Carriage return

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The carriage return ( English carriage return ; Unicode: ␍, German also obsolete WR ) is the instruction on output devices for text to go to the beginning of the line .


Typewriter with the line shift lever (left) that causes a carriage return

Originally due to technical reasons, there are still two different interpretations of the carriage return in data processing. With typewriters , the carriage return is usually linked to the line feed . On mechanical typewriters, pressing the line switch lever at its end to the right causes a carriage return and a line feed. If you only want a carriage return, e.g. B. to underline text (i.e. entering underscores in the same line), you have to hold the line lever when moving so that it does not tilt to the side or perform the return with the lower pressure provided; the line feed is only carried out at the stop with additional pressure on the lever. Electric typewriters often have two different operating options.


Line feed (ZL) and carriage return (WR) buttons.
Siemens T37h teleprinter , 1950s.

During the development of the first mechanical teleprinter there was the problem that more time is required for the carriage return due to the large mass of the carriage to be accelerated than is available due to the fixed data transmission time of each character. In order to make a virtue out of necessity, carriage return and line feed were assigned to two different keys. With the result that a line feed can be carried out safely while the carriage return is still in progress. If z. If, for example, a blank line is required at the end of a paragraph, the experienced teleprinter then types carriage return, line feed and line feed.


In the digital word processing / transmission, this function is performed by the return of the cursor to the beginning of the line, it is a control character Carriage Return (short CR transmitted). If necessary (in addition the insertion point one line set in modern data processing on the computer down newline , English line feed , short LF ), and a line break created when the typographical paragraph mark Pilcrow , or hard line break is to be displayed. On PCs with the classic Mac OS as the operating system (1984–2001) takes over CRthe function of the line feed .

Character encoding and input

Practically all character sets provide for such a control character.

  • In the ASCII character set, the most widespread and most used character set worldwide, e.g. B. the character hexadecimal 0D or decimal 13 is provided for this.
  • In the EBCDIC code also hexadecimal 0Dor decimal 13.
  • There is also a carriage return in Unicode (also codepoint 0D [hex.] Or 13[dec.]), Since ASCII has been completely adopted by the Unicode consortium for reasons of compatibility - including all control characters ( block basic Latin ).

The usual abbreviation is CR, or as \ran escape sequence .

The direct original keyboard command "Go to the beginning of the line" is implemented by cursor control using the key Pos1, since the constraints of mechanical processes are no longer required.

To enter a line feed, see there.

Web links

Wiktionary: carriage return  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations