# 2.4.4.4 Character literals

Visual Studio .NET 2003

A character literal represents a single character, and usually consists of a character in quotes, as in `'a'`.

character-literal:
'   character   '
character:
single-character
simple-escape-sequence
unicode-escape-sequence
single-character:
Any character except ' (U+0027), \ (U+005C), and new-line-character
simple-escape-sequence: one of
\' \" \\ \0 \a \b \f \n \r \t \v
\x   hex-digit   hex-digitopt   hex-digitopt   hex-digitopt

A character that follows a backslash character (`\`) in a character must be one of the following characters: `'`, `"`, `\`, `0`, `a`, `b`, `f`, `n`, `r`, `t`, `u`, `U`, `x`, `v`. Otherwise, a compile-time error occurs.

A hexadecimal escape sequence represents a single Unicode character, with the value formed by the hexadecimal number following "\x".

If the value represented by a character literal is greater than `U+FFFF`, a compile-time error occurs.

A Unicode character escape sequence (Section 2.4.1) in a character literal must be in the range `U+0000` to `U+FFFF`.

A simple escape sequence represents a Unicode character encoding, as described in the table below.

Escape sequence Character name Unicode encoding
```\'
```
Single quote
```0x0027
```
```\"
```
Double quote
```0x0022
```
```\\
```
Backslash
```0x005C
```
```\0
```
Null
```0x0000
```
```\a
```
```0x0007
```
```\b
```
Backspace
```0x0008
```
```\f
```
Form feed
```0x000C
```
```\n
```
New line
```0x000A
```
```\r
```
Carriage return
```0x000D
```
```\t
```
Horizontal tab
```0x0009
```
```\v
```
Vertical tab
```0x000B
```

The type of a character-literal is `char`.

Show: