What Is Ord in Data Structure?


Heather Bennett

What Is Ord in Data Structure?

In data structure, ord is a function that returns the Unicode code point for a given character. It can be used to perform various operations on characters, such as comparing them or finding their position in a list of characters.

Understanding Unicode

Before diving into the concept of ord, it’s essential to understand Unicode. Unicode is a universal character encoding standard that assigns unique numeric codes to every character in almost all writing systems used worldwide. These codes are called code points.

The ord function takes a single argument, a character, and returns its corresponding Unicode code point as an integer value.

Using the ord Function

In Python, you can use the built-in ord function to obtain the Unicode code point for a specific character. Let’s look at an example:

character = 'A'
code_point = ord(character)
print(f"The Unicode code point for {character} is {code_point}.")

This will output:

The Unicode code point for A is 65.

The ord function takes care of all the behind-the-scenes work and provides us with the numeric representation of the character ‘A’ according to the Unicode standard.

Comparing Characters using ord

The ord function becomes particularly handy when comparing characters. By comparing their respective Unicode code points, you can determine their relative positions in terms of alphabetical or numerical order.

Let’s consider an example where we compare two characters:

char1 = 'a'
char2 = 'b'

if ord(char1) < ord(char2):
    print(f"{char1} comes before {char2} in alphabetical order.")
    print(f"{char1} comes after {char2} in alphabetical order.")

The output will be:

a comes before b in alphabetical order.

By using the ord function, we can easily compare characters based on their Unicode code points and determine their ordering.


The ord function is a powerful tool in data structure that allows us to obtain the Unicode code point for a given character. It enables us to perform various operations involving characters, such as comparing them or finding their position in a list. By understanding how ord works and incorporating it into our code, we can enhance our ability to manipulate and analyze textual data.

Remember to utilize the ord function whenever you need to work with characters and their corresponding Unicode representations!

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