Pete’s Guide: HTML 4.01 Entity Test Tables
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This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device. Trust me—you really don’t know what yo’re missing.

HTML 4.01 Entity Test Tables

This is my effort to track how accurate different browsers are at displaying the right characters at the right positions. Newly updated to show all possible characters allowed in HTML 4.0. While I haven’t yet found a browser that displays all of the characters correctly, you will have better luck if you select a Unicode font. I originally posted these documents as one huge table (and with PNG images), but comments from visitors that it took too long to load and crashed their browsers convinced me to split it up into three documents (with GIF images) instead, based on the three separate entity definition files from the XHTML specification.

These tables are meant to display all valid HTML 4.01 entities, and by all valid means of references, including character position, name, and Unicode value.

All rows in the tables with a red background are for illustration purposes only—these numeric character positions are not defined by the HTML standards, and will display different characters on different platforms. In all cases, these characters are not allowed in HTML documents. All of these characters can be represented by other numeric and/or named HTML character references.

Since the major platforms (DOS, Macintosh, Unix, and Windows) each have a different mapping for glyphs assigned to the ANSI character range, the note field for the first 256 characters contains the official Unicode name of the character, as well as a reference to the equivalent character in the Unicode standard for each platform.

My recommendation to the browser authors when encountering one of these characters is to display a glyph that clearly indicates that that character position is undefined. I’d suggest something like this symbol: �, which in Unicode is called “Replacement Character” (U+FFFD) and which is supposed to look like this: Unicode Replacement Character. It is far preferable to simply displaying whatever character happens to be in that position for the platform the browser is running on, or something else undefined, such as an open box or a simple question mark.

Any character that is not on a red background is valid for HTML 4.01, and must appear for your browser or editor to be compliant. If it's not, write the developer and tell them to fix it!

These tests documents are based on Character entity references in HTML 4.01, which is part of the official HTML 4.01 specification.


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