Also to reduce invalid characters in URLs to valid characters: spaces are converted to + signs, and all other invalid characters are converted to their ASCII number in hexadecimal, preceded with a %.

Example: "Tom's Cabin" becomes "Tom%27s+Cabin"

Button on keyboards, usually top left.
The act of putting the printed character associated with the escape key (ASCII code 27 / 1B hex) into a file: was used a lot with ANSI coloured text. A real bastard to put into your text tho, as pressing Esc, dialing in on the numeric keypad (Alt+27) or most other ways ended up quitting the program.

In texts intended to be interpreted by a computer program, often some characters of strings / words have special meaning as commands etc.

If you want to include those characters / strings as such, you need to tell the system they are not meant as commands, but as simple text. This is called 'escaping' the special characters.

How to do escaping depends on the language / program for your input, but it usually involves putting some escape character in front of the command.

Some examples:

  • In Unix shells (and Perl), the backslash '\' is used:
    # How to output quotation marks
    echo "Then he said \"This is not okay.\" "
  • In Latex, you must insert certain characters by name (just like in HTML, see article above in this node). Sometimes you can also quote with a backslash.
    This is a backslash: $\backslash$.

somewhere there's a thirst
that penetrates my thoughts
and makes me do things
i know i shouldn't do.

somewhere there's a reason
for all the twists and turns
for going in circles
and watching the stars stand still.

it sounds like the world
rushing by, outside my window
even though i know
it's only a train.

one small cluttered room
is too much for this time
and so i pretend to leave it
even though i'm still right here.

Eliah Hecht, February 2003.

Es*cape" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Escaped (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Escaping.] [OE. escapen, eschapen, OF. escaper, eschaper, F. echapper, fr. LL. ex cappa out of one's cape or cloak; hence, to slip out of one's cape and escape. See 3d Cape, and cf. Scape, v.]


To flee from and avoid; to be saved or exempt from; to shun; to obtain security from; as, to escape danger. "Sailors that escaped the wreck." Shak.


To avoid the notice of; to pass unobserved by; to evade; as, the fact escaped our attention.

They escaped the search of the enemy.


© Webster 1913

Es*cape", v. i.


To flee, and become secure from danger; -- often followed by from or out of.

Haste, for thy life escape, nor look behind&?;&?;


To get clear from danger or evil of any form; to be passed without harm.

Such heretics . . . would have been thought fortunate, if they escaped with life.


To get free from that which confines or holds; -- used of persons or things; as, to escape from prison, from arrest, or from slavery; gas escapes from the pipes; electricity escapes from its conductors.

To escape out of these meshes.


© Webster 1913

Es*cape", n.


The act of fleeing from danger, of evading harm, or of avoiding notice; deliverance from injury or any evil; flight; as, an escape in battle; a narrow escape; also, the means of escape; as, a fire escape.

I would hasten my escape from the windy storm.
Ps. lv. 8.


That which escapes attention or restraint; a mistake; an oversight; also, transgression. [Obs.]

I should have been more accurate, and corrected all those former escapes.


A sally. "Thousand escapes of wit." Shak.

4. (Law)

The unlawful permission, by a jailer or other custodian, of a prisoner's departure from custody.

Escape is technically distinguishable from prison breach, which is the unlawful departure of the prisoner from custody, escape being the permission of the departure by the custodian, either by connivance or negligence. The term escape, however, is applied by some of the old authorities to a departure from custody by stratagem, or without force. Wharton.

5. (Arch.)

An apophyge.


Leakage or outflow, as of steam or a liquid.

7. (Elec.)

Leakage or loss of currents from the conducting wires, caused by defective insulation.

Escape pipe (Steam Boilers), a pipe for carrying away steam that escapes through a safety valve. --
Escape valve (Steam Engine), a relief valve; a safety valve. See under Relief, and Safety. --
Escape wheel (Horol.), the wheel of an escapement.


© Webster 1913

Es*cape", n. (Bot.)

A plant which has escaped from cultivation.


© Webster 1913

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