HTML Unicode Reference

Before talking about Unicode character sets, learn a little about Unicodes and their creator Unicode Consortium.

Unicode Consortium

There are many languages and nations in the world and different symbols for countries. However, when computers and internet started to become widespread, the existing character sets were not enough for multilingual environments.

The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit organization and it was founded to solve this problem.

The aim of the organization is to replace the existing character sets with Unicode and its standard Unicode Transformation Format (UTF) .

The organization and its work was successful, and today the Unicode standard is supported by many operating systems and browsers.

Unicode Consortium also cooperates with the leading standards development organizations.

Unicode Character Sets

Unicode can be implemented by many different character sets. The most widely used character sets are UTF-8 and UTF-16.

UTF-8: UTF-8 characters can be from 1 to 4 bytes long. UTF-8 can show every character in Unicode standard. It can work compatibly with ASCII. It is preferred for e-mails and webpages.

UTF-16: UTF-16 is a variable-length character set for Unicode. It is used in major operating systems and environments just like Windows, Java and .NET.

While HTML4 supports only UTF-8, HTML5 supports both UTF-8 and UTF-16 character sets.

Unicode UTF-8:

The Unicode Consortium developed Unicode Standard just because ISO-8859 character set was limited and it was not compatible with multilingual environments. In opposition to ISO-8859, Unicode Standard has almost all characters, punctuations and symbols in the world.

UTF-8 is the default character encoding in HTML5. If an HTML5 webpage uses a different character set, it must be defined in the <meta> tag.

See how to do it below:

<meta charset="ISO-8859-1">

HTML UTF-8 Character Codes

See some of UTF-8 character codes which are supported by HTML5:

Character Codes Decimal Hexadecimal
C0 Controls and Basic Latin 0-127 0000-007F
C1 Controls and Latin-1 Supplement 128-255 0080-00FF
Latin Extended-A 256-383 0100-017F
Latin Extended-B 384-591 0180-024F
Spacing Modifiers 688-767 02B0-02FF
Diacritical Marks 768-879 0300-036F
Greek and Coptic 880-1023 0370-03FF
Cyrillic Basic 1024-1279 0400-04FF
Cyrillic Supplement 1280-1327 0500-052F
General Punctuation 8192-8303 2000-206F
Currency Symbols 8352-8399 20A0-20CF
Letterlike Symbols 8448-8527 2100-214F
Arrows 8592-8703 2190-21FF
Mathmetical Operators 8704-8959 2200-22FF
Box Drawings 9472-9599 2500-257F
Block Elements 9600-9631 2580-259F
Geometric Shapes 9632-9727 25A0-25FF
Miscellaneous Symbols 9728-9983 2600-26FF
Dingbats 9984-10175 2700-27BF