works and how to convert text to Base8 format.

## What Is Octal or Base8?

Octal, often referred to as Base8, is a numeral system that utilizes eight symbols: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Similar to binary (Base2) and hexadecimal (Base16) systems, octal is used to represent numerical values in a format that is essential for digital computing and programming. Each digit in octal, or “octit,” can take one of eight values, and this system plays a crucial role in various computing contexts.

## How Does Octal Work?

Each digit in octal represents a power of 8. The numeral on the right indicates 80 (1), the digit on the left represents 81 (8), the digit after that represents 82 (64), and so on. By using these powers of 8, octal can express greater numbers.

For example, in octal notation, the number “53” represents:

``(5 * 81) + (3 * 80) = 40 + 3 = 43 in decimal.``

## Convert Text Into Octal Or Base-8

When converting text to octal or Base-8, each character is represented by an octal digit sequence (0-7). This is referred to as character encoding. One of the most common character encoding techniques used for this purpose is ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange).

Here’s how you can convert text into octal or Base-8 using ASCII encoding:

1. Character to Decimal: First, each character in the text is 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 Octal: Once you have the decimal value for each character, you can convert it into octal (Base-8). To do this, repeatedly divide the decimal number by 8 and note the remainders until the quotient becomes zero. The remainders, read from bottom to top, give you the octal representation.

For example, let’s convert the text “HELLO” into octal.

Decimal to Octal:

• ‘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.

Decimal to Octal:

• For ‘H’ (72), the octal representation is 110.
• For ‘E’ (69), it’s 105.
• For ‘L’ (76), it’s 114.
• For ‘L’ (76), it’s 114.
• For ‘O’ (79), it’s 117.

So, the text “HELLO” in octal is represented as: 110 105 114 114 117.

Each character is transformed to its octal counterpart, and spaces are utilized to separate various characters’ octal representations.

## Online Text to Octal and Vice Versa Converter

If you want to speed up this manual process and convert text to octal values or vice versa in a flash, try our free tool.