This translator allows you to convert between binary and text. You might like to try to write in binary (using zeros and ones) in the right box, and see what comes out as text in the left. Or you can convert text to binary by writing or pasting it in the left box, and then this translator will generate binary code on the right which you can copy and paste.
What is binary?
Information (in its technical sense) is a pattern which holds some meaning. There are many ways to store information, but the most efficient way that computers are able to store information is in a pattern of 2 different symbols. We use the symbols "1" and "0" only because they're symbols that we all recogise and are in some sense, opposites of one another (something vs. nothing). But any symbols can be used. The important thing with binary is that there are two symbols (the prefix "bi" in "binary" tells us this). The reason computers like to talk in binary is because computers are made of transistors, and transistors have two states.
Translating Binary to Text
Converting between binary and text is quite simple. All the normal textual characters that you see on computers are defined by the ASCII standard. The standard defines 128 characters - everything you can see on a standard English keyboard and quite a few more. Each of these characters is assigned a number, from 0 to 127 (note it only goes to 127 since we start counting at 0, not 1).
Since each of these characters is assigned a number, we could write text in ASCII codes:
"hello" ---> "104 101 108 108 111"
In fact, here's an ASCII translator that let's you do just that. But we want to convert to binary, not ASCII codes, right? Well, as it turns out when we convert text to binary, we are just converting the text to a string of ASCII codes, but we're also converting those ASCII codes into binary numbers instead of decimal numbers (the numbers you learn in school).
Learning how to convert decimal numbers to binary numbers is outside the scope of this explanation, but here's a decimal to binary translator which explains the conversion process. So finally, after the conversion of the decimal ASCII codes to binary ASCII codes, we get:
Where each binary number is 8 bits long, and they're all squashed together into one long line.
So there you have it. This translator can act as a quick online binary encoder or binary decoder so that you can translate English into binary and share encoded messages with your friends. They can then decode the binary message using this same translator. Who knows, if you were dedicated enough to learn the binary ASCII codes, you might even be able to learn to write in binary. Being able to convert binary to text in your brain is pretty pointless, but also pretty cool.
I created this binary code generator in an afternoon, so if there's anything I can improve about it please let me know! Feel free to post weird binary messages in the comments for other people to decode! :)