Section A.2. HTML Character Entities

A.2. HTML Character Entities

HTML character entities are codes you can enter in a page that are then translated into other characters by the browser before they're displayed. All HTML character entities start with the ampersand (&) and end with the semicolon (;).

There are two reasons you might want to use HTML character entities. First of all, you might want to use a character that is considered to have a special meaning in the HTML standard. For example, if you type < in an HTML document, the browser assumes you're starting a tag, which makes it difficult to write a pithy bit of logic like "2 < 3." To get around this, you can replace the < symbol with a character entity that represents the less-than symbol. The browser will then insert what you want when it displays the page.

The other reason you might use HTML character entities is because you want to use a special character that's not easy to type, like an accented letter or a currency symbol. In fact, it's quite possibly not on your keyboard at all.

Table A-2 has the most commonly used HTML entities. For the complete list, which includes many more international language characters, see

Table A-3. HTML Character Entities


Name of Character

What to Type


Less than



Greater than






Quotation mark




Registered trademark


Cent sign


& pound ;

Pound sterling


Yen sign


Euro sign

&euro; (but &#8364; is better supported)


Degree sign



Plus or minus



Division sign



Multiply sign



Micro sign



Fraction one-fourth



Fraction one-half



Fraction three-fourths


Paragraph sign



Section sign



Left angle quote, guillemotleft



Right angle quote, guillemotright


Inverted exclamation


Inverted question mark


Small ae diphthong (ligature)



Small c, cedilla


Small e, grave accent


Small e, acute accent


Small e, circumflex accent



Small e, dieresis or umlaut mark


Small o, dieresis or umlaut mark


Capital E, acute accent


Creating Web Sites. The Missing Manual
Creating Web Sites: The Missing Manual
ISBN: B0057DA53M
Year: 2003
Pages: 135

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