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Escaped Characters

Copyright © 1999, 2002-2004, 2006 by David E. Ross

Note:Information on this Web page regarding entering symbols into text via escape sequences applies to operating on a PC with some form of Micro$oft's Windows. I do not know the equivalent capabilities for a Macintosh or UNIX platform.

An escaped character is a character entered into text using an escape sequence, which on a PC consists of the Alt key being held (the escape) while keying in a number (the sequence). The sequence is keyed using the keypad at the right of the keyboard, not the number keys above the letters. It is necessary that a leading zero always be entered, which is not shown in the table or discussion below. Except as noted at the end of the following tabulation, that is how the tabulation was created.


Some or all of the contents of the following box might not be viewable with some browsers or on some platforms. In particular, PC-based escape characters are often not rendered as intended on UNIX platforms.

PC Escape Sequences

0=[n/a]

1 =

2 =

3 =

4 =

5 =

6 =

7 =

8 =

9 =

10 =

11 =

12 =

13 =

14 =

15 =

16 =

17 =

18 =

19 =

20 =

21 =

22 =

23 =

24 =

25 =

26 =

27 =

28 =

29 =

30 =

31 =

32 =

33 = !

34 = "

35 = #

36 = $

37 = %

38 = &

39 = '

40 = (

41 = )

42 = *

43 = +

44 = ,

45 = -

46 = .

47 = /

48 = 0

49 = 1

50 = 2

51 = 3

52 = 4

53 = 5

54 = 6

55 = 7

56 = 8

57 = 9

58 = :

59 = ;

60 = <

61 = =

62 = >

63 = ?

64 = @

65 = A

66 = B

67 = C

68 = D

69 = E

70 = F

71 = G

72 = H

73 = I

74 = J

75 = K

76 = L

77 = M

78 = N

79 = O

80 = P

81 = Q

82 = R

83 = S

84 = T

85 = U

86 = V

87 = W

88 = X

89 = Y

90 = Z

91 = [

92 = \

93 = ]

94 = ^

95 = _

96 = `

97 = a

98 = b

99 = c

100 = d

101 = e

102 = f

103 = g

104 = h

105 = i

106 = j

107 = k

108 = l

109 = m

110 = n

111 = o

112 = p

113 = q

114 = r

115 = s

116 = t

117 = u

118 = v

119 = w

120 = x

121 = y

122 = z

123 = {

124 = |

125 = }

126 = ~

127 =

128 =

129=[n/a]

130 =

131 =

132 =

133 =

134 =

135 =

136 =

137 =

138 =

139 =

140 =

141=[n/a]

142 =

143=[n/a]

144=[n/a]

145 =

146 =

147 =

148 =

149 =

150 =

151 =

152 =

153 =

154 =

155 =

156 =

157=[n/a]

158 =

159 =

160=[nbs]

161 =

162 =

163 =

164 =

165 =

166 =

167 =

168 =

169 =

170 =

171 =

172 =

173 =

174 =

175 =

176 =

177 =

178 =

179 =

180 =

181 =

182 =

183 =

184 =

185 =

186 =

187 =

188 =

189 =

190 =

191 =

192 =

193 =

194 =

195 =

196 =

197 =

198 =

199 =

200 =

201 =

202 =

203 =

204 =

205 =

206 =

207 =

208 =

209 =

210 =

211 =

212 =

213 =

214 =

215 =

216 =

217 =

218 =

219 =

220 =

221 =

222 =

223 =

224 =

225 =

226 =

227 =

228 =

229 =

230 =

231 =

232 =

233 =

234 =

235 =

236 =

237 =

238 =

239 =

240 =

241 =

242 =

243 =

244 =

245 =

246 =

247 =

248 =

249 =

250 =

251 =

252 =

253 =

254 =

255 =

____________________

Notes:

Printing the above tabulation may require narrowing the print margins or specifying a smaller type.


The assignment of sequence codes to characters indicated above is only partially covered by formal standards. This assignment is an extension of a standard; it is a character set convention (WINDOWS-1252) created by Micro$oft for use with its own software. Other software and hardware manufacturers follow at least part of Micro$oft's character set (e.g., Hewlett Packard's printers and print drivers are compliant). In some cases, Web pages using escaped characters may require a meta tag in the Header section to specify the use of WINDOWS-1252 (or some other character set) if the characters are to display correctly. This page has

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=WINDOWS-1252">

in its Header section. See A Dictionary of HTML META Tags for more information about these tags.

The creation of an escaped character may vary according to the font or character set being used. Thus, the tabulation above might possibly show different symbols if it were created on a different PC. (To provide consistency, all escaped characters in the tabulation above were generated on one PC.) However, since an escaped character appears literally in the text, how a special symbol appears to someone else generally varies more in response to whether that symbol is supported at all. That is, a font that does not support a particular symbol cannot display that symbol. Even when a symbol is supported by a font, that symbol cannot be printed if the print driver does not support it.


In addition to using escaped characters, two other methods are available to code symbols into Web pages using HTML:

To reach a wide viewing audience for Web pages, I would recommend only the use of entity references when composing HTML. The use of escaped characters should be avoided if the intended viewing audiences use UNIX platforms to host their Web browsers. Some of the escaped codes on this page are peculiar to a Micro$oft convention and are not recognized within UNIX operating systems. However, they seem to be recognized within Macintosh operating systems. Thus, for the widest audience, only keyboard characters and entity references that are standard parts of HTML 4.01 should be used.

Note that some characters appear the same but are not:

There are others. These are distinguished by their descriptions and entity names in standard ISO 8859-1 and might not display similarly on all hosts, with all browsers, or with all fonts. Because they do not always appear similarly — and because they might have different significance to text analyzers (e.g., those used by search engines) — care should be taken to use the correct character.

Of course, entity references and character references are generally unusable outside of composing Web pages. Escaped characters are usable in most (if not all) Micro$oft applications, including Word, Excel, and Wordpad; only a subset is supported by Notepad.


The Tilde (~)

The URLs for some Web sites contain an in-line tilde (~), a character which does not appear on all keyboards. In that case, if you need to key a tilde into a URL, experiment with the escape sequence Alt-126 in Notepad; this is one of the escaped characters that Notepad supports.

The in-line tilde is not the same as the small raised tilde (˜), which is escape sequence Alt-152; the latter is generally used to indicate breaks between syllables in a word (e.g., in a dictionary) or to form a character that is a letter with a tilde above it (most of which already have HTML 4.01 entity references), not in URLs.

The in-line tilde should be coded in Web pages using the keyboard symbol if available (otherwise with the &126; character reference, which will not necessarily display as intended). The raised tilde is defined in the HTML 4.01 specification with the entity reference &tilde;.

Last updated 7 august 2006


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The WINDOWS-1252 character set was created by (or for) Micro$oft. Therefore, the assignment of code numbers to characters is not covered by my copyright. However, all descriptive text on this page and the format of the character set tabulation are my property.

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