Characters, code points, character sets, glyphs and fonts

In computers, a character is the unit of information corresponding to a symbol of a natural language. This can be a letter, a digit, a punctuation mark, a mathematical or even musical symbol.

To represent a character in memory or in a file, computers must encode the character in a specific numeric value called code point. This code point uniquely identifies a character in a given character set.

Mapping a character to a code point is called character encoding. The same code point might represent a different character in several character sets.

The glyph is the graphical representation of the character. In other words, it's the way the character is drawn on the screen or on a printer.

Computers implement the glyph of characters with fonts, by mapping a code point to a bitmap image or drawing instructions based on math formulas or vector graphics.