Html Entities and Special Characters

This article shows you how to show special characters and symbols using HTML entities.

What is HTML Entity?

For example, you can just use angle brackets or the less than (<) or greater than (>) signs in your content because the client might interpret them as html. Some symbols, such as the copyrights mark, are not available on the keypad.

Those special characters should be swapped out for the basic entities in order to be displayed. You can utilise letters that cannot be stated in the text encoding of the page or are unable to input using a keypad by using text entity reference, also known as entities.

Frequently Used HTML Character Entities

Result Description Entity Name Numerical reference
  non-breaking space &nbsp; &#160;
< less than &lt; &#60;
> greater than &gt; &#62;
& ampersand &amp; &#38;
" quotation mark &quot; &#34;
' apostrophe &apos; &#39;
¢ cent &cent; &#162;
£ pound &pound; &#163;
¥ yen &yen; &#165;
euro &euro; &#8364;
© copyright &copy; &#169;
® registered trademark &reg; &#174;
trademark &trade; &#8482;

Entity identifiers can be replaced by numeric character references. Numeric character references have better browser compatibility and can specify any Unicode character, in contrast to entities, which can only define a subset of these. This is one of the main advantages of using them.

Some Mathematical Symbols Supported by HTML

Char Number Entity Description
&#8704; &forall; FOR ALL
&#8707; &exist; THERE EXISTS
&#8709; &empty; EMPTY SETS
&#8711; &nabla; NABLA
&#8712; &isin; ELEMENT OF
&#8713; &notin; NOT AN ELEMENT OF
&#8719; &prod; N-ARY PRODUCT
&#8721; &sum; N-ARY SUMMATION

Some Other Entities Supported by HTML

Char Number Entity Description
© &#169; &copy; COPYRIGHT SIGN
® &#174; &reg; REGISTERED SIGN
&#8364; &euro; EURO SIGN
&#8482; &trade; TRADEMARK
&#8592; &larr; LEFTWARDS ARROW
&#8593; &uarr; UPWARDS ARROW
&#8594; &rarr; RIGHTWARDS ARROW
&#8595; &darr; DOWNWARDS ARROW
&#9824; &spades; BLACK SPADE SUIT
&#9827; &clubs; BLACK CLUB SUIT
&#9829; &hearts; BLACK HEART SUIT
&#9830; &diams; BLACK DIAMOND SUIT

Some Greek Letters Supported by HTML

Char Number Entity Description

Tip: For example, if two things cannot be divided by a line break, a nonbreaking space (&nbsp;) may be utilized to offer a blank space between them. Moreover, they are utilized to show multiple spaces because web pages only show one space when several spaces are made with the spacebar key.


What are HTML entities?

HTML entities are special character codes used to represent reserved characters or characters that have special meanings in HTML, allowing them to be displayed correctly in web browsers.

Why do we need to use HTML entities?

We use HTML entities to display characters that have special meanings in HTML, such as <, >, &, or characters that cannot be directly typed or displayed, such as special symbols or non-standard characters.

How do I represent special characters using HTML entities?

Special characters are represented using the & symbol followed by a specific code or name, and ending with a semicolon. For example, &lt; represents <, and &amp; represents &.

What is the difference between numerical and named HTML entities?

Numerical HTML entities use a numeric code to represent a character, such as &#60; for <. Named HTML entities use a specific name to represent a character, such as &lt; for <. Both methods achieve the same result.

How can I find the correct HTML entity code for a specific character?

You can refer to various HTML entity reference charts or use online resources that provide a comprehensive list of HTML entities and their corresponding codes or names.

Can I use HTML entities for any character?

HTML entities can be used for most characters, but they are mainly used for characters with special meanings in HTML, characters that cannot be typed or displayed directly, or characters that may cause parsing or rendering issues.

Can I use HTML entities in attributes as well?

Yes, HTML entities can be used in attributes to represent reserved characters or characters that may cause parsing or validation issues, ensuring correct rendering and interpretation by web browsers.

Are HTML entities case-sensitive?

HTML entities are case-insensitive, meaning you can use either uppercase or lowercase letters for named entities, such as &copy; or &COPY;, and the result will be the same.

Can I create my own HTML entities?

No, HTML entities are standardized and predefined in the HTML specification. You cannot create your own HTML entities, but you can use Unicode characters directly if they are supported by the font and encoding being used.

Can I use HTML entities in JavaScript or CSS code?

In JavaScript and CSS, HTML entities are not required or recognized. Instead, you can directly use the characters themselves or appropriate escape sequences specific to those languages to represent special characters or reserved characters.


HTML entities play a pivotal role in ensuring that special characters, symbols, and reserved characters are correctly displayed and interpreted within web content. By providing a standardized way to represent characters that might otherwise conflict with HTML markup or browser rendering, entities ensure consistent and reliable rendering across various devices and platforms.

Through a combination of named and numeric character references, HTML entities offer flexibility and compatibility. Named entities enhance human readability in code, while numeric character references offer broader browser support and the ability to represent a vast range of Unicode characters.