Decimal Notation in HTML

Typographic Symbols

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Character   Notes Notation Render
obelos dotted ⸓
saltillo latin capital letter Ꞌ
apostrophe typewriter apostrophe ' '
apostrophe-like modifier letter - a glyph, not punctuation ʼ ʼ
apostrophe-like prime - single prime ′
apostrophe-like represented by right single quotes ’
Caret Punctuation ‸
asterisk Punctuation * *
asterisks two aligned vertically ⁑
asterisk low ⁎
asterism Punctuation ⁂
flower mark Punctuation ⁕
reference mark Punctuation ※
dotted cross Punctuation ⁜
ditto to be used in cjk languages   ѩ ѩ
ditto-like represented by closing double quotes –
ditto-like represented by double acute accents ˝ ˝
Comma Punctuation , ,
full stop Punctuation . .
one dot leader Punctuation &8228;
modifier letter colon Punctuation &42889;
two dot Punctuation Punctuation &8282;
tricolon Punctuation &8285;
vertical four dots Punctuation &8286;
two dot leader Punctuation &8229;
three dot Punctuation Punctuation &8278;
two dots over one dot Punctuation &11818;
squared four dot Punctuation &11820;
one dot over two dots Punctuation &11819;
five dot mark Punctuation &11821;
four dot mark Punctuation &8283;
four dot Punctuation &8280;
five dot Punctuation &8281;
semicolon reversed &8271;
z notation type colon Punctuation &10626;
Colon Punctuation : :
semicolon Punctuation &#59; ;
question Punctuation ? ?
question inverted spanish  ¿ ¿
question double Punctuation ⁇
question reversed Punctuation ⸮
question exclamation Punctuation ⁈
exclamation question Punctuation ⁉
exclamation Punctuation ! !
exclamation inverted spanish  ¡ ¡
exclamation double Punctuation ‼
interrobang Punctuation ‽
interrobang inverted ⸘
Character tie Punctuation ⁀
paragraph /pilcrow Punctuation ¶
section Punctuation § §

The Comma in Technical Writing

The comma is used to separate thousands in numbers of four or more digits:
There were 88,000 data points.

In some foreign languages the comma indicates the decimal point.
To avoid confusion in technical writing use a thin space   to replace the comma.
There were 88 000 data points.

Character   Notes Notation Render
a1 left Parenthesis Punctuation ( (
a1 right Parenthesis Punctuation ) )
a2 left Parenthesis double ⦅
a2 right Parenthesis double ⦆
a3left bold ⟨
a3right bold ⟩
a5left medium Parenthesis ornament ❨
a5right medium Parenthesis ornament ❩
a6left medium flattened Parenthesis ornament ❪
a6right medium flattened Parenthesis ornament ❫
a7 top top Parenthesis ⏜
a8 bottom bottom Parenthesis ⏝
a7 top top curly bracket ⏞
a8 bottom bottom curly bracket ⏟
aangle bracket medium left-pointing ornament ❬
aangle bracket medium right-pointing ornament ❭
aangle Quotation boldleft-pointing ornament ❮
aangle Quotation bold right-pointing ornament ❯
aangle bracket bold left-pointing ornament ❰
aangle bracket bold right-pointing ornament ❱
b1curly bracket left { {
b1curly bracket right } }
b2curly bracket upper left or lower right ⎰
b2curly bracket upper right or lower left ⎱
b3Curly bracket medium left bracket ornament ❴
b3Curly bracket medium right bracket ornament ❵
b4 u bracket left sideways u bracket ⸦
b4 u bracket right sideways u bracket ⸧
cchevron left-pointing ‹
cchevron right-pointing ›
cleft left 〈
cright right 〉
cguillemot left-pointing double « «
cguillemot right-pointing double » »
cguillemot left double large 《
cguillemot right double large 》
t0greater than Punctuation > >
t1less than Punctuation &#60; <
z00 square bracket left &#91; [
z00 square bracket right &#93; ]
z01 left bracket left square bracket with quill &#8261;
z01 right bracket right square bracket with quill &#8262;
z1 left bracket tortoise shell ornament &#10098;
z1 right bracket tortoise shell ornament &#10099;
z2 left bracket bold tortoise shell bracket &#10647;
z2 right bracket bold tortoise shell ornament &#10648;

The hyphen you can insert with the key next to the zero on your keyboard is an ambiguous character suffering from an identity crisis. It can't decide if it's a hyphen &#45;, a minus &#8722;, an em dash &#8212; or an en dash &#8211;.

The Unicode specification describes the key as a hyphen-minus and defines very specific replacements for its use.

Use it to insert a hyphen, but never for a minus or a dash, since it does not have the correct width for either, or the vertical position for the latter.

Neither an em dash nor an en dash should be confused with the hyphen, which has the following functions:

  1. To join compound words together.
  2. To connect compound words
  3. To connect the syllables of words broken at the ends of Lines
  4. To connect prefixes and suffixes to words

The modern trend is away from hyphenation, and to eliminate the hyphen after a prefix.

Hyphens are always required with the following prefixes:

  • half-
  • quarter-
  • quasi-
  • self-
  • ex-
  • all-

Permanent compounds tend to become solid, and temporary compounds tend to be hyphenated only when necessary to avoid ambiguity.

Character   Notes Notation Render
hyphen Punctuation &#45; -
hyphen character Punctuation &#8208;
non-breaking does what its name implies. &#8209;
soft hyphen indicates where a word may be broken at the end of a line. &#173; a­b
hyphen point Punctuation &#8231;
hyphen bullet Punctuation &#8259;
z1 double oblique Punctuation &#11799;
z1 With Diaeresis Punctuation &#11802;
  1. The non-breaking hyphen &#8209; does just what its name implies.
  2. The soft hyphen &#173; also known as a discretionary hyphen is used for one purpose only —to indicate where a word may be broken at the end of a line.
    Otherwise, it is to remain invisible and not affect the appearance of the word.
  3. The hyphen character &#8208; is meant to be used in place of the hyphen-minus when a hyphen is exactly the desired character.
  4. The hyphen point &#8231; is that bullet-like character you find in some dictionaries to separate syllables. That is its only use, but if you’re creating an online dictionary, using it will make your entries look more professional.
  5. The hyphen bullet &#8259; is a version of the hyphen character &#8208;

Hyphens are Not Dashes

Character Notation Render
hyphen &#45; -
hyphen &#8210;
en dash &#8211;
em dash &#8212;
hyphen &#8208;
nonbreaking &#8209;

The quote below illustrates the use of the hyphen &#45;, the en dash &#8211; and the em dash &#8212;. In some fancy fonts the difference is more than just the width — hyphens have a distinct serif.

"Re-read the book — at least 2–3 times — then let it sink in."

"Re&#45;read the book&#8202;&#8212;&#8202;at least 2&#8211;3 times&#8202;&#8212;&#8202;then let it sink in."

Some typographers prefer to use an en dash surrounded by full spaces instead of an em dash.

full space + en dash + full space

&#160;&#8211;&#160; [ – ]

Others prefer to insert hair spaces on either side of the em dash.

hair space + em dash + hair space

&#8202;&#8212;&#8202; [ — ]

Others prefer to insert hair spaces on either side of the en dash.

hair space + en dash + hair space

&#8202;&#8211;&#8202; [ – ]

Character   Notes Notation Render
slash ∽backslash Punctuation &#92; \
slash ∽fraction Punctuation &#8260;
slash ∽division Punctuation &#8725;
en dash Punctuation &#8211;
em dash Punctuation &#8212;
vertical Punctuation &#124; a|b
vertical Punctuation &#10072; ab
vertical double Punctuation &#8214; ab
vertical double bold note the width &#9553; ab
vertical broken Punctuation &#166; a¦b
vertical broken bold note the width &#9550; ab
horizontal broken bold &#9549;
horizontal broken light &#9548;
figure dash Punctuation &#8210;
horizontal bar light &#8213;
horizontal bar medium &#9472;
horizontal bar bold Punctuation &#9644;
horizontal double Punctuation &#9552;
o1 overline Punctuation &#8254;
o1underscore Punctuation &#95; _
p1 dagger Punctuation &#8224;
p1 dagger double &#8225;
vertical double &#10746;
vertical triple &#10747;
slash also known as a solidus &#47; /
tilde Punctuation &#8764;
tilde reversed &#8765;
tilde Punctuation &#126; ~
tilde with ring above &#11803;
tilde with dot above &#11806;
tilde with dot below &#11807;
tilde vertical &#11823;
Swung Dash Punctuation &#8275;
horizontal ellipsis Punctuation &#8230;

The Correct Use of Em

An em is a unit of measurement defined as the point size of the font — 12 point type uses a 12 point em.

The em dash &#8212; is used—

  1. To indicate a sudden break in thought:

    I was thinking about writing a—what time is it?

    If used sparingly it suggests a definite tone, often a note of surprise or an emphasis equivalent to a mild exclamation.

  2. To indicate a parenthetical statement that deserves more attention than parentheses indicate.
  3. To indicate an open range, such as from a given date with no end yet:

    Alan Wood [1951—] authored this document.

  4. To indicate vague dates.
  5. As a stand-in for the last two digits of a four-digit year.
  6. Two adjacent em dashes are used to indicate missing letters in a word.

    I just don't f— —ing care about 3.0 browsers.

  7. Three adjacent em dashes are used to substitute for the author's name when a repeated series of works are presented in a bibliography.
  8. Three adjacent em dashes are used to indicate an entire missing word in the text.
  9. Instead of a colon or semicolon to link clauses.

Like the comma, the em dash is used both to enclose and to separate;and, like the comma, an enclosing dash needs a partner.
In fact, enclosing dashes are replacements for enclosing commas in order to add emphasis.

If used regularly in place of commas, colons, and semicolons, it loses all its distinctiveness and becomes a sloppy substitute for conventional punctuation.

The Correct Use of En

An en is one-half of an em. The en dash is used to indicate a range of just about anything with numbers, including dates, inclusive or continuing numbers, game scores, and pages in any sort of document.

  1. pp. 233–235

  2. October 1975–January 1976

  3. between 1975-1978

  4. from 1975-1978

It is also used instead of the word to or a hyphen to indicate a connection between things, including geographic references (like the Mason–Dixon Line) and routes (such as the New York–Boston commuter train).

It is used to hyphenate compounds of compounds, where at least one pair is already hyphenated, as in:

  • Firefox is an Open–Source–based browser.

Some authors prefer an en dash to a hyphen when text is set in all capital letters.


Others specify the use of an en dash when referring to joint authors, as in:

  • The Bose–Einstein Paper

Using the horizontal ellipsis

An ellipsis &#8230; is most often used to indicate one or more missing words in a quotation.
It is also used to indicate when a thought or quotation trails off.

When it occurs at the end of a sentence, it should be treated in one of three ways, depending on usage:

  1. If the ellipsis is indicating missing words, then it is followed by a period:
    One or more missing words in the ….
  2. If it indicates missing sentences, then it should appear after the period of the preceding sentence, and with a space &#160; on either side:
    An ellipsis is used to indicate one or more missing sentences. … 
  3. If it indicates that the thought or quote is just trailing off at the end of a sentence, then only the ellipsis is used, to clarify that no words from a quotation were omitted, as would be the case if the additional period were there:
    An ellipsis is used to indicate one or more missing…

Methods for correctly inserting curly quotes in web pages are not well understood.
The problem is that many web browsers assume you are referring to the local character system, translating your curly quotes into Greek or accented Latin characters. These same browsers always get the decimal notation references right.
Don't try to ``fake it´´ with doubled-up grave accents and straight single quotes or acute accents, as most of the ``best-known newspapers" do.

Quotation Mark Notation Render
q1 Quotation &#34; "
q2 left single &#8216;
q2 right single &#8217;
q3 Left Double &#8220;
q3 Right Double &#8221;
q4 Single 9 low &#8218;
q4 Single Reversed 9 high &#8219;
q4 Double 9 low &#8222;
q6 Double Reversed 9 high &#8223;
q5 Double Turned Comma Ornament bold &#10077;
q5 Double Comma Ornament bold &#10078;
q7 Single Turned Comma Ornament bold &#10075;
q7 Single Comma Ornament bold &#10076;
q8 Double Left Pointing Angle chevron &#171; «
q8 Double Right Pointing Angle chevron &#187; »
q8 Single Left Pointing Angle &#8249;
q8 Single Right Pointing Angle &#8250;

Blocked Quotes

The < q > and < blockquote > elements are designed to have quote marks " automatically inserted in the appropriate locations.
HTML mandates that this occur for the < q > and < blockquote > element, and advises authors against placing quotes manually, since this could result in double quotes.
CSS rules can be used to overide this behavour.

Quoting Multiple Paragraphs

When quoting multiple paragraphs, each one begins with an opening quote. &#8220;, but only the last paragraph has a closing quote. &#8221;


A single prime is used to represent feet/minutes.
A double prime is used to indicate inches/seconds.
They look similar to curly quotes, but are much more distinct, and they never look like commas. They are set at an angle of 75°to 80°and are tapered from the top to the bottom.
Also shown are the triple prime and the three reversed versions of these characters.

Prime Notation Render
a1 single &#8242;
double &#8243;
triple &#8244;
a1 single reversed &#8245;
double reversed &#8246;
triple reversed &#8247;

Two useful spaces in the HTML repertoire are the en space &#8194; and the em space &#8195;.
Both are visibly wider than a normal space, as mandated in the official HTML specification.

Character   Notation Render
a1 word space &#32; | |
a2 no-break space &#160; | |
en space &#8194; | |
en quad &#8192; | |
em quad &#8193; | |
em space &#8195; | |
a6 three-per-em &#8196; | |
a7 four-per-em &#8197; | |
a7 six-per-em &#8198; | |
figure space &#8199; | |
a2 Punctuation space &#8200; | |
a4 thin space &#8201; | |
a5 hair space &#8202; | |

Outer spaces

Sometimes in typesetting you need to provide a hint that the computer can break a long word in a particular position without any other interpretation or visible indication.
This is the zero width space : &#8203;

Its twin is the zero width no-break space : &#65279; which can be used to keep a word from breaking at that point.

Character   Notation Render
zero width space &#8203; |​|
zero width non-joiner &#8204; |‌|
zero width joiner &#8205; |‍|
zero width no-break space &#65279; ||
left-to-right mark &#8206; |‎|
right-to-left mark &#8207; |‏|
line separator &#8232; |
paragraph separator &#8233; |
left-to-right embedding &#8234; |‪|
right-to-left embedding &#8235; |‫|
formatting &#8236; |‬|
left-to-right override &#8237; |‭|
right-to-left override &#8238; |‮|
left-to-right mark &#8206; |‎|
right-to-left mark &#8207; |‏|
Character   Notation Render
ampersand &#38; &
ampersand script &#5067;
email at &#64; @
Copyright &#169; ©
Care of &#8453;
Cada una each one &#8454;
numero sign &#8470;
telephone sign &#8481;
trademark sign &#8482;
registered design &#174; ®
audio recording copyright &#8471;
account of &#8448;
addressed to the subject &#8449;
service mark &#8480;
Hertz &#13200;
Kilohertz &#13201;
Megahertz &#13202;
Gigahertz &#13203;
Terahertz &#13204;
ohm sign &#8486;
ohm sign inverted &#8487;
estimated symbol &#8494;
Centimetre &#13213;
kilometre &#13214;
square millimetre &#13215;
square centimetre &#13216;
square metre &#13217;
degree celsius &#8451;
degree fahrenheit &#8457;
prescription take &#8478;
kelvin sign &#8490;
angstrom sign &#8491;
ounce &#8485;
information source &#8505;
facsimile sign &#8507;
pi small &#8508;
pi large &#8511;
samaritan source symbol &#8527;
glottal stop &#660; ʔ