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What are escape characters in Lua?



Escape characters in programming languages are special character formats that don’t represent themselves in a literal string. Instead, they perform special actions.

In Lua, escape sequence characters will change the default meaning of characters when used in strings. They’re usually a combination of a backslash and a character. Below is a list of escape sequences in Lua and a simple explanation of what these do:

  • \a: This displays an alarm bell symbol.
  • \b or \\: These print a backslash in our string.
  • \f: This is an escape sequence literal that is used to create a form feed. A form feed causes the cursor to move down to the next line without returning to the start of the line.
  • \n: This is a very popular and commonly used sequence that creates new print lines.
  • \r: This is a carriage return escape sequence. It moves the cursor to the beginning of the line without moving to the next line.
  • \t: This creates a horizontal tab space.
  • \v: This creates a vertical tab space.
  • \": This allows us to insert double quotes in our string without special interpretation.
  • \': This allows us to insert single quotes in our string without special interpretation.


In the code snippet below, we’ll use different escape characters.

--this will show distorted on this editor, because it has no image support

print("This \f is \f form \f feed \f a \f operation \f")
print("This is \n a new line \n continued")

print("creates a tab \t space horizontally")

print("add double quotes \"\" and single quoutes \'\' safely")


  • Line 3: We carry out a form feed operation.
  • Line 4: We print a new line.
  • Line 6: We add tabs to our string.
  • Line 7: We add double and single quotes to our strings without their being interpreted specially.



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