HTML Special Characters

Your browser does not recognize white space (tabs, spaces, line feeds, etc.). It recognizes the first space that is typed between words or tags, but otherwise, white space is ignored by your browser.

Sometimes we want white space to show in our browser. For this reason, HTML has included some special characters – or special ‘codes’ – that will tell our browser what to display to the user.

For instance, if I want more than one consecutive space to show in my browser, I must use the special character:


The ampersand lets the browser know that a special code is coming. The semi-colon indicates the end of the special code or character. nbsp stands for non-breaking space.

If I want to show a tab, I can use:


There are other special characters besides white space. When I want to show html code in my blog posts, I often have to use the special characters for the greater than (>) and less than (<) signs so that they will show in the browser. If I were to use the signs themselves, your browser will try to interpret what follows the sign as an html tag and distort the post.

The special characters for greater than are:


and less than:


Other special characters that you may be interested in showing on your web pages are:

&copy; ©
&reg; ®
&trade; ™
&cent; ¢

You can find another list of special characters here.

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