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Mastering Character Escapes in HTML: A Beginner’s Guide

Introduction to Character Escapes in HTML

HTML is a markup language that websites use to define their structure and content. HTML is used to determine how a web page is rendered in a web browser.

In HTML, the characters used to format text and create elements are known as markup syntax. However, some characters used in HTML cannot be used directly as they disrupt the formatting of the content.

The only solution to avoid interference with the markup syntax is through character escapes. Character escapes are essential in HTML, and they allow you to insert characters that would typically disrupt the syntax of the HTML markup.

This article will delve into the characters that need to be escaped in HTML and why.

Characters That Must Be Escaped in HTML

HTML entities, Unicode characters, and references are the primary objects that require escaping in HTML. They must be replaced with their corresponding escape sequence to ensure that the markup is displayed as expected by the browser.

Here are some HTML characters that must be escaped:

1. < and > Symbols

If you use < and > symbols in your HTML code, it will be misinterpreted by the browser as tags or elements.

The syntax wrapper that should be used is < and >, respectively. Here’s an example of how to escape those characters in HTML:

“`

The average time spent browsing the internet from a mobile phone has increased from 1 hour to >2 hours.

“`

The output of the above code in the web browser will be as follows:

“`

The average time spent browsing the internet from a mobile phone has increased from 1 hour to >2 hours.

“`

2. & Ampersand Symbol

Just like < and > symbols, the ampersand symbol also has a significant meaning in HTML.

It’s used to introduce an HTML entity or a character reference. Therefore, using the ampersand symbol in HTML without escaping it will lead to an error.

Thus, to escape it, you can use the syntax &. Here is an example:

“`

The world population is expected to increase by 2&#37; in the next decade.

“`

The output of the above code will be as follows:

“`

The world population is expected to increase by 2% in the next decade.

“`

3. Unicode Characters

Unicode characters are a type of character encoding that contains a broad range of glyphs, including international letters, digits, and symbols.

These characters can be used in HTML, but they need to be converted into a numeric character reference. The numeric character reference is a combination of “&“ and “#“ followed by the character’s Unicode value.

Here is an example:

“`

The Euro currency is represented by the Unicode character €.

“`

The output of the above code will be as follows:

“`

The Euro currency is represented by the Unicode character . “`

4.

Named Character References

HTML also supports named character references, which are used to simplify the use of entities, such as the copyright symbol. Named character references are more legible and easier to read than numeric character references.

Here is an example:

“`

The copyright symbol can be represented by the character reference ©.

“`

The output of the above code will be as follows:

“`

The copyright symbol can be represented by the character reference . “`

Conclusion

In conclusion, character escapes are crucial when writing HTML code. By default, certain characters can interfere with the markup syntax.

Therefore, by using character escapes, you can ensure that your HTML code appears correctly in all web browsers. By following the guidelines presented in this article, you can easily escape the < and > symbols, the ampersand symbol, Unicode characters, and named character references.

Always ensure that you have escaped all these characters before publishing your HTML code to the internet. In conclusion, character escapes are essential for writing HTML code.

Certain characters can interfere with the markup syntax, and character escapes can prevent that. The article has highlighted the characters that must be escaped in HTML, including the < and > symbols, the ampersand symbol, Unicode characters, and named character references.

Ensuring that all these characters are appropriately escaped is critical to ensure that HTML code is displayed correctly in web browsers. Always remember to use character escapes to avoid errors and to ensure that your HTML code is displayed as expected.

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