Ideographic Description Characters (Unicode block)

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Ideographic Description Characters
(16 code points)
Assigned12 code points
Unused4 reserved code points
Source standardsGB 2312-80
Unicode version history
3.012 (+12)
Note: [1][2]

Ideographic Description Characters is a Unicode block containing graphic characters used for describing CJK ideographs. They are used in Ideographic Description Sequences (IDS) to provide a description of a ideograph, in terms of what other ideographs make it up and how they are laid out relative to one another.[3] An IDS provides the reader with a description of an ideograph that cannot be represented properly, usually because it is not encoded in Unicode; rendering systems are not intended to automatically compose the pieces into a complete ideograph, and the descriptions are not standardized.


Ideographic Description Characters[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
1.^ As of Unicode version 11.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points


The following Unicode-related documents record the purpose and process of defining specific characters in the Ideographic Description Characters block:

Version Final code points[a] Count L2 ID WG2 ID IRG ID Document
3.0 U+2FF0..2FFB 12 L2/97-026 N1494 IRG proposal: Ideographic structure character, 1996-06-27
L2/97-114 N1544 Sato, T. K. (1997-04-08), Questions on the "Han structure method" described in WG2 N1490 (IRG N436)
N1680 Project Sub-Division Proposal on Scheme of Ideograph Description Sequence, 1997-12-18
L2/98-286 N1703 Umamaheswaran, V. S.; Ksar, Mike (1998-07-02), "Ideograph Description Sequence", Unconfirmed Meeting Minutes, WG 2 Meeting #34, Redmond, WA, USA; 1998-03-16--20
L2/98-317 N1892 Combined CD registration and consideration ballot on WD for 10646-1/Amd. 28, AMENDMENT 28: Ideographic description characters, 1998-10-22
L2/99-072.1 N1971 Irish Comments on SC 2 N 3186, 1999-01-19
L2/99-072 N1970 Summary of Voting on SC 2 N 3186, PDAM ballot on WD for 10646-1/Amd. 28: Ideographic description characters, 1999-02-05
L2/99-120 Text for FPDAM ballot of ISO/IEC 10646, Amd. 28 - Ideographic description characters, 1999-04-07
L2/99-253 N2067 Summary of Voting on SC 2 N 3312, ISO 10646-1/FPDAM 28 - Ideographic description characters, 1999-08-19
L2/99-301 N2123 Disposition of Comments Report on SC 2 N 3312, ISO/IEC 10646-1/FPDAM 28, AMENDMENT 28: Ideographic description characters, 1999-09-20
L2/99-302 N2124 Paterson, Bruce (1999-09-24), Revised Text for FDAM ballot of ISO/IEC 10646-1/FDAM 28, AMENDMENT 28: Ideographic description characters
L2/00-045 Summary of FDAM voting: ISO 10646 Amd. 28: Ideographic description characters, 2000-01-31
L2/02-221 N2480 Cook, Richard (2002-05-18), Proposal to add Ideographic Description Characters (IDC) to the UCS
L2/02-436 N2534 N955 IRG Radical Classification, 2002-11-21
L2/12-087 Proposed Changes to ISO/IEC 10646 Annex I, Ideographic Description Characters, 2012-02-09
L2/15-065 Jenkins, John (2015-02-02), Proposal to Add IDS Links to Online Unihan Database
L2/15-070 Davis, Mark (2015-02-03), IDS in Unihan
L2/15-313 Lunde, Ken (2015-11-03), Request for IDS Data
  1. ^ Proposed code points and characters names may differ from final code points and names

Ideographic Description Sequences[edit]

IDS := Ideographic | Radical | CJK_Stroke | Private Use | U+FF1F | IDS_BinaryOperator IDS IDS | IDS_TrinaryOperator IDS IDS IDS 
CJK_Stroke := U+31C0 | U+31C1 | ... | U+31E3 
IDS_BinaryOperator := U+2FF0 | U+2FF1 | U+2FF4 | U+2FF5 | U+2FF6 | U+2FF7 | U+2FF8 | U+2FF9 | U+2FFA | U+2FFB 
IDS_TrinaryOperator:= U+2FF2 | U+2FF3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Unicode character database". The Unicode Standard. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
  2. ^ "Enumerated Versions of The Unicode Standard". The Unicode Standard. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
  3. ^ IDS are described in chapter 18.2 of the Unicode Standard 9.0 on pages 689 through 692.