How To Understand the Basics of XHTML Character Entities

There are special characters used for words, sentences or letters in the content we place on our websites that need XHTML codes to properly display them on the page. Different browsers react differently to some common symbols so the XHTML code is a way to correctly display them for all browsers.

1. Mathematical Symbols

The XHTML code  for mathematical symbols or operators like the multiplication sign is ×, for the division sign use ÷, for the minus sign you can use −, and for addition you can actually just use the regular plus sign. The HTML code for the plus sign is &#43 but you may have problems with other browsers if you use this code. You may want to use fractions in your content like ½ so you can use the code ½ to show the half sign. For ¾ use ¾ and for ¼ use ¼ you’ll notice that every time a fraction is used, the code begins with the ampersand followed by “frac” and then the numbers used in the fraction. If you are going to work with sets in your website content then you need to know the right XHTML codes. “Subset of” which is ⊂ in XHTML, then “superset of” is ⊃ “subset or equal to” is ⊆ and “superset or equal to” is ⊇. There is also the less than and greater than symbols that may conflict with other codes so to use these symbols in your content use < for less than and > for greater than.

2. Symbols often used in articles

There are a lot of special characters we use when we write articles and to avoid conflict with XHTML codes we have to use a code for the specific character we want to apply in our articles. To put a single quotation mark on the left side of a word or sentence use ‘ and to use a quotation on the right use ’. To use double quotation marks on a word or sentence use “ for the right double quotation use ”. To place a copyright symbol after a word or group of words you can use the © and if you need to put registered trademark symbol you can use ®. The ampersand symbol we use for the word “and” can be written in code as &, and for dotted bullets use the • XHTML code. If you need to create spaces before or after a sentence or word you can use the non breaking space that is represented by the code  .   

XHTML was adopted to represent certain symbols and to make them generally acceptable for all types of browsers. Although there may still be some browser that still adhere to HTML code, in time XHTML will be the universally accepted code for all browser applications.


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