Special Characters

Have you tried to use < or > or something like >>>>> and wondered why it wouldn't show on your screen?

All HTML browsers look for the < character and the > character to indicate tags in HTML documents.

That is, they look for these tag characters in any file like filemame.html that is named with a .html extender. The browser reads the information between the < and > characters to determine how to best format or display the document.

In such files, the < and > do not appear on the screen (nor does any text that is typed between them.)

So, what happens when you want to describe tags in your html document? Or, if you want to use these characters for another purpose?

Press \ now, to see how we got these characters to appear on your screen,

The following are called Special Characters because they have a special purpose in HTML, and cannot be used for their normal purpose.

< or less-than symbol is used to begin a tag

> or greater-than symbol is used to end a tag

" or double-quote symobol which is used to isolate file names and URLs within tags.

& or ampersand symbol is used to help display the other special characters

Press \ to see how each is constructed.

They are quite simple codes:
Each ends with a ; semi-colon
Each begins with the &: character
An abbreviation is used to describe the character to show.
E.g., it is lt for Less-than symbol, and gt for greater-than

To use double-quotes throughout an html document, you may have to substitute the code above for each of them. Otherwise, you will not be sure it is showing properly on all browsers.

We call our new kitten "Kitty"

press \ to see how these double-quotes were inserted.

For a large document with many quotes, you can easily use a text editor or word processor to Find and Replace the " symbol with &quot;

Here is how to type Dunn &: Bradstreet. Press \ to view.

There are many other proposed symbols that can be created in the same way, but unfortunately most browsers are not yet capable of displaying them.

© 1996 is the copyright symbol. Only the date may show on some browsers. It is safer for now to type out Copyright © 1996 John Smith

Some other very useful proposed symbols are:
® for a registration mark
£ for Pounds Sterling as in £1,738.50
¥ for Japanese Yen curency as in ¥4 million
° for degrees as in 45 degrees or 45°
± for plus/minus or as in plus or minus 2 degrees or ±2°

We do not recommend you use any without testing them for your application. We only show them here so you wll be aware of their possible use in the near future.

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Last modified 1996/05/07 22:03:19 GMT by helpdoc