HTML Charset – HTML Character Sets

The browser displays a particular web-page after analyzing its character set. Hence, it is important to define a proper character set so that the browser displays it correctly. The default HTML charset used is UTF-8 that contains a wide array of symbols, characters, and entities. HTML character set used in the web-page is defined in the meta tag of the head.


<meta charset= “UTF-8”>

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HTML Charset

HTML Character Encoding

Character encoding refers to the unlocking of codes, representing a particular byte of the character. The computer understands every character that is mapped to a code.

Character encoding uses a key to crack the mapping. Whenever we input a text from the keyboard, the character encoding maps the characters written to specific bytes, and then the text is displayed, by mapping these bytes back to characters.

Popular HTML CharSets

a. ASCII Character Set in HTML

The charset for HTML5 in UTF-8 but in the earlier versions, ASCII was the most popular character set for the web. ASCII, American Standard Code for Information Exchange, defines a unique binary number and supports the numbers from 0 to 9, characters in uppercase and lowercase and special characters as well.

ASCII used only 7 bits for character representation, thus limiting representation of 128 characters only. As a result, many non-english characters were excluded.

  1. Values from 0 to 31(and 127) are used for control characters.
  2. For digits, symbols, and letters, it uses the values from 32 to 126.
  3. Values from 128 to 255 are not used.

b. Windows-1252 (HTML ANSI Character Set)

Up until Windows-95, windows-1252 was the default character set. It was an enhanced version of ASCII, supporting additional international characters. It is represented with 8 bits, thus representing 256 characters. Since it has been the default character set of Windows, all browsers support it.

  1. Values from 0-127 are similar to that of ASCII.
  2. Values from 128-159 are not taken into account.
  3. It uses similar values from 160 to 255, as of UTF-8.

c. ISO-8859-1

The default character set of HTML 4 was ISO-8859-1, which was also an extension to ASCII. Though all HTML 4 processors also support UTF-8.

HTML 4 charset definition-

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1">

HTML 4 supporting UTF-8-

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8">
  1. Values from 0-127 are similar to that of ASCII.
  2. It does not use the values from 128 to 159.
  3. It continues from 256 with more than 10,000 characters.

d. UTF-8

As discussed above, the default character set of HTML 5 is UTF-8. It was developed by The Unicode Consortium and covers almost all the punctuations, symbols, and characters in the world. The meta tag of the head defines it.

<meta charset= “UTF-8”>

Different Character Sets in HTML

33!!!!exclamation mark
34quotation mark
35####number sign
36$$$$dollar sign
37%%%%percent sign
40((((left parenthesis
41))))right parenthesis
43++++plus sign
46....full stop
480000digit zero
491111digit one
502222digit two
513333digit three
524444digit four
535555digit five
546666digit six
557777digit seven
568888digit eight
579999digit nine
60less-than sign
61====equals sign
62greater-than sign
63????question mark
64@@@@commercial at
65AAAALatin capital letter A
66BBBBLatin capital letter B
67CCCCLatin capital letter C
68DDDDLatin capital letter D
69EEEELatin capital letter E
70FFFFLatin capital letter F
71GGGGLatin capital letter G
72HHHHLatin capital letter H
73IIIILatin capital letter I
74JJJJLatin capital letter J
75KKKKLatin capital letter K
76LLLLLatin capital letter L
77MMMMLatin capital letter M
78NNNNLatin capital letter N
79OOOOLatin capital letter O
80PPPPLatin capital letter P
81QQQQLatin capital letter Q
82RRRRLatin capital letter R
83SSSSLatin capital letter S
84TTTTLatin capital letter T
85UUUULatin capital letter U
86VVVVLatin capital letter V
87WWWWLatin capital letter W
88XXXXLatin capital letter X
89YYYYLatin capital letter Y
90ZZZZLatin capital letter Z
91[[[[left square bracket
92\\\\reverse solidus
93]]]]right square bracket
94^^^^circumflex accent
95____low line
96````grave accent
97aaaaLatin small letter a
98bbbbLatin small letter b
99ccccLatin small letter c
100ddddLatin small letter d
101eeeeLatin small letter e
102ffffLatin small letter f
103ggggLatin small letter g
104hhhhLatin small letter h
105iiiiLatin small letter i
106jjjjLatin small letter j
107kkkkLatin small letter k
108llllLatin small letter l
109mmmmLatin small letter m
110nnnnLatin small letter n
111ooooLatin small letter o
112ppppLatin small letter p
113qqqqLatin small letter q
114rrrrLatin small letter r
115ssssLatin small letter s
116ttttLatin small letter t
117uuuuLatin small letter u
118vvvvLatin small letter v
119wwwwLatin small letter w
120xxxxLatin small letter x
121yyyyLatin small letter y
122zzzzLatin small letter z
123{{{{left curly bracket
124||||vertical line
125}}}}right curly bracket
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 Œ  Latin 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 ªªªfeminine 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 ²²²superscript two
179 ³³³superscript three
180 ´´´acute accent
181 µµµmicro sign
182 pilcrow sign
183 ···middle dot
184 ¸¸¸cedilla
185 ¹¹¹superscript one
186 ºººmasculine ordinal indicator
187 »»»right-pointing double angle quotation mark
188 ¼¼¼vulgar fraction one quarter
189 ½½½vulgar fraction one half
190 ¾¾¾vulgar fraction three quarters
191 ¿¿¿inverted question mark
192 ÀÀÀLatin capital letter A with grave
193 ÁÁÁLatin capital letter A with acute
194 ÂÂÂLatin capital letter A with circumflex
195 ÃÃÃLatin capital letter A with tilde
196 ÄÄÄLatin capital letter A with diaeresis
197 ÅÅÅLatin capital letter A with ring above
198 ÆÆÆLatin capital letter AE
199 ÇÇÇLatin capital letter C with cedilla
200 ÈÈÈLatin capital letter E with grave
201 ÉÉÉLatin capital letter E with acute
202 ÊÊÊLatin capital letter E with circumflex
203 ËËËLatin capital letter E with diaeresis
204 ÌÌÌLatin capital letter I with grave
205 ÍÍÍLatin capital letter I with acute
206 ÎÎÎLatin capital letter I with circumflex
207 ÏÏÏLatin capital letter I with diaeresis
208 ÐÐÐLatin capital letter Eth
209 ÑÑÑLatin capital letter N with tilde
210 ÒÒÒLatin capital letter O with grave
211 ÓÓÓLatin capital letter O with acute
212 ÔÔÔLatin capital letter O with circumflex
213 ÕÕÕLatin capital letter O with tilde
214 ÖÖÖLatin capital letter O with diaeresis
215 ×××multiplication sign
216 ØØØLatin capital letter O with stroke
217 ÙÙÙLatin capital letter U with grave
218 ÚÚÚLatin capital letter U with acute
219 ÛÛÛLatin capital letter U with circumflex
220 ÜÜÜLatin capital letter U with diaeresis
221 ÝÝÝLatin capital letter Y with acute
222 ÞÞÞLatin capital letter Thorn
223 ßßßLatin small letter sharp s
224 àààLatin small letter a with grave
225 áááLatin small letter a with acute
226 âââLatin small letter a with circumflex
227 ãããLatin small letter a with tilde
228 äääLatin small letter a with diaeresis
229 åååLatin small letter a with ring above
230 æææLatin small letter ae
231 çççLatin small letter c with cedilla
232 èèèLatin small letter e with grave
233 éééLatin small letter e with acute
234 êêêLatin small letter e with circumflex
235 ëëëLatin small letter e with diaeresis
236 ìììLatin small letter i with grave
237 íííLatin small letter i with acute
238 îîîLatin small letter i with circumflex
239 ïïïLatin small letter i with diaeresis
240 ðððLatin small letter eth
241 ñññLatin small letter n with tilde
242 òòòLatin small letter o with grave
243 óóóLatin small letter o with acute
244 ôôôLatin small letter o with circumflex
245 õõõLatin small letter o with tilde
246 öööLatin small letter o with diaeresis
247 ÷÷÷division sign
248 øøøLatin small letter o with stroke
249 ùùùLatin small letter u with grave
250 úúúLatin small letter u with acute
251 ûûûLatin small letter with circumflex
252 üüüLatin small letter u with diaeresis
253 ýýýLatin small letter y with acute
254 þþþLatin small letter thorn
255 ÿÿÿLatin small letter y with diaeresis


In this article, we’ve discussed the character sets used in HTML5. Predominantly, UTF-8 is the default character set of HTML. We’ve also looked at some other character sets such as ASCII, ANSI, ISO-8859. Web-pages are displayed only after its character set has been analyzed, thus making it important for us to delve into character sets. The character set of a document is specified in the <meta> tag of <head>.

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