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I need information about § character. I have seen it used for numbering (equivalent to nº) and as a separator. Which is its name or code? Where can it be used?

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@Herbert: There's no such thing as "extended ASCII." Perhaps you mean one of the ISO 8859 character encodings? – TH. Jan 12 '11 at 21:14
@Herbert: Not quite. ASCII has 128 characters. There are many 8 bit character encodings that include ASCII as a subset. Those given in ISO 8859 are common examples. ASCII was never extended. My guess is you're thinking of ISO 8859-1, also called Latin-1. – TH. Jan 13 '11 at 0:19
@TH: No, there are tons of charsets which includes ASCII and what we called all extended ASCII, that maybe, of course, ISO 8859. But there are also others, also extended from the ASCII. Remember, that I never said, that there is acommon charset which is named Extended ASCII. It means only that the § character is defined using the eighth bit, it is in the upper half of the 256 characters. – Herbert Jan 13 '11 at 8:08
@Herbert: I think you're saying that every 8-bit character encoding that is a superset of ASCII is called extended ASCII. That's not really correct. It's true you never said there was a single one, but you did write "The original ASCII had 128 characters and it was extended to 256." That's implying that there's some standard extension called extended ASCII, which there simply is not. Finally, the claim that § is in the upper half isn't correct either. ISO 8859-11 and TIS 620 are 8-bit character encoding that contain ASCII (maybe you'd call them extended ASCII) but they lack the character. – TH. Jan 13 '11 at 9:34
Nobody else has noted this so far … I find it odd that you have seen this used in place of “nº”. This isn’t its conventional use, and in fact I don’t think most people would recognize it to mean that so be careful when using it like this. – Konrad Rudolph Feb 6 '11 at 21:44
up vote 19 down vote accepted

It is a section sign, you can typeset it with TeX/LaTeX by typing \S.

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not only TeX/LaTeX, also with the other ones – Herbert Jan 12 '11 at 19:39
@Herbert Right should have said (All)TeX! – Yiannis Lazarides Jan 12 '11 at 19:40

with a correct inputencoding you can input it directly from your keyboard, if present.

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General Character Properties

In Unicode since: 1.1 Unicode category: Symbol, Other

Various Useful Representations Here is what I have (from Linux's character map utility):

UTF-8: 0xC2 0xA7 UTF-16: 0x00A7

C octal escaped UTF-8: \302\247 XML decimal entity: §

Annotations and Cross References


• paragraph sign in some European usage

Unicode has several other section marks, but they are not as common, e.g., U+1360 ETHIOPIC SECTION MARK, Rejang section mark, and more.

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I found this character listed as \NAK and it's shown on page 72 in Scott Pakin's Comprehensive LaTeX Symbol List, Table 227: ASCII Control Characters (CP437). Apparently is a control character, part of the first 33 non-printing control characters (now mostly obsolete) that affect how text and space is processed.

This character is sometimes used for adorning numbered titles of sub-sections of text in older books, this is how I started looking for it. And it is true you can get it very easy by using \S.

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