Slash vs Backslash
Visually identifying the difference between slash and backslash is quite easy as the former leans forward while the other leans backward. However, there is a huge difference between them in usage as they are used for a variety of purposes and refer to different things in different contexts. We have all been aware of slash, or, as it is today called to differentiate with backward slash, a forward slash. It is used in English language frequently in place of hyphen, also to place a gap between two alphabets or words. In fact, there are numerous uses of this forward slash. However, there is another slash, the backward slash that is used mainly in computing and anyone who has used computers or written a text on a word processor knows it is there on the keyboard above the Enter key. It is an important key in computer terminology, which finds several uses in different operating systems. Thus, we see that apart from very ostensible differences between slash and backward slash, there are many more differences that will be discussed in this article.
What is Slash?
To begin with, a forward slash or slash is a common punctuation mark used in English language. The slash appears like this: /. As you can see, the upper end of a slash leans forward. That is why it is known as a forward slash too.
In writing we use slash instead of writing the word ‘or.’ For example, saying he or she is the same as saying he/she. The slash marks a difference between the two words or phrases that you are dividing by using it. This is the only symbol of the two, slash and backslash, known to writing.
When it comes to computing, slash or forward slash is mostly used in URL addresses. In fact, this slash tells that you are indicating to something separate and external to your system, such as the name of the website.
What is Backslash?
A backslash is a slash that leans backward and is used as a symbol in computer programming. Backslash appears like this: \. As you can see, the upper end of the backslash leans backwards. That is why it has gained the name backslash.
If we look at writing, people do not use backslash in writing. That is why most people are unaware of the backslash. This is purely a computer related symbol. The most important use of backslash is as a path finder in directories in a windows based system, and as an escaping character in computer languages, mostly C type languages. Moreover, a backslash takes you to something that is inside your computer and multiple backslashes mean you are being taken inside level by level such as drive, folder, and finally file.
One important thing to note is that, as computers are made to recognize these slashes (forward slash and backslash) as symbols, it is not possible to make use of either of these slashes to name or rename a folder.
What is the difference between Slash and Backslash?
• Slash is a common punctuation mark.
• Backslash is used to direct user to inside a computer system to a file or a folder.
• The top of a slash (/) leans forward. As a result, some call this ‘forward slash’ too.
• The top of a backslash (\) leans backwards.
Slash is used in different fields. Here are some of them.
• In writing, slash is used to mean or, and, per, etc.
• In abbreviations, slash is used separate two word-initialism such as r/w (read and write).
• In arithmetic, slash means division.
• In computing too slash is used. For example, for URLs.
• Backslash is mostly used in different programming languages.
• In mathematics, for the set difference a backslash like symbol is used.
• Presence in the Keyboard:
• Both find place in a computer keyboard.
• Slash shares a button with the question mark. Another slash button is there in the numeric pad of the computer.
• Backslash appears above the enter button in the keyboard. This enter button is the button in the main typing keyboard.
• Naming a folder:
• Computers recognize slash and backslash as symbols, and thus, it is not possible to name a folder using these symbols.
When you are talking to someone about a computer code that contains both slashes and backslashes, you do not have to say forward slash. Anyone knows that when you use the word slash you are referring to the forward slash as that is the most common one. When you come across a backslash you have to say it is backslash.