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Character Entity References


The Most Popular Character Entities
Character Entity References Defined in HTML 4.0

The Most Popular Character Entities next page
Character Entities References are the way you put special letters, numbers and symbols on the web page. A character entity reference consists of an ampersand (&), followed by a pound sign (#), the number of the character entity, and finishing with a semi-colon (;). Alternately, for some characters you can put ampersand, the name of the character (but no # sign), followed by a semi-colon.

For example, you could put a copyright symbol on the page like this:

this code produces this

The copyright symbol is named "copy", so you could also add the character like this:

this code produces this

The names of character entities are not as well supported by the browsers as the numbers, so it's best to use the numbers. Use the references on the next two pages to find the symbols you need.

Common Mistakes When Using Character Entities

  • Forgetting to add the closing semi-colon. Character entity references work in many situations without the semi-colon, but not in others. It's easier to always put the closing semi-colon than to keep track of the situations where it's not required.

  • Forgetting to use the # sign for numeric references. Without the # it's not a numeric reference, so the browser will look for a character named "38" (for example) which there isn't any.

  • Putting the names in the wrong case. Names are case sensitive. Mostly they are in lower-case, but not always. For example, Å ( Å ) is the uppercase version of å ( å ). Of course, when using characters like that it's probably better to use the numeric versions anyway ( Å and å ).

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