HTML Entities

The HTML entities are used to display reserved characters (characters that are used in HTML code), special characters, or invisible characters. For example,

<p>This is a &lt;p&gt; tag.</p> 

Browser Output

HTML Entities

Here, &lt; and &gt; are the HTML entities used to display < and > respectively.

If we were to use the <p> tag instead of &lt;p&gt; the browser would read it as a tag. Hence to display <p> we need to use &lt; and &gt; instead of < and > respectively.

HTML Entities Syntax

HTML entities are represented by either their name or their number.

  • Entity names

We use &entity_name; to add reserved characters using Entity names. For example,
&cent; would be displayed as ¢

  • Entity number

We use &#entity_number; to add reserved characters using Entity number. For example, &#162; would also be displayed as ¢

All entity names and numbers start with an & and end with an ;.

Note: Not all entities have names, only characters that are commonly used have entity names.

Special Characters

Special characters are characters that are not available on a general keyboard like ®, ©, ¢, etc.
We use HTML entities to add special characters to HTML documents. For example

<footer> &copy; 2022 Programiz. All rights reserved. </footer>

Browser Output

Copyright Symbol Example

Invisible Characters

An invisible character is a character that is not visible when rendered in a document or text field. These characters can be used for various purposes, such as adding white space or formatting a document. For example,


Browser Output

Here, &zwnj; and &nbsp; are invisible characters. &zwnj; is a zero-width character whereas &nbsp; is a space character.

Some examples of invisible characters are – space, tab, zero-width space, etc.

Some important HTML entities

Character(s) Literal(s) Alphanumeric value(s) Unicode value(s)
Cent (currency) ¢ &cent; &#162;
Pound (currency) £ &pound; &#163;
Section § &sect; &#167;
Copyright © &copy; &#169;
Guillemets « » &laquo; &raquo; &#171; &#187;
Registered trademark ® &reg; &#174;
Degree(s) ° &deg; &#176;
Plus/minus ± &plusmn; &#177;
Pilcrow (paragraph) &para; &#182;
Middle dot · &middot; &#183;
Fractional half ½ &frac12; &#188;
En dash &ndash; &#8211;
Em (long) dash &mdash; &#8212;
Single quotes ' ' &lsquo; &rsquo; &#8216; &#8217;
Single low quote &sbquo; &#8218;
Double quotes " " &ldquo; &rdquo; &#8220; &#8221;
Double low quote &bdquo; &#8222;
Single & double daggers † ‡ &dagger; &Dagger; &#8224; &#8225;
Bullet &bull; &#8226;
Ellipsis &hellip; &#8230;
Prime & double prime ′ ″ &prime; &Prime; &#8242; &#8243;
Euro sign &euro; &#8364;
Trademark &trade; &#8482;
Almost equal to &asymp; &#8776;
Not equal to &ne; &#8800;
Less/greater than or equal to &le; &ge; &#8804; &#8805;
Less/greater than < > &lt; &gt; &#062; &#060;