A format based on a connection table approach, instead of a linear encoding scheme, to describe the carbohydrate sequences, with a controlled vocabulary to name monosaccharides, adopting IUPAC rules to generate a consistent, machine-readable nomenclature. The format uses a block concept to describe frequently occurring special features of carbohydrate sequences like repeating units. It exists in two variants, a condensed form and a more verbose XML syntax. Sorting rules assure the uniqueness of the condensed form, thus making it suitable as a direct primary key for database applications, which rely on unique identifiers. GlycoCT encompasses the capabilities of the heterogeneous landscape of digital encoding schemata in glycomics and is thus a step forward on the way to a unified and broadly accepted sequence format in glycobioinformatics.