What is the correct sign for ";" in morse?

FLdigi converts "-.-.-." to ";" whereas in various code lookup tables I see "-.-.-"

Can both be used or is one of the morse codes valid?


1 Answer 1


As far as I understand in "International Morse Code" the '-.-.-' is used as "Attention" or "start of message". Reference here

Based on a short search, it seems that '-.-.-.' is commonly accepted as semicolon in "International Morse Code", and is likely correct. The Wiki article seems to suggest the same, but is hardly authoritative without further reference.

I have not found an official publication for this, as the ITU-R document referenced does not mention this character.

Even section 3 "Transmission of signs for which there is no corresponding signal in the Morse code" does not suggest an alternative code.

You might have stumbled on a "not formally defined, but has a common practice", in which case I would choose '-.-.-.' as your most likely candidate, as '-.-.-' has an ITU-R definition.

[EDIT] I just found a duplicate question on this site, here

  • $\begingroup$ Indeed this is a duplicate question (in that both are looking for an authoritative semicolon, though the approach is different). I thought about merging the questions, but your answer is written specifically to address this one rather than that one. Would you be interested in posting your research there, or editing this answer so that it is suitable to be moved? $\endgroup$
    – Kevin Reid AG6YO
    Nov 27, 2017 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ @KevinReidAG6YO I don't think that the two questions need to be merged, nor do I think my answer is of additional value for the original question. If it was my decision, leave as is; this one if correctly flagged as duplicate with link to the original. That should be sufficient. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2017 at 14:25

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