I'm working with groups of product identifiers and need to be able to represent when the last couple numbers of the identifier are unspecified.
For example, a product might have the following product IDs:
1000-1234-01 1000-1234-05 1000-1234-10 1000-1234-50
I would like to represent this group with just the first eight digits, and use a masking character to indicate that the IDs are actually 10-digits long but the user doesn't need to worry about the last two digits, for example using
But I'm concerned the
X character may not be universally recognized as a "placeholder" character. They might confused the
X as part of the ID. (My users are in the US, but I can't assume their cultural background).
Other options I can think of:
- Question marks:
The masking character is less ambiguous when users will recognize the format of the number, e.g., for credit card numbers
XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-4000 or phone numbers
(555) 123-XXXX, but is more critical when you want to avoid ambiguity.
What is the best character to use in this case?