Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Web Design & Development > Usability

Web Design Reference Guide

Hosted by

Special Characters

Last updated Oct 17, 2003.

By Molly Holzschlag

Special characters (also known as entities) are those characters that create symbols and characters. Often, the character is reserved for other uses and therefore must be written in a different way, or there is no other means to display that character except by using a specific special code, such as with foreign letters, accents, and special marks.

Special characters are numerous and have a numeric and alphanumeric counterpart. Some examples of often-used characters include the following:

  • ©—Creates the copyright symbol ©

  •  —Creates a nonbreaking space

  • &—Creates an ampersand (&)

For a complete list of standardized character entities, please see this section's resource list.