When designing a MIB module, it is often useful to new define types similar to those defined in the SMI. In comparison to a type defined in the SMI, each of these new types has a different name, a similar syntax, but a more precise semantics. These newly defined types are termed textual conventions, and are used for the convenience of humans reading the MIB module. It is the purpose of the Textual Conventions for SNMPv2 document  to define the initial set of textual conventions available to all MIB modules.
Objects defined using a textual convention are always encoded by means of the rules that define their primitive type. However, textual conventions often have special semantics associated with them. As such, an ASN.1 macro, TEXTUAL- CONVENTION, is used to concisely convey the syntax and semantics of a textual convention.