Typography

Good typography improves the readability of text.

If you do not yet know typographically correct punctuation and want to learn, there are various tutorials on the web that will help you out.

Once you know what you are trying to achieve - which punctuation characters you should be using - you will need to know how to put them into your HTML code.

The simplest option is to use an editor that understands UTF-8 encoding. Then you can type any Unicode character directly into the document. However, if you can't do that, you will have to type the entity references manually.

With the exception of the two characters ‘&’ and ‘<’, which have to be escaped for reasons of (SG/HT/X)ML syntax, please use numeric character entities.

The table below shows most of the characters that have ever had to used on the BGA site, with their encoding.

Entities for particular characters

CharacterPreferred entity referenceDescription
&&amp;Ampersand.
<&lt;Less than.
 &#160;Non-breaking space.
£&#163;Pound sign.
¥&#163;Yen sign.
½&#189;Half. For example ‘6½ komi’
×&#215;Multiplication sign. For example ‘19×19 go board’
&#8211;En-dash. Used for ranges. For example ‘6th May–12th June’
&#8212;Em-dash. Used—like this—for parenthetical remarks within a sentence.
&#8216;Single open quote. Use single quotes to indicate textual quotations, unusual terms, names of publications and in any other situation where some form of emphasis is required.
&#8217;Apostrophe/Single close quote. Use single quotes to indicate textual quotations, unusual terms, names of publications and in any other situation where some form of emphasis is required.
&#8220;Double open quote. Double quotation marks should be used only to indicate speech.
&#8221;Double close quote. Double quotation marks should be used only to indicate speech.
&#8230;Ellipsis.
&#8360;Won sign.
&#8364;Euro sign.
_&#95;Underscore

The definitive list of character numbers is the Unicode standard. The standard insists on using hexadecimal numbers, whereas the ones above are decimal. It does not really matter whether you use, say, &#8211; or &#x2013;, but so far this site has fairly consistently used decimal entity references, so you might like to continue to do the same.





Last updated Tue May 25 2010. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.