control character

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A control character is one of 32 characters in the PETSCII code used on the C-64, which do not themselves cause any visible character to appear on the screen (or printer, plotter, or in a disk or tape file), but has some influence on how or where subsequent characters are to be printed.

Text screen control characters by PETSCII code[edit]

  • 5/$05: Changes the text color to white.
  • 8/$08: Disables changing the character set using the SHIFT + Commodore key combination.
  • 9/$09: Enables changing the character set using the SHIFT + Commodore key combination.
  • 13/$0D: Carriage return; next character will go in the first column of the following text line. As opposed to traditional ASCII-based system, no LINE FEED character needs to be sent in conjunction with this Carriage return character in the PETSCII system.
  • 14/$0E: Select the lowercase/uppercase character set.
  • 17/$11: Cursor down: Next character will be printed in subsequent column one text line further down the screen.
  • 18/$12: Reverse on: Selects reverse video text.
  • 19/$13: Home: Next character will be printed in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
  • 20/$14: Delete, or "backspace"; erases the previous character and moves the cursor one character position to the left.
  • 28/$1C: Changes the text color to red.
  • 29/$1D: Advances the cursor one character position without printing anything.
  • 30/$1E: Changes the text color to green.
  • 31/$1F: Changes the text color to blue.
  • 129/$81: Changes the text color to orange.
  • 141/$8D: Same action as Carriage return (13/$0D).
  • 142/$8E: Select the uppercase/semigraphics character set.
  • 144/$90: Changes the text color to black.
  • 145/$91: Cursor up: Next character will be printed in subsequent column one text line further up the screen.
  • 146/$92: Reverse off: De-selects reverse video text.
  • 147/$93: Clears screen of any text, and causes the next character to be printed at the upper left-hand corner of the text screen.
  • 148/$94: Insert: Makes room for extra characters at the current cursor position, by "pushing" existing characters at that position further to the right.
  • 149/$95: Changes the text color to brown.
  • 150/$96: Changes the text color to light red.
  • 151/$97: Changes the text color to dark grey.
  • 152/$98: Changes the text color to medium grey.
  • 153/$99: Changes the text color to light green.
  • 154/$9A: Changes the text color to light blue.
  • 155/$9B: Changes the text color to light grey.
  • 156/$9C: Changes the text color to purple.
  • 157/$9D: Moves the cursor one character position backwards, without printing or deleting anything.
  • 158/$9E: Changes the text color to yellow.
  • 159/$9F: Changes the text color to cyan.


Table of Control Characters[edit]

ASCII Character Key combination Description Wiki-Syntax VICE keys
147 01Steuerzeichen.PNG SHIFT +CLR/HOME  Clears screen {clear} / {clr} shift +home 
19 02Steuerzeichen.PNG CLR/HOME  or CTRL +S  Place cursor in top left corner {home} home  or Tab +S 
29 03Steuerzeichen.png CRSR ⇐ ⇒  Cursor one step right {cursor right}/{crsr right} right 
157 04Steuerzeichen.PNG SHIFT +CRSR ⇐ ⇒  Cursor one step to the left {cursor left}/{crsr left} left 
17 05Steuerzeichen.PNG CRSR ⇑ ⇓  or CTRL +Q  Cursor one position down {cursor down}/{crsr down} down  or Tab +Q 
145 06Steuerzeichen.PNG SHIFT +CRSR ⇑ ⇓  Cursor one position up {cursor up}/{crsr up} up 
144 07Steuerzeichen.PNG CTRL +1  Character color black {blk} / {black} tab +1 
5 08Steuerzeichen.PNG CTRL +2  or CTRL +E  Character color white {wht} / {white} tab +2  or Tab +E 
28 09Steuerzeichen.PNG CTRL +3  Character color red {red} tab +3 
159 10Steuerzeichen.PNG CTRL +4  Character color cyan {cyn} / {cyan} tab +4 
156 11Steuerzeichen.png CTRL +5  Character color purple {pur} / {purple} tab +5 
30 12Steuerzeichen.PNG CTRL +6  Character color green {grn} / {green} tab +6 
31 13Steuerzeichen.PNG CTRL +7  Character color blue {blu} / {blue} tab +7 
158 14Steuerzeichen.PNG CTRL +8  Character color yellow {yel} / {yellow} tab +8 
18 23Steuerzeichen.PNG CTRL +9  or CTRL +R  Reverse ON {rvs on} Tab +9  or Tab +R 
146 24Steuerzeichen.PNG CTRL +0  Reverse OFF {rvs off} Tab +0 
129 15Steuerzeichen.PNG C= +1  Character color orange {orange} CTRL +1 
149 16Steuerzeichen.PNG C= +2  Character color brown {brown} CTRL +2 
150 17Steuerzeichen.PNG C= +3  Character color pink {pink} / {light-red} CTRL +3 
151 18Steuerzeichen.PNG C= +4  Character color grey 1 / dark grey {gray1} / {darkgrey} CTRL +4 
152 19Steuerzeichen.PNG C= +5  Character color grey 2 {grey} CTRL +5 
153 20Steuerzeichen.PNG C= +6  Character color light green {lightgreen} CTRL +6 
154 21Steuerzeichen.PNG C= +7  Character color light blue {lightblue} CTRL +7 
155 22Steuerzeichen.PNG C= +8  Character color grey 3 / light grey {grey3} / {lightgrey} CTRL +8 
133 25Steuerzeichen.PNG F1  To use for input with GET {f1} f1 
134 27Steuerzeichen.PNG F3  To use for input with GET {f3} f3 
135 29Steuerzeichen.PNG F5  To use for input with GET {f5} f5 
136 31Steuerzeichen.PNG F7  To use for input with GET {f7} f7 
137 26Steuerzeichen.PNG SHIFT +F1  To use for input with GET {f2} f2  or shift +f1 
138 28Steuerzeichen.PNG SHIFT +F3  To use for input with GET {f4} f4  or shift +f3 
139 30Steuerzeichen.PNG SHIFT +F5  To use for input with GET {f6} f6  or shift +f5 
140 32Steuerzeichen.PNG SHIFT +F7  To use for input with GET {f8} f8  or shift +f7 
20 34Steuerzeichen.PNG INST/DEL  or CTRL +T  Erases character left of cursor. {del} Backspace 
148 33Steuerzeichen.PNG SHIFT  + INST/DEL  Move characters to the right to insert character. {inst} Shift +Backspace 
3 35Steuerzeichen.PNG RUN/STOP * or CTRL +C  Uset by GET query if RUN/STOP has been deactivated {run/stop} esc 
8 36Steuerzeichen.PNG CTRL +H  Deactivates case change SHIFT +C=  {<shift>+<c=> off} / {ctrl+h} Tab +h 
9 37Steuerzeichen.PNG CTRL +I  Activates case change SHIFT +C=  {<shift>+<c=> on} / {ctrl+i} Tab +i 
13 RETURN  or CTRL +M  Return to enter data
(exists no control character)
{return} enter  / Tab +M 
14 39Steuerzeichen.PNG CTRL +N  Mixed case {ctrl+n} tab +n 
142 42Steuerzeichen.png None direct;
Control character: Ctrl +9 +SHIFT +N 
Upper case + graphical characters {ctrl+/} Control character: tab +9 +shift +n 
32 41Steuerzeichen.PNG SPACE  Empty character {space} space 
141 43Steuerzeichen.png SHIFT +RETURN 
Control character: Ctrl +9 +SHIFT +M 
New row {shift return} shift +enter 
Control character: tab +9 +shift +m 

Some characters in the table above do not perform any action, but are still listed:

  • The characters of the Function Keys can be interpreted as freely programmable control characters.
  • SPACE  keycharacter is used as the fill character in insert mode.

Extract of the ASCII-table of the Commodore 64[edit]

  • the numbers 0 until 9 conform the ASCII-Codes 48 until 57
  • the letters A bis Z conform the ASCII-Codes 65 until 90
  • the char !conform the ASCII-Code 33
  • the char " conform the ASCII-Code 34
  • the char # conform the ASCII-Code 35
  • the char $ conform the ASCII-Code 36
  • the char % conform the ASCII-Code 37
  • the char & conform the ASCII-Code 38
  • the char ' conform the ASCII-Code 39
  • the char ( conform the ASCII-Code 40
  • the char ) conform the ASCII-Code 41
  • the char * conform the ASCII-Code 42
  • the char + conform the ASCII-Code 43
  • the char , conform the ASCII-Code 44
  • the char - conform the ASCII-Code 45
  • the char . conform the ASCII-Code 46
  • the char / conform the ASCII-Code 47
  • the char : conform the ASCII-Code 58
  • the char ; conform the ASCII-Code 59
  • the char < conform the ASCII-Code 60
  • the char = conform the ASCII-Code 61
  • the char > conform the ASCII-Code 62
  • the char ? conform the ASCII-Code 63
  • the char @ conform the ASCII-Code 64
  • the char [ conform the ASCII-Code 91
  • the char £ conform the ASCII-Code 92
  • the char ] conform the ASCII-Code 93
  • the char "arrow up" conform the ASCII-Code 94
  • the char "arrow left" conform the ASCII-Code 95
  • The F-keys F1 until F8 conform the ASCII-Codes 133 until 140
  • <RETURN> (Enter) conform the ASCII-Code 13
  • <SPACE> (empty key) conform the ASCII-Code 32 or 160 (safty space)
  • <SHIFT>+<RETURN> (Enter) conform the ASCII-Code 141
  • <CRSR DOWN> (cursor down) conform the ASCII-Code 17
  • <CRSR RIGHT> (cursor right) conform the ASCII-Code 29
  • <CRSR UP> (cursor up) conform the ASCII-Code 145
  • <CRSR LEFT> (cursor left) conform the ASCII-Code 157
  • small-/big letters (characterset 2) activated conform the ASCII-Code 14
  • Grossschreibung (characterset 1) activated conform the ASCII-Code 142
  • <RVS ON>, Reverse On conform the ASCII-Code 18
  • <RVS OFF>, Reverse Off conform the ASCII-Code 146
  • <HOME> (cursor to the position left, up) conform the ASCII-Code 19
  • <CLR HOME> (clear screen) conform the ASCII-Code 147
  • <INST DEL> (Insertmode on) conform the ASCII-Code 20
  • <INST DEL> (Insertmode off) conform the ASCII-Code 148
  • <WHT>, White conform the ASCII-Code 5
  • <RED>, Red conform the den ASCII-Code 28
  • <GRN>, Green conform the ASCII-Code 30
  • <BLU>, Blue conform the ASCII-Code 31
  • <BLK>, Black conform the ASCII-Code 144
  • <PUR>, Purpur conform the ASCII-Code 156
  • <YEL>, Yellow conform the ASCII-Code 158
  • <CYN>, Cyan conform the ASCII-Code 159
  • <orange> conform the ASCII-Code 129
  • <brown> conform the ASCII-Code 149
  • <lt.red>, light red conform the ASCII-Code 150
  • <grey 1>, dark-grey conform the ASCII-Code 152
  • <grey 2> conform the ASCII-Code 151
  • <lt.green>, light green conform the ASCII-Code 153
  • <lt.blue>, light blue, conform the ASCII-Code 154
  • <grey 3>, light grey conform the ASCII-Code 155
  • The other chars are special character, whereas

Codes 192-233 = Codes 96-127

Codes 224-254 = Codes 160-190

  • The char "Pi" conform the ASCII-Code 126 and 255