An HTML entity is a piece of text ("string") that begins with an ampersand (
&) and ends with a semicolon (
;). Entities are frequently used to display reserved characters (which would otherwise be interpreted as HTML code), and invisible characters (like non-breaking spaces). You can also use them in place of other characters that are difficult to type with a standard keyboard.
Note: Many characters have memorable entities. For example, the entity for the copyright symbol (
©. For less memorable characters, such as
—, you can use a reference chart or decoder tool.
Some special characters are reserved for use in HTML, meaning that your browser will parse them as HTML code. For example, if you use the less-than (
<) sign, the browser interprets any text that follows as a tag.
To display these characters as text, replace them with their corresponding character entities, as shown in the following table.