Python chr() Function

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The chr() function returns the character that represents the specified unicode.

chr( ) Syntax:

The basic syntax of the chr() function is succinct:


char( ) Parameter:

codepoint (required): An integer that represents the Unicode code point of a character. The valid range for this parameter is from 0 through 1,114,111 (0x10FFFF in hexadecimal).

chr( ) Return Value:

The chr() function returns a single-character string representing the Unicode character corresponding to the provided code point.

Python chr( ) with Integer Numbers:

The primary purpose of the chr() function is to convert integer numbers, which represent Unicode code points, into their corresponding characters. Each integer passed to the chr() function maps to a specific character in the Unicode table.

Understanding Unicode:

Before we delve into how chr() processes integer numbers, it’s worth understanding Unicode briefly. Unicode is an industry standard designed to consistently represent and encode characters from most of the world’s written languages. Each character in the Unicode table is associated with a unique number, known as its “code point”. These code points serve as the integer input for the chr() function.

How chr( ) Works with Integer Numbers:

When an integer is passed to chr(), the function searches the Unicode table for the character associated with that specific code point and returns it.


Basic Latin Characters:

The integer 97 maps to the lowercase letter 'a' in the Unicode table.

print(chr(97))  # Outputs: 'a'

Special Symbols:

The integer 169 corresponds to the copyright symbol '©'.

print(chr(169))  # Outputs: '©'

International Characters:

Unicode also includes characters from various languages around the world. For instance, the integer 8364 is the code point for the Euro currency symbol '€'.

print(chr(8364)) # Outputs: '€'

Emojis and Pictographs:

The Unicode standard has expanded over the years to include emojis and other pictographs. For example, the integer 128512 corresponds to the grinning face emoji '😀'.

print(chr(128512)) # Outputs: '😀'


While chr() is powerful, it’s essential to remember its range limits. The function expects an integer that represents a valid Unicode code point. If an out-of-range integer is provided, chr() raises a ValueError.

chr( ) with Out of Range Integer:

The chr() function, in its core functionality, translates integers into their corresponding characters based on the Unicode table. However, not all integers correspond to valid Unicode code points. Understanding what happens when you input an out-of-range integer into the chr() function is essential to avoid potential errors in your code.

Valid Range:

The Unicode standard supports code points in the range of 0 to 1,114,111 (which is 0x10FFFF in hexadecimal notation). This extensive range accommodates numerous characters, including alphabets from various languages, symbols, and even emojis.

Behavior of chr( ) with Out-of-Range Integers:

If you provide an integer outside the valid Unicode range to the chr() function, Python will raise a ValueError. This error acts as a safeguard to ensure that only valid Unicode code points are processed by the function.


Let’s consider a scenario where we try to access a character using an out-of-range integer:

# This integer is just one value beyond the valid Unicode range
invalid_code_point = 1114112

# Trying to get a character for this code point will raise an error


ValueError: chr() arg not in range(0x110000)

In this output, 0x110000 is the hexadecimal representation of 1,114,112, indicating that the integer provided is outside the valid range for Unicode code points.


  1. Data Validation: If you’re working with dynamic data that might supply integers to the chr() function, it’s prudent to validate the data to ensure it falls within the valid Unicode range.
  2. Error Handling: In scenarios where there’s potential for out-of-range values, wrapping the chr() function call within a try-except block can be useful to catch and handle the ValueError.
    char = chr(invalid_code_point)
except ValueError:
    print(f"{invalid_code_point} is not a valid Unicode code point.")

This way, your program can gracefully handle invalid inputs without crashing.

chr( ) with Non-Integer Arguments:

When you provide a non-integer argument to the chr() function, Python raises a TypeError. This is Python’s way of communicating that the provided input doesn’t match the expected data type.


Floating-Point Numbers:

Even if the floating-point number you provide is close to an integer, chr() won’t automatically round or truncate it. Instead, it’ll raise a TypeError.

# This will raise an error


TypeError: integer argument expected, got float


Passing a string, even if it represents a valid Unicode code point in numeric form, will also result in a TypeError.

# This will raise an error


TypeError: an integer is required (got type str)

Other Data Types:

Similarly, other non-integer data types like lists, dictionaries, or boolean values will also raise TypeError when passed to chr().

# This will raise an error


TypeError: an integer is required (got type list)

Avoiding Common Pitfalls:

Conversion Beforehand: If you’re unsure about the type of data you’re working with, consider converting it to an integer before passing it to chr(). For example, if you have a floating-point number, you might round or truncate it to get an integer. If you have a string that represents an integer, you can use the int() function.

value = "97"
char = chr(int(value))
print(char)  # Outputs: 'a'

Type Checks: You can also perform type checks using the isinstance() function to ensure the argument is an integer.

value = 97.5
if isinstance(value, int):
    print("Invalid input!")


The chr() function, though seemingly modest, holds considerable power in Python programming. By offering an intuitive interface to the vast Unicode landscape, it simplifies tasks ranging from text processing to data representation. As with any tool, understanding its strengths, limitations, and potential pitfalls is crucial.

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