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What is the use of the "ascii" function in Python?

In Python, the ascii() function is a built-in function used to return a string that represents a specified object as an ASCII-encoded string. It converts non-ASCII characters to their escape sequences, allowing you to represent non-ASCII characters in a printable and portable way.

The general syntax of the ascii() function is as follows:

ascii(object)
  • object: The object that you want to represent as an ASCII-encoded string.

Here's an example to demonstrate the usage of the ascii() function:

string = "Café"
ascii_string = ascii(string)

print(ascii_string)

In this example, the ascii() function is used to convert the string variable to its ASCII-encoded representation. Since the string contains a non-ASCII character (é), the ascii() function replaces it with the escape sequence \xe9. The resulting ascii_string will be "Caf\xe9".

The ascii() function is particularly useful when you need to represent non-ASCII characters, such as special characters or characters from different languages, in a way that is compatible with ASCII-based systems or when you want to escape non-printable characters.

Keep in mind that the ascii() function does not perform full Unicode encoding, and it is primarily designed for representing non-ASCII characters using escape sequences. If you need full Unicode representation, you can use the encode() method with an appropriate encoding scheme, such as UTF-8.

It's important to note that the ascii() function is different from the str() function, which returns a string representation of an object without performing any encoding or escaping. The ascii() function is specifically intended for creating ASCII-encoded representations of objects.

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