HTML Encoding (Character Sets)

To display an HTML page correctly, a web browser must know which character set to use.


From ASCII to UTF-8

ASCII was the first character encoding standard. ASCII defined 128 different characters that could be used on the internet: numbers (0-9), English letters (A-Z), and some special characters like ! $ + - ( ) @ < > .


ISO-8859-1 was the default character set for HTML 4. This character set supported 256 different character codes. HTML 4 also supported UTF-8.


ANSI (Windows-1252) was the original Windows character set. ANSI is identical to ISO-8859-1, except that ANSI has 32 extra characters.


The HTML5 specification encourages web developers to use the UTF-8 character set, which covers almost all of the characters and symbols in the world!


The HTML charset Attribute

To display an HTML page correctly, a web browser must know the character set used in the page.


This is specified in the <meta> tag:


<meta charset="UTF-8">

Differences Between Character Sets

The following table displays the differences between the character sets described above:


Numb ASCII ANSI 8859 UTF-8 Description

32 space

33 ! ! ! ! exclamation mark

34 " " " " quotation mark

35 # # # # number sign

36 $ $ $ $ dollar sign

37 % % % % percent sign

38 & & & & ampersand

39 ' ' ' ' apostrophe

40 ( ( ( ( left parenthesis

41 ) ) ) ) right parenthesis

42 * * * * asterisk

43 + + + + plus sign

44 , , , , comma

45 - - - - hyphen-minus

46 . . . . full stop

47 / / / / solidus

48 0 0 0 0 digit zero

49 1 1 1 1 digit one

50 2 2 2 2 digit two

51 3 3 3 3 digit three

52 4 4 4 4 digit four

53 5 5 5 5 digit five

54 6 6 6 6 digit six

55 7 7 7 7 digit seven

56 8 8 8 8 digit eight

57 9 9 9 9 digit nine

58 : : : : colon

59 ; ; ; ; semicolon

60 < < < < less-than sign

61 = = = = equals sign

62 > > > > greater-than sign

63 ? ? ? ? question mark

64 @ @ @ @ commercial at

65 A A A A Latin capital letter A

66 B B B B Latin capital letter B

67 C C C C Latin capital letter C

68 D D D D Latin capital letter D

69 E E E E Latin capital letter E

70 F F F F Latin capital letter F

71 G G G G Latin capital letter G

72 H H H H Latin capital letter H

73 I I I I Latin capital letter I

74 J J J J Latin capital letter J

75 K K K K Latin capital letter K

76 L L L L Latin capital letter L

77 M M M M Latin capital letter M

78 N N N N Latin capital letter N

79 O O O O Latin capital letter O

80 P P P P Latin capital letter P

81 Q Q Q Q Latin capital letter Q

82 R R R R Latin capital letter R

83 S S S S Latin capital letter S

84 T T T T Latin capital letter T

85 U U U U Latin capital letter U

86 V V V V Latin capital letter V

87 W W W W Latin capital letter W

88 X X X X Latin capital letter X

89 Y Y Y Y Latin capital letter Y

90 Z Z Z Z Latin capital letter Z

91 [ [ [ [ left square bracket

92 \ \ \ \ reverse solidus

93 ] ] ] ] right square bracket

94 ^ ^ ^ ^ circumflex accent

95 _ _ _ _ low line

96 ` ` ` ` grave accent

97 a a a a Latin small letter a

98 b b b b Latin small letter b

99 c c c c Latin small letter c

100 d d d d Latin small letter d

101 e e e e Latin small letter e

102 f f f f Latin small letter f

103 g g g g Latin small letter g

104 h h h h Latin small letter h

105 i i i i Latin small letter i

106 j j j j Latin small letter j

107 k k k k Latin small letter k

108 l l l l Latin small letter l

109 m m m m Latin small letter m

110 n n n n Latin small letter n

111 o o o o Latin small letter o

112 p p p p Latin small letter p

113 q q q q Latin small letter q

114 r r r r Latin small letter r

115 s s s s Latin small letter s

116 t t t t Latin small letter t

117 u u u u Latin small letter u

118 v v v v Latin small letter v

119 w w w w Latin small letter w

120 x x x x Latin small letter x

121 y y y y Latin small letter y

122 z z z z Latin small letter z

123 { { { { left curly bracket

124 | | | | vertical line

125 } } } } right curly bracket

126 ~ ~ ~ ~ tilde

127 DEL  

128 euro sign

129    NOT USED

130 single low-9 quotation mark

131 ƒ Latin small letter f with hook

132 double low-9 quotation mark

133 horizontal ellipsis

134 dagger

135 double dagger

136 ˆ modifier letter circumflex accent

137 per mille sign

138 Š Latin capital letter S with caron

139 single left-pointing angle quotation mark

140 ΠLatin capital ligature OE

141    NOT USED

142 Ž Latin capital letter Z with caron

143    NOT USED

144    NOT USED

145 left single quotation mark

146 right single quotation mark

147 left double quotation mark

148 right double quotation mark

149 bullet

150 en dash

151 em dash

152 ˜ small tilde

153 trade mark sign

154 š Latin small letter s with caron

155 single right-pointing angle quotation mark

156 œ Latin small ligature oe

157    NOT USED

158 ž Latin small letter z with caron

159 Ÿ Latin capital letter Y with diaeresis

160 no-break space

161 ¡ ¡ ¡ inverted exclamation mark

162 ¢ ¢ ¢ cent sign

163 £ £ £ pound sign

164 ¤ ¤ ¤ currency sign

165 ¥ ¥ ¥ yen sign

166 ¦ ¦ ¦ broken bar

167 § § § section sign

168 ¨ ¨ ¨ diaeresis

169 © © © copyright sign

170 ª ª ª feminine ordinal indicator

171 « « « left-pointing double angle quotation mark

172 ¬ ¬ ¬ not sign

173 ­ ­ ­ soft hyphen

174 ® ® ® registered sign

175 ¯ ¯ ¯ macron

176 ° ° ° degree sign

177 ± ± ± plus-minus sign

178 ² ² ² superscript two

179 ³ ³ ³ superscript three

180 ´ ´ ´ acute accent

181 µ µ µ micro sign

182 pilcrow sign

183 · · · middle dot

184 ¸ ¸ ¸ cedilla

185 ¹ ¹ ¹ superscript one

186 º º º masculine ordinal indicator

187 » » » right-pointing double angle quotation mark

188 ¼ ¼ ¼ vulgar fraction one quarter

189 ½ ½ ½ vulgar fraction one half

190 ¾ ¾ ¾ vulgar fraction three quarters

191 ¿ ¿ ¿ inverted question mark

192 À À À Latin capital letter A with grave

193 Á Á Á Latin capital letter A with acute

194 Â Â Â Latin capital letter A with circumflex

195 Ã Ã Ã Latin capital letter A with tilde

196 Ä Ä Ä Latin capital letter A with diaeresis

197 Å Å Å Latin capital letter A with ring above

198 Æ Æ Æ Latin capital letter AE

199 Ç Ç Ç Latin capital letter C with cedilla

200 È È È Latin capital letter E with grave

201 É É É Latin capital letter E with acute

202 Ê Ê Ê Latin capital letter E with circumflex

203 Ë Ë Ë Latin capital letter E with diaeresis

204 Ì Ì Ì Latin capital letter I with grave

205 Í Í Í Latin capital letter I with acute

206 Î Î Î Latin capital letter I with circumflex

207 Ï Ï Ï Latin capital letter I with diaeresis

208 Ð Ð Ð Latin capital letter Eth

209 Ñ Ñ Ñ Latin capital letter N with tilde

210 Ò Ò Ò Latin capital letter O with grave

211 Ó Ó Ó Latin capital letter O with acute

212 Ô Ô Ô Latin capital letter O with circumflex

213 Õ Õ Õ Latin capital letter O with tilde

214 Ö Ö Ö Latin capital letter O with diaeresis

215 × × × multiplication sign

216 Ø Ø Ø Latin capital letter O with stroke

217 Ù Ù Ù Latin capital letter U with grave

218 Ú Ú Ú Latin capital letter U with acute

219 Û Û Û Latin capital letter U with circumflex

220 Ü Ü Ü Latin capital letter U with diaeresis

221 Ý Ý Ý Latin capital letter Y with acute

222 Þ Þ Þ Latin capital letter Thorn

223 ß ß ß Latin small letter sharp s

224 à à à Latin small letter a with grave

225 á á á Latin small letter a with acute

226 â â â Latin small letter a with circumflex

227 ã ã ã Latin small letter a with tilde

228 ä ä ä Latin small letter a with diaeresis

229 å å å Latin small letter a with ring above

230 æ æ æ Latin small letter ae

231 ç ç ç Latin small letter c with cedilla

232 è è è Latin small letter e with grave

233 é é é Latin small letter e with acute

234 ê ê ê Latin small letter e with circumflex

235 ë ë ë Latin small letter e with diaeresis

236 ì ì ì Latin small letter i with grave

237 í í í Latin small letter i with acute

238 î î î Latin small letter i with circumflex

239 ï ï ï Latin small letter i with diaeresis

240 ð ð ð Latin small letter eth

241 ñ ñ ñ Latin small letter n with tilde

242 ò ò ò Latin small letter o with grave

243 ó ó ó Latin small letter o with acute

244 ô ô ô Latin small letter o with circumflex

245 õ õ õ Latin small letter o with tilde

246 ö ö ö Latin small letter o with diaeresis

247 ÷ ÷ ÷ division sign

248 ø ø ø Latin small letter o with stroke

249 ù ù ù Latin small letter u with grave

250 ú ú ú Latin small letter u with acute

251 û û û Latin small letter with circumflex

252 ü ü ü Latin small letter u with diaeresis

253 ý ý ý Latin small letter y with acute

254 þ þ þ Latin small letter thorn

255 ÿ ÿ ÿ Latin small letter y with diaeresis

The ASCII Character Set

ASCII uses the values from 0 to 31 (and 127) for control characters.


ASCII uses the values from 32 to 126 for letters, digits, and symbols.


ASCII does not use the values from 128 to 255.


The ANSI Character Set (Windows-1252)

ANSI is identical to ASCII for the values from 0 to 127.


ANSI has a proprietary set of characters for the values from 128 to 159.


ANSI is identical to UTF-8 for the values from 160 to 255.


The ISO-8859-1 Character Set

ISO-8859-1 is identical to ASCII for the values from 0 to 127.


ISO-8859-1 does not use the values from 128 to 159.


ISO-8859-1 is identical to UTF-8 for the values from 160 to 255.


The UTF-8 Character Set

UTF-8 is identical to ASCII for the values from 0 to 127.


UTF-8 does not use the values from 128 to 159. 


UTF-8 is identical to both ANSI and 8859-1 for the values from 160 to 255.


UTF-8 continues from the value 256 with more than 10 000 different characters.

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