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European Characters in Web Pages

Web pages allow you to specify European characters from the ISO Latin-1 Character Set (8859-1) This standard also served as the basis for the ANSI character set of MS Windows, but naturally Microsoft extended and improved their version so that it doesn't exactly follow ISO Latin-1.

Warning: the wrong way to do European characters in a web page is to insert the Windows character that displays properly in your editor. This character is non-standard and will display as garbage on many browsers. The right way to do it is to encode the character was a tag. For example, à should be coded as à - registred trademark (®) should be coded as ® and copyright (©) as ©

Only the characters in ISO Latin-1 are guaranteed to be supported on an Internet Web site. When a Web browser, such as Netscape, formats a Web page on a client system, such as Windows, it maps the ISO Latin-1 characters as best it can into the native character set.

There are two ways of specifying extended characters in an HTML document: &#xxx; and &name;

Ampersand, Crosshatch, ISO decimal code, Semicolon

For example, "a" with grave accent is decimal 224 in the ISO Latin character set. Therefore in HTML "à" can be coded as à where 224 is the decimal code in the ISO Latin-1 character set.

Ampersand, Mixed-case name, Semicolon

For example, "a" with grave accent (à) can be coded à in HTML.

Useful Web link: the ISO 8859-1 encodings.

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