Cancel character

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In telecommunication, the term cancel character has the following meanings:

  1. A control character ("CAN", "Cancel", U+0018, or ^X) used to indicate that the data with which it is associated are in error or are to be disregarded. Exact meaning can depend on protocol. For example:
    • In some journalistic text transmission formats, it signifies that the preceding word should be deleted; it is sometimes called "Kill Word" ("KW") in this context.[1]
    • In some Videotex formats, it stops any running macros.[2][3] In others, it clears the current line after the cursor position (compare EL).[4]
  2. A control character ("CCH", "Cancel Character", U+0094, or ESC T) used to erase the previous character. This character was created as an unambiguous alternative to the much more common backspace character ("BS", U+0008), which has a now mostly obsolete alternative function of causing the following character to be superimposed on the preceding one.


  • Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the General Services Administration document: "Federal Standard 1037C".