ASCII, short for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, is a character encoding standard used for representing text in computers and other devices that use text. It encodes 128 specified characters into 7-bit binary integers, including uppercase and lowercase English letters, numerals, punctuation marks, and control characters. ASCII is widely used in programming, data formats, and communication protocols. While newer encoding standards like UTF-8 have been developed to include a wider range of characters from different languages, ASCII remains foundational in computing and is integral to understanding modern text encoding and processing.