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Ascii85, also called Base85, is a form of binary-to-text encoding developed by Paul E. Rutter for the “btoa” utility. By using five ASCII characters to represent four bytes of binary data (making the encoded size ¹⁄₄ larger than the original, assuming eight bits per ASCII character), it is more efficient than uuencode or Base64, which use four characters to represent three bytes of data (¹⁄₃ increase, assuming eight bits per ASCII character).

Its main modern use is in Adobeʼs PostScript and Portable Document Format file formats.

See Also