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HTML Essential Training
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Displaying characters with references


From:

HTML Essential Training

with Bill Weinman

Video: Displaying characters with references

Some characters have special meaning in HTML so they cannot be used directly in a document, other characters may be unavailable on your keyboard. Character References allow you to include these characters in your document. These references are often referred to as character entities, but that's a misnomer. It's a subtle distinction that character entities are SGML declarations and HTML5 is no longer tied to SGML or its document type definitions. So these are called Character References because they refer to characters not SGML entities.
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  1. 5m 24s
    1. Welcome
      56s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 37s
    3. What you need to know about this course
      2m 51s
  2. 22m 0s
    1. What is HTML?
      4m 12s
    2. Examining the structure of an HTML document
      7m 50s
    3. Understanding tags and containers
      6m 4s
    4. Exploring content models in HTML5
      2m 23s
    5. Looking at obsolete elements
      1m 31s
  3. 27m 19s
    1. Understanding whitespace and comments
      3m 53s
    2. Displaying text with paragraphs
      3m 37s
    3. Applying style
      8m 5s
    4. Using block and inline tags
      6m 34s
    5. Displaying characters with references
      5m 10s
  4. 16m 36s
    1. Exploring the front matter of HTML
      2m 9s
    2. Applying CSS to your document
      3m 59s
    3. Adding scripting elements
      4m 54s
    4. Using the meta tag
      3m 34s
    5. Optimizing your page for search engines
      2m 0s
  5. 24m 59s
    1. Controlling line breaks and spaces
      2m 46s
    2. Exploring phrase elements
      1m 44s
    3. Using font markup elements
      1m 5s
    4. Highlighting text with mark
      1m 29s
    5. Adding headings
      1m 38s
    6. Using quotations and quote marks
      3m 2s
    7. Exploring preformatted text
      1m 45s
    8. Formatting lists
      2m 28s
    9. Forcing text direction
      3m 49s
    10. Suggesting word-break opportunities
      2m 29s
    11. Annotating East Asian languages
      2m 44s
  6. 29m 15s
    1. Introducing CSS
      55s
    2. Understanding CSS placement
      6m 55s
    3. Exploring CSS syntax
      10m 34s
    4. Understanding CSS units of measure
      3m 3s
    5. Some CSS examples
      7m 48s
  7. 22m 5s
    1. Using images
      4m 13s
    2. Flowing text around an image
      4m 55s
    3. Breaking lines around an image
      3m 3s
    4. Aligning images
      5m 25s
    5. Mapping links in an image
      4m 29s
  8. 22m 28s
    1. Understanding URLs
      2m 41s
    2. Working with hyperlinks
      3m 28s
    3. Using relative URLs
      4m 20s
    4. Specifying a base URL
      2m 19s
    5. Linking within a page
      4m 12s
    6. Using image links
      5m 28s
  9. 17m 2s
    1. Exploring list types
      3m 52s
    2. List elements in depth
      7m 44s
    3. Using text menus with unordered lists
      5m 26s
  10. 15m 30s
    1. Introduction to HTML semantics
      4m 9s
    2. Exploring an example
      4m 56s
    3. Marking up figures and illustrations
      2m 33s
    4. Creating collapsible details
      3m 52s
  11. 11m 18s
    1. Embedding audio
      5m 19s
    2. Embedding video
      5m 59s
  12. 11m 53s
    1. Creating ad-hoc Document Object Model (DOM) data with the data-* attribute
      4m 53s
    2. Displaying relative values with meter
      2m 57s
    3. Creating dynamic progress indicators
      4m 3s
  13. 4m 49s
    1. Overview of HTML5 microdata
      1m 8s
    2. Exploring an example with microdata
      3m 41s
  14. 7m 3s
    1. Understanding outlines
      52s
    2. A demonstration of outlining
      6m 11s
  15. 13m 1s
    1. Table basics
      7m 29s
    2. Exploring the semantic parts of a table
      2m 32s
    3. Grouping columns
      3m 0s
  16. 9m 55s
    1. Frames overview
      54s
    2. Using traditional frames
      4m 26s
    3. Exploring inline frames using iframe
      2m 7s
    4. Simulating frames with CSS
      2m 28s
  17. 53m 7s
    1. Introducing forms
      10m 24s
    2. Using text elements
      10m 12s
    3. Using checkboxes and radio buttons
      2m 37s
    4. Creating selection lists and dropdown lists
      5m 14s
    5. Submit and button elements
      8m 48s
    6. Using an image as a submit button
      2m 15s
    7. Keeping context with the hidden element
      3m 0s
    8. Setting tab order
      2m 7s
    9. Preloading an autocomplete list using the datalist feature
      5m 26s
    10. Displaying results with output
      3m 4s
  18. 19m 47s
    1. Touring a complete site
      2m 14s
    2. Touring the HTML
      8m 44s
    3. Touring the CSS
      8m 49s
  19. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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HTML Essential Training
5h 34m Beginner Sep 11, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course introduces web designers to the nuts and bolts of HTML (HyperText Markup Language), the programming language used to create web pages. Author Bill Weinman explains what HTML is, how it's structured, and presents the major tags and features of the language. Discover how to format text and lists, add images and flow text around them, link to other pages and sites, embed audio and video, and create HTML forms. Additional tutorials cover the new elements in HTML5, the latest version of HTML, and prepare you to start working with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

Topics include:
  • What is HTML?
  • Using HTML tags and containers
  • Understanding block vs. inline tags
  • Controlling line breaks and spaces in text
  • Aligning images
  • Linking within a page
  • Using relative links
  • Working with tables
  • Creating progress indicators with HTML5
  • Adding buttons and check boxes to forms
  • Applying CSS
  • Optimizing your pages for search engines
  • Building document outlines
Subjects:
Developer Web Web Foundations Web Development
Software:
HTML
Author:
Bill Weinman

Displaying characters with references

Some characters have special meaning in HTML so they cannot be used directly in a document, other characters may be unavailable on your keyboard. Character References allow you to include these characters in your document. These references are often referred to as character entities, but that's a misnomer. It's a subtle distinction that character entities are SGML declarations and HTML5 is no longer tied to SGML or its document type definitions. So these are called Character References because they refer to characters not SGML entities.

There are five characters that are particularly problematic in HTML. You'll need these often. The less than and greater than characters are named < and > or you can use the numeric entities decimal 60 or 62, or hexadecimal 3C and 3E. All of these References are introduced by an ampersand and terminated with a semicolon, and the Numeric References have a number sign or a pound sign and the Hexadecimal References also have letter x.

Because the ampersand is used to introduce a reference, the ampersand itself is problematic and you can put ampersand in your document by typing the & or by using the Numeric References. The quote marks, the single quote which is sometimes called an apostrophe, or the double quote, can also be problematic when you want to include them in quoted content, like the value of an attribute. There are huge numbers of other characters available.

In previous versions of HTML there were a few hundred named references, in HTML5 there are about 2000. Here is a small sampling. Let's make a working copy of references.html and I'm going to rename that to references-working.html. Now I'll open that in my text editor and you can see we have a little bit of CSS at the top there and then we have the body of the document. And if I open this in the browser, see what it looks like here, Firefox, and there are our HTML character references.

And this is the styling that's in the CSS there. I'm just highlighting these paragraphs that have the character references in them. So in the first display paragraph you'll notice that it's in this monospace font, that's because I've it wrapped in the code element. And then I'm using Character References less than and greater than, both at the beginning and the end in order to display this HTML snippet here. So I have a paragraph and it says, Content goes here, but you'll notice that that's not actually getting interpreted in the document because I'm using these character references instead.

If I had actually put in the less than and greater than sign, and let's just go ahead and do that here, so I'm replacing these Character References with the actual less than and greater than signs. You'll see that this gets interpreted as a paragraph, and when I reload over here I just get this separate paragraph that says, Content goes here. It's really not showing it the way that I wanted it to be shown. So I'll go ahead and I'll put those Character References back and save it and reload it, and now I'm able to display an actual snippet of HTML in an HTML document without those characters getting interpreted.

So that's one of the major uses of Character References and you'll see that used a lot to display characters that would otherwise be interpreted. There are, as it says here, many other interesting characters available. Like I said there are about 2000 of the named entities and even more available as numeric entities; virtually all of Unicode is available numeric entities, assuming that your target browser and character encoding will display it. These are just a few. I've some accented a characters here, and you see those are those ones there.

I have a couple of ligatures, AE ligature, uppercase and lowercase. I have this approximate and approximately equals to signs and they are here, approximate and approximately equals to, and I've some Greek letters. I have Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, Omega and Mu, and there they are in their character entities. I also have some other symbols Copyright, Registered Trademark, paragraph and @ sign, dollar sign, cent sign, euro sign; some of these are available on keyboards, obviously we usually have the @ sign available.

Its character entity is commercial at c-o-m-m-a-t, dollar, cent and Euro depending on where you're in the world. Some of those will be available and some of those will not be available on your keyboard; the male, female sign, some other symbols. And then down here on the last line I have some script versions of regular Latin Characters and you notice also have horizontal ellipse, that's this h-e-l-l-i-p and that's what all of those look like. Of course there are many, many more. There is a complete list of the HTML5 named references available on WHATWG website, of course you can use Numeric References for any Unicode characters.

And it's always a good idea to make sure that your target audience has a good chance of displaying whatever characters you include in your documents.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about HTML Essential Training.


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Q: The horizontal nab bar built in Chapter 8 doesn't work correctly in Internet Explorer 8. Do you have a solution?
A: Internet Explorer 8 does not support HTML5 and the NAV element.

The nab bar can work in IE 8 if you change the nav element to div, and update the CSS accordingly. You will also need to move the "display: inline" from the "ul.menu li a" rule to the "ul.menu li" rule.
 
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