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Rune in Golang

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In the past, we only had one character set, and that was known as ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange). There, we used 7 bits to represent 128 characters, including upper and lowercase English letters, digits, and a variety of punctuations and device-control characters. Due to this character limitation, the majority of the population is not able to use their custom writing systems. To solve this problem, Unicode was invented. Unicode is a superset of ASCII that contains all the characters present in today’s world writing system. It includes accents, diacritical marks, control codes like tab and carriage return, and assigns each character a standard number called “Unicode Code Point”, or in Go language, a “Rune”. The Rune type is an alias of int32. Important Points:

  • Always remember, a string is a sequence of bytes and not of a Rune. A string may contain Unicode text encoded in UTF-8. But, the Go source code encodes as UTF-8, therefore, no need to encode the string in UTF-8.
  • UTF-8 encodes all the Unicode in the range of 1 to 4 bytes, where 1 byte is used for ASCII and the rest for the Rune.
  • ASCII contains a total of 256 elements and out of which, 128 are characters and 0-127 are identified as code points. Here, code point refers to the element which represents a single value.


It is a Rune with hexadecimal value &#x2644.

Rune Literal

It represents a Rune constant, where an integer value recognizes a Unicode code point. In Go language, a Rune Literal is expressed as one or more characters enclosed in single quotes like ‘g’, ‘\t’, etc. In between single quotes, you are allowed to place any character except a newline and an unescaped single quote. Here, these single-quoted characters themselves represent the Unicode value of the given character and multi-character sequences with a backslash (at the beginning of the multi-character sequence) encode values in a different format. In Rune Literals, all the sequences that start with a backslash are illegal, only the following single-character escapes represent special values when you use them with a backslash: 

Character Unicode Description
\a U+0007 Alert or Bell
\b U+0008 backspace
\f U+000C form feed
\n U+000A line feed or newline
\r U+000D carriage return
\t U+0009 horizontal tab
\v U+000b vertical tab
\\ U+005c backslash
\’ U+0027 single-quote
\” U+0022 double quote(legal only in string literals)

Example 1: 


// Simple Go program to illustrate
// how to create a rune
package main
import (
func main() {
    // Creating a rune
    rune1 := 'B'
    rune2 := 'g'
    rune3 := '\a'
    // Displaying rune and its type
    fmt.Printf("Rune 1: %c; Unicode: %U; Type: %s", rune1,
                             rune1, reflect.TypeOf(rune1))
    fmt.Printf("\nRune 2: %c; Unicode: %U; Type: %s", rune2,
                               rune2, reflect.TypeOf(rune2))
    fmt.Printf("\nRune 3: Unicode: %U; Type: %s", rune3,


Rune 1: B; Unicode: U+0042; Type: int32
Rune 2: g; Unicode: U+0067; Type: int32
Rune 3: Unicode: U+0007; Type: int32

Example 2: Output:

Character: ♛, Unicode:U+265B, Position:0 
Character: ♠, Unicode:U+2660, Position:1 
Character: ♧, Unicode:U+2667, Position:2 
Character: ♡, Unicode:U+2661, Position:3 
Character: ♬, Unicode:U+266C, Position:4 

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Last Updated : 11 Apr, 2022
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