The Purpose of HTML Special Characters
Many times it is necessary to use special characters in
an HTML document.
The most common example is when writing words in another
language, for example Spanish.
The word for "Spanish" (in Spanish) is "Español".
So how did that ñ with the little squiggly above it
get printed out?
The answer is that a special character code was used
in the HTML document.
Go to your Browser's View Page Source menu option to
see how the special character "ñ" was coded in this document.
A special character begins with the symbol
followed immediately by
and then the numeric code of the special character,
and finally ended off with a semi-colon
gets displayed as
Alternatively, you could use the Special Character Keyword.
The syntax is slightly different however.
Begin with the ampersand symbol
as before, but do not include the number sign:
After the ampersand symbol, type in the keyword code of
the special character.
End off as before with a semi-colon
So to print out
you could use
Either form is acceptible.
The next section of this document shows special characters
that you need for Spanish.
Following that section, there is a description of how to find
special codes for other languages and purposes.
Examples of Special Characters Needed in Spanish
Here is a little table of the other special characters that
you would need to write some words in Spanish.
(Unas palabras en Español.)
Here is another special characters that
can be useful for any web page:
for the copyright symbol:
How to Find Other Special Characters
Not interested in Spanish?
How odd!! It's really a neat language - much easier than English.
If you're into some other language, then you can make up your
own table of codes.
You can find codes by searching the internet.
Here is one address that works today (Nov 1, 2000):
Notes on Searching
Things change always on the Internet though, so next is how
you would do a search of your own.
Go to a search engine such as www.altavista.com and enter:
+HTML +"special characters"
Altavista usage note: The "+" sign tells the search engine that
the phrase has to appear on the page (i.e., the "+" acts as a logical
"AND"). The quotes around "special characters" indicates a search for that
phrase, rather than the individual words. So, this search is for pages
containing both the phrase "special characters" and the word "HTML" on the
The upper case O umlat (Ö) requires Ö while
ö gives you the lower case version (ö).
Another Note on Searching
If you supply the search engine with more detail, your search results will
likely be better. For example, telling Altavista to search for:
+HTML +umlat produced the following location:
This page was last modified: 24 Dec 2010