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In some (rare) typefaces you'll see a slash through the character for the number zero. In even fewer cases you might see a slash through other digits, such as seven. Is there a name for this slash?

If it were a pronunciation-modifier it might be called a diacritic, and if it were additional marks on the end of some glyphs it might be called a serif, but these descriptions don't fit the slash on digits.

I looked at the Wikipedia article Slashed Zero, but even that didn't actually have a word for the mark.

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I don't understand what you're looking for. As your question indicates, it's a slash. – Mark Beadles May 25 '12 at 15:41
What Mark said. We don't have names for every different line/stroke within every character. Personally I think OP is mistaken in expecting a single name covering the optional additional line in 0 and 7 (I'd call it a slash in the 0, and a bar in the 7) - but to the extent that it's a meaningful question at all, I think it's too localised. – FumbleFingers May 25 '12 at 16:01
As the Wikipedia article plainly states, "typists would type a normal zero, backspace, and hit the slash key to mark the zero." – Gnawme May 25 '12 at 16:06
up vote 6 down vote accepted

You could say what is used through the zero is a diagonal slash. And the slash through the 7 is called a crossbar.

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I don't think there's a special name for that. It's just a feature of certian fonts.

The reason behind the slashed zero is simply to differentiate it from a captial letter O. Getting them mixed up wasn't a big deal before the computer age. In fact, it was often darn convienent for them to be the same, if for some reason your capital O or number 0 was unavailable (eg: broken key on your typewriter).

However, computers have no such problem differentiating the two, no matter how much alike they look. This can lead to insanely tough to track-down bugs in computer programs. I've had this happen to me personally back in the olden days. It was horrible. So it is of vital importantnce for programmers for the two characters to be easily discernable.

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