Character Entity References

Characters not found in the normal alphanumeric character set, such as < and &, must be specified in HTML using character entities. Using the standard desktop publishing keyboard commands (such as Option-g for the © symbol) within an HTML document will not produce the desired character when the document is rendered in a browser. In fact, the browser generally displays the numeric entity for the character.

Character entities can be referenced by name (& name ;) or by numeric value (&# nnn ;). The browser interprets the string to display the proper character. Named entities are preferable because numeric values may be interpreted differently on different platforms.

Table 10-3 presents the character entities for commonly used special characters. The complete list appears in Appendix F.

Table 10-3. Common special characters and their character entities





Character space (nonbreaking space)








Less-than sign (useful for displaying tags on a web page)




Greater-than sign (useful for displaying tags on a web page)




Left curly quotes (nonstandard entity)




Right curly quotes (nonstandard entity)



Trademark (nonstandard entity)




Pound symbol




Yen symbol




Copyright symbol




Registered trademark ...

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