HTML Special Characters
Codes 000 to 399 (ISO-8859-1 or Latin-1)
some history and a chart
the chart uses decimal numbers and the format:
Often when I am writing some text in HTML I need to insert
a special letter or symbol and I can never remember the code.
There are lots of charts on the web but I wanted one that was
just the HTML/ISO characters and was clear and easy to read.
So here is my version. Now if you are looking for a virgule
(#047), an octothorp (#035), a pilcrow (#182) or even the Euro
sign (#128), here's where to go.
Most of the lower code numbers, the first 128, are the same
as the ASCII set which descended from the early teletype character
codes. The numbers below 32 are reserved for spcial actions
line feed, carriage return,
back space and such. Number 32 is empty in the chart because it is
the character for a space. Number 160 is also a space, a non-breaking
space. The number 7 is still reserved to ring the bell on the teletype
and Telex machines.
These and similar codes from the digital world have an interesting
history. Some of the character codes date back to the beginning
of manual telegraphy. Here are some links to more information
about the past, present and future of digital communication
and global standardization efforts.
A great place to start is at Jim Price's site with his ASCII
Chart page along with some history and Q&A's about ASCII.
Regarding the MS Windows Character Set: Code positions 128 - 159 in ISO 8859-1, are reserved for control purposes. They do not represent graphic characters.
Microsoft Windows, however, assigns to some positions in this range printable characters and symbols. These include usefull,
but not universally supported, characters such as: as "smart quotes", em dash, en dash, and trademark symbol. Using these codes in HTML outside of Windows can result in blank
spaces or unexpected, incorrect characters.
Sometimes the Windows Character Set is called the "ANSI character set", but it has not been approved by ANSI.
It has been officially registered at IANA, the Internet Assigned
Numbers Authority, as windows-1252. It is also listed elsewhere as WinLatin1, or Windows code page 1252.
For a list of all character sets assigned by IANA click here.
There is an excellent discussion of issues and pitfalls involved
with the use of the Windows Character Set by Jukka Korpela, along with safe substitutions. Also by the same
author there is a tutorial on character code issues.
And then there's ASCII art Thuglife's site has a page
ASCII History and lots more related links on the home page.
Also, check out Lev Manovich's comments on Vuk
Cosic's work along with some history of the movement and
several good links.
And finally, go read The Elements of Typographic Style. It's by Robert Bringhurst the Los Angeles born Canadian poet, book designer, typographer, historian and linguist. This classic book is as beautiful to look at as it is to read. And it inspired the animation at the top of this page.