An HTML entity is a piece of text ("string") that begins with an ampersand (&) and ends with a semicolon (;). HTML 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 HTML character entities 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 (©) is ©. For less memorable characters, such as — or —, you can use a reference chart or decoder tool.

Reserved characters

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.

Character Entity Note
& &amp; Interpreted as the beginning of an entity or character reference.
< &lt; Interpreted as the beginning of a tag
> &gt; Interpreted as the ending of a tag
" &quot; Interpreted as the beginning and end of an attribute's value.
&nbsp; Interpreted as the non breaking space.
&ndash; Interpreted as the en dash (half the width of an em unit).
&mdash; Interpreted as the em dash (equal to width of an "m" character).
© &copy; Interpreted as the copyright sign.
® &reg; Interpreted as the registered sign.
&trade; Interpreted as the trademark sign.
&asymp; Interpreted as almost equal to sign.
&ne; Interpreted as not equal to sign.
£ &pound; Interpreted as the pound symbol.
&euro; Interpreted as the euro symbol.
° &deg; Interpreted as the degree symbol.

See also