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Binary Tutorial: Number System, the theory behind numbers and how binary work

Numbers are all around us and for the most part we take them for granted. If I offered you $1337 dollars you would be happy because you know that is a fairly reasonable number of dollars. A number system is a means of representing amounts of things. Decimal is just one of several number systems though and others, in paticular binary, are important to understand in various fields, especially computing.

In our beginners introduction to binary, hexadecimal and octal numbers you will learn binary conversions and arithmetic with interactive demonstrations and detailed explanations.


This Binary tutorial is divided into 3 sections. In general I recommend you work through them in order but if you’ve come here just to learn about a specific topic then who am I to slow you down, just head straight on over.

  • Number Systems - Read on below to discover the theory behind numbers.
  • Conversions - How to convert between binary and decimal, hexadecimal and octal.
  • Arithmetic - Learn how to perform various arithmetic operations with binary numbers.
  • Negative Numbers - Learn how to manage negative numbers in binary.
  • Floating point and fractions - Learn how to convert decimal numbers to and from binary fractions and floating point.