HTML: Character Sets and Encoding
In HTML, you can declare the Character Set for the file, like this::
<meta charset="utf-8" />
For HTML 4, use this:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=utf-8">
Once you declared your character set, you can have characters from that character set in your HTML file.
UTF-8 (Unicode) contains all the world's language's characters. Here is a sample of characters from Unicode:
“ ” € © † é → ♥ ≠ 😂
[see Unicode Search 😄]
For unicode/charset/encoding basics, see: Unicode Basics: Character Set, Encoding, UTF-8 .
Another way to show special characters in your file is by so-called “character entity”.
[see HTML Entity List]
HTML/HTTP Charset is About Encoding, Not Character Set
HTTP's definition of charset (and the charset meta tag in HTML) is actually about character encoding.
Here's a excerpt:
What's HTML4 or HTML5's Default Encoding?
By spec, there's no default encoding.
A encoding must came from one of http header, meta tag in html file. If none found, the browser must guess.
- The default character set for HTML 4 is Unicode, but you still need to declare the encoding. [W3C: Internationalization: Document Character Set At http://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-doc-charset ]
- How User Agent should determine the char encoding. [HTML 4.01 Specification: 5 HTML Document Representation At http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/charset.html#idx-character_encoding-6 ]