Base85 Encoder

You can easily encode the Base85

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If your input is hexstring, you can select this to convert your hexstring to binary before encoding.
Note: hexstring must have an even length
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What is Base85 Encoding?

In the realm of digital data encoding, various schemes are employed to represent binary data in a form that can be easily transmitted or stored. Among these, Base85, also known as Ascii85, is a notable encoding technique that offers a compact and efficient means of data representation. This article delves into the fundamentals of Base85, its applications, advantages, and comparisons with other encoding schemes.

Understanding Base85

Base85 is an encoding scheme designed to convert binary data into ASCII text. Unlike its more familiar counterpart, Base64, which maps 3 bytes of binary data to 4 characters of text, Base85 achieves greater density by mapping 4 bytes of binary data to 5 ASCII characters. This means Base85 is capable of reducing the overhead more efficiently than Base64, making it an attractive option for certain applications where space or bandwidth is at a premium.

How Base85 Works

The mechanics of Base85 encoding are grounded in its ability to represent a large range of binary values with a limited set of ASCII characters. Specifically, it uses 85 different ASCII characters to encode data, hence the name Base85. Each group of 4 bytes (or 32 bits) of binary data is treated as a single 32-bit integer. This integer is then encoded into a sequence of 5 ASCII characters, each representing a portion of the original binary data. The choice of 85 characters is strategic, as it allows for a direct mapping that is both efficient and easy to implement in software.

Applications of Base85

Base85 is particularly useful in environments where data size and transmission efficiency are critical. Some of its key applications include:

  • Version Control Systems: Systems like Git use Base85 to encode binary diffs in a compact format, optimizing storage and transmission efficiency.
  • Graphic Formats: Certain graphic file formats employ Base85 to encode binary data within textual files, reducing file size without sacrificing integrity.
  • Network Protocols: Some network protocols use Base85 to encode binary data for transmission over media that are not binary safe, ensuring data integrity and efficiency.

Advantages of Base85

  • Increased Efficiency: By reducing the overhead compared to Base64, Base85 makes more efficient use of bandwidth and storage.
  • Compact Representation: It offers a more compact representation of binary data, which is advantageous in bandwidth or storage-constrained environments.
  • High Compatibility: Base85-encoded data is composed of ASCII characters, ensuring high compatibility with existing text-based systems and protocols.

Comparing Base85 with Other Encoding Schemes

While Base85 offers distinct advantages, it's important to consider it within the context of available alternatives:

  • Base64: The most widely used encoding scheme, Base64, is less efficient in terms of space than Base85 but enjoys broader support and standardization across various platforms and applications.
  • Base32 and Base16 (Hex): These schemes are even less efficient than Base64 but offer simplicity and readability, which can be beneficial in debugging and certain application scenarios.


Base85 represents an intriguing option within the array of data encoding schemes, balancing efficiency with compactness. Its specific benefits make it an appealing choice for certain applications, particularly where reducing data size is paramount. Understanding when and how to leverage Base85, alongside other encoding schemes, is a valuable skill in optimizing data storage and transmission in our increasingly digital world.