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HTML <meta> charset Attribute

HTML meta Tag Reference HTML <meta> tag

Example

Specify the character encoding for the HTML document:

<head>
<meta charset="UTF-8">
</head>

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Browser Support

Internet Explorer Firefox Opera Google Chrome Safari

The charset attribute is supported in all major browsers.


Definition and Usage

The charset attribute specifies the character encoding for the HTML document.

Tip: The charset attribute can be locally overridden using the lang attribute on any element.


Differences Between HTML 4.01 and HTML5

The charset attribute is new in HTML5, and replaces the need for: <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">

Specifying the character-set using the http-equiv attribute is still allowed, but the new way requires less code.


Syntax

<meta charset="character_set">

Attribute Values

Value Description
character_set Specifies the character encoding for the HTML document.

Common values:

  • UTF-8 - Character encoding for Unicode
  • ISO-8859-1 - Character encoding for the Latin alphabet

In theory, any character encoding can be used, but no browser understands all of them. The more widely a character encoding is used, the better the chance that a browser will understand it.

To view all available character encodings, look at IANA character sets.


HTML meta Tag Reference HTML <meta> tag

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