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HTML Entities


Reserved characters in HTML must be replaced with character entities.

Characters, not present on your keyboard, can also be replaced by entities.


HTML Entities

Some characters are reserved in HTML.

If you use the less than (<) or greater than (>) signs in your text, the browser might mix them with tags.

Character entities are used to display reserved characters in HTML.

A character entity looks like this:

&entity_name;

OR

&#entity_number;

To display a less than sign we must write: &lt; or &#60;

Note The advantage of using an entity name, instead of a number, is that the name is easier to remember.
The disadvantage is that browsers may not support all entity names, but the support for numbers is good.


Non Breaking Space

A common character entity used in HTML is the non breaking space (&nbsp;).

Remember that browsers will always truncate spaces in HTML pages. If you write 10 spaces in your text, the browser will remove 9 of them. To add real spaces to your text, you can use the &nbsp; character entity.


Combining Diacritical Marks

A diacritical mark is a "glyph" added to a letter.

Some diacritical marks, like grave (  ̀) and acute (  ́) are called accents.

Diacritical marks can appear both above and below a letter, inside a letter, and between two letters.

Diacritical marks can be used in combination with alphanumeric characters, to produce a character that is not present in the character set (encoding) used in the page.

Here are some examples:

Mark Character Construct Result
  ̀ a a&#768;
  ́ a a&#769;
̂ a a&#770;
  ̃ a a&#771;
  ̀ O O&#768;
  ́ O O&#769;
̂ O O&#770;
  ̃ O O&#771;


Some Other Useful HTML Character Entities

Note

 Entity names are case sensitive.


Result Description Entity Name Entity Number
  non-breaking space &nbsp; &#160;
< less than &lt; &#60;
> greater than &gt; &#62;
& ampersand &amp; &#38;
¢ cent &cent; &#162;
£ pound &pound; &#163;
¥ yen &yen; &#165;
euro &euro; &#8364;
© copyright &copy; &#169;
® registered trademark &reg; &#174;

You will see more about HTML symbols in the next chapter of this tutorial.



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