Computers are frequently used to manipulate character strings as well as numeric data. In data processing, application names, addresses, and so forth must be stored and sometimes rearranged. Text editor and word processor programs must be capable of searching for and moving strings of characters. An assembler must be able to separate assembly language statement elements, identifying those that are reserved mnemonics. Even when computation is primarily numerical, it is often necessary to convert a character string to an internal numerical format when a number is entered at the keyboard, or to convert an internal format to a character string for display purposes.
An 80×86 microprocessor has instructions to manipulate ...