When you're using HTML, you can type most text characters without using any special codes. But how do you render the text elements that HTML uses to be HTML, like < and >? And what about characters that don't have a direct analog on the keyboard, like and ?

These are called "special characters", and HTML renders them with numeric or character encoding so that they can be included in an HTML document.

Special HTML Characters
There are three characters that you shouldn't leave unencoded within your HTML documents. If you do, they can confuse the browsers and your pages may not render as you expect.
Character Code
less-than sign (<) &lt;
greater-than sign (>) &gt;
ampersand (&) &amp;
quotation mark (") &quot;

Non-Typeable Special Characters
Any character that can be rendered in the Latin-1 standard character set, can be rendered in HTML. You simply enter an ampersand (&) and either its standard entity name or a pound-sign (#) and the numeric position in the Latin-1 character set, followed by a semi-colon (;).

Character Code
soft hyphen (­) &shy;
non-breaking space &nbsp;
copyright () &copy;
registered () &reg;
trademark () &#153;
em dash () &#151;
en dash () &#150;
paragraph () &para;
one quarter () &#188;
one half () &#189;
three quarters () &#190;
superscript 1 () &sup1;
superscript 2 () &sup2;
superscript 3 () &sup3;
middle dot () &#183;
left angle quote () &#171;
right angle quote () &#187;
Pound () &pound;

Non-English Language Characters
There are also a lot of characters in non-English languages that can be expressed in HTML.

Character Code
and &Aacute; and &aacute;
and &Acirc; and &acirc;
and &AElig; and &aelig;
and &Agrave; and &agrave;
and &Aring; and &aring;
and &Atilde; and &atilde;
and &Auml; and &auml;
and &Ccedil; and &ccedil;
and &Eacute; and &eacute;
and &Ecirc; and &ecirc;
and &Egrave; and &egrave;
and &Euml; and &euml;
and &Iacute; and &iacute;
and &Icirc; and &icirc;
and &Igrave; and &igrave;
and &Iuml; and &iuml;
and &Ntilde; and &ntilde;
and &Oacute; and &oacute;
and &Ocirc; and &ocirc;
and &Ograve; and &ograve;
and &Oslash; and &oslash;
and &Otilde; and &otilde;
and &Ouml; and &ouml;
and &Uacute; and &uacute;
and &Ucirc; and &ucirc;
and &Ugrave; and &ugrave;
and &Uuml; and &uuml;
and &Yacute; and &yacute;
and &Yuml; and &yuml;
and &ETH; and &eth;
&szlig;
&thorn;

The following list includes the HTML codes for many of the ASCII symbols used on Web pages. The first section includes the first 255 character codes and their related HTML codes. Then, at the bottom you'll find some other symbols and the HTML codes to create them. Not all browsers support all the codes, so be sure to test your HTML codes before you use them.

Friendly Code Numerical Code Display Description
  &#09;   Horizontal Tab
  &#10;   Line feed
  &#32;   space
  &#33; ! Exclamation point
&quot; &#34; " Double quote
  &#35; # Number sign
  &#36; $ Dollar sign
  &#37; % Percent sign
&amp; &#38; & Ampersand (and sign)
  &#39; ' Single quote
  &#40; ( Left parenthesis
  &#41; ) Right parenthesis
  &#42; * Asterix (star)
  &#43; + Plus
  &#44; , Comma
  &#45; - Minus
  &#46; . Period
  &#47; / Forward slash
  &#48; 0 Zero
  &#49; 1 One
  &#50; 2 Two
  &#51; 3 Three
  &#52; 4 Four
  &#53; 5 Five
  &#54; 6 Six
  &#55; 7 Seven
  &#56; 8 Eight
  &#57; 9 Nine
  &#58; : Colon
  &#59; ; Semi-colon
&lt; &#60; < Less-than sign
  &#61; = Equal sign
&gt; &#62; > Greater-than sign
  &#63; ? Question mark
  &#64; @ At-sign
  &#65; A Capital a
  &#66; B Capital b
  &#67; C Capital c
  &#68; D Capital d
  &#69; E Capital e
  &#70; F Capital f
  &#71; G Capital g
  &#72; H Capital h
  &#73; I Capital i
  &#74; J Capital j
  &#75; K Capital k
  &#76; L Capital l
  &#77; M Capital m
  &#78; N Capital n
  &#79; O Capital o
  &#80; P Capital p
  &#81; Q Capital q
  &#82; R Capital r
  &#83; S Capital s
  &#84; T Capital t
  &#85; U Capital u
  &#86; V Capital v
  &#87; W Capital w
  &#88; X Capital x
  &#89; Y Capital y
  &#90; Z Capital z
  &#91; [ Left square bracket
  &#92; \ Back slash
  &#93; ] Right square bracket
  &#94; ^ Caret
  &#95; _ Underscore
  &#96; ` Grave accent
  &#97; a Lowercase a
  &#98; b Lowercase b
  &#99; c Lowercase c
  &#100; d Lowercase d
  &#101; e Lowercase e
  &#102; f Lowercase f
  &#103; g Lowercase g
  &#104; h Lowercase h
  &#105; i Lowercase i
  &#106; j Lowercase j
  &#107; k Lowercase k
  &#108; l Lowercase l
  &#109; m Lowercase m
  &#110; n Lowercase n
  &#111; o Lowercase o
  &#112; p Lowercase p
  &#113; q Lowercase q
  &#114; r Lowercase r
  &#115; s Lowercase s
  &#116; t Lowercase t
  &#117; u Lowercase u
  &#118; v Lowercase v
  &#119; w Lowercase w
  &#120; x Lowercase x
  &#121; y Lowercase y
  &#122; z Lowercase z
  &#123; { Left curly brace
  &#124; | Vertical bar
  &#125; } Right curly brace
&tilde; &#126; ~ tilde
  &#127;  Unknown
  &#128; Euro
  &#129; Unknown
&sbquo; &#130; Single low-quote
  &#131; Script f
&dbquo; &#132; Double low-quote
  &#133; Elipsis
&dagger; &#134; Dagger
&Dagger; &#135; Double dagger
  &#136; Hatchek
&permil; &#137; Per million symbol
  &#138; Capital esh
&lsaquo; &#139; Left single angle quote
  &#140; CE ligature
  &#141; Unknown
  &#142; Capital
  &#143; Unknown
  &#144; Unknown
&lsquo; &#145; Left single-quote
&rsquo; &#146; Right single-quote
&ldquo; &#147; Left double-quote
&rdquo; &#148; Right double-quote
  &#149; Small bullet
&ndash; &#150; En dash
&mdash; &#151; Em dash
&tilde &#152; Tilde
&trade; &#153; Trademark
  &#154; Lowercase esh
&rsaquo; &#155; Right single angle quote
  &#156; OE ligature
  &#157; Unknown
  &#158; Lowercase
  &#159; Uppercase y-umlaut
&nbsp; &#160;   Non-breaking space
&iexcl; &#161; Inverted exclamation point
&cent; &#162; Cent
&pound; &#163; Pound currency sign
&curren; &#164; Currency sign
&yen; &#165; Yen currency sign
&brvbar; &#166; Broken vertical bar
&sect; &#167; Section symbol
&uml; &#168; Umlaut (Diaeresis)
&copy; &#169; Copyright
&ordf; &#170; Feminine ordinal indicator (superscript lowercase a)
&laquo; &#171; Left angle quote
&not; &#172; Not sign
&shy; &#173; ­  Soft hyphen
&reg; &#174; Registered sign
&macr; &#175; Macron
&deg; &#176; Degree sign
&plusmn; &#177; Plus/minus sign
&sup2; &#178; Superscript 2
&sup3; &#179; Superscript 3
  &#180; Acute accent
&micro; &#181; Micro sign
&para; &#182; Pilcrow sign (paragraph)
&middot; &#183; Middle dot
&cedil; &#184; Cedilla
&sup1; &#185; Superscript 1
&ordm; &#186; Masculine ordinal indicator (superscript o)
&raquo; &#187; Right angle quote
&frac14; &#188; One quarter fraction
&frac12; &#189; One half fraction
&frac34; &#190; Three quarters fraction
&#191; Inverted question mark
&Agrave; &#192; A grave accent
&Aacute; &#193; A accute accent
&Acirc; &#194; A circumflex
&Atilde; &#195; A tilde
&Auml; &#196; A umlaut
&Aring; &#197; A ring
&AElig; &#198; AE ligature
&Ccedil; &#199; C cedilla
&Egrave; &#200; E grave
&Eacute; &#201; E acute
&Ecirc; &#202; E circumflex
&Euml; &#203; E umlaut
&Igrave; &#204; I grave
&Iacute; &#205; I acute
&Icirc; &#206; I circumflex
&Iuml; &#207; I umlaut
&ETH; &#208; Eth
&Ntilde; &#209; N tilde (enye)
&Ograve; &#210; O grave
&Oacute; &#211; O acute
&Ocirc; &#212; O circumflex
&Otilde; &#213; O tilde
&Ouml; &#214; O umlaut
&times; &#215; Multiplication sign
&Oslash; &#216; O slash
&Ugrave; &#217; U grave
&Uacute; &#218; U acute
&Ucirc; &#219; U circumflex
&Uuml; &#220; U umlaut
&Yacute; &#221; Y acute
&THORN; &#222; Thorn
&szlig; &#223; SZ ligature
&agrave; &#224; a grave
&aacute; &#225; a acute
&acirc; &#226; a circumflex
&atilde; &#227; a tilde
&auml; &#228; a umlaut
&aring; &#229; a ring
&aelig; &#230; ae ligature
&ccedil; &#231; c cedilla
&egrave; &#232; e grave
&eacute; &#233; e acute
&ecirc; &#234; e circumflex
&euml; &#235; e umlaut
&igrave; &#236; i grave
&iacute; &#237; i acute
&icirc; &#238; i circumflex
&iuml; &#239; i umlaut
&eth; &#240; eth
&ntilde; &#241; n tilde
&ograve; &#242; o grave
&oacute; &#243; o acute
&ocirc; &#244; o circumflex
&otilde; &#245; o tilde
&ouml; &#246; o umlaut
&divide; &#247; Division symbol
&oslash; &#248; o slash
&ugrave; &#249; u grave
&uacute; &#250; u acute
&ucirc; &#251; u circumflex
&uuml; &#252; u umlaut
&yacute; &#253; y acute
&thorn; &#254; thorn
&yuml; &#255; y umlaut

Friendly Code Display Description
&spades; Spade card suit
&clubs; Clubs card suit
&diams; Diamonds card suit
&hearts; Hearts card suit
&oline; Overline
&larr; Left arrow
&rarr; Right arrow
&uarr; Up arrow
&darr; Down arrow