Encoding on the Internet
Here is how encoding schemes interact with a browser to produce a page with the correctly rendered script.
Properly encoded Web pages declare the encoding to a browser through a meta tag in the header.This meta tag instructs the browser to use an appropriate font for that script.
Some examples of the header tag are given below.
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=???">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
NOTE: It IS good practice to declare the encoding even for an English Web site. One function of this is to tag is to "reset" the user's browser back to Latin-1 and ensure proper font settings. The Unicode "utf-8" encoding also ensures that any special characters inserted such as "Smart quotes", currency symbols, em-dashes and so forth will be properly displayed in most browsers.
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1251">
If no encoding is declared, then the browser uses the default setting, which in the U.S. is typically Latin-1. If the page is actually in some other script, but no encoding specified, the browser will use a Roman alphabet font and display gibberish.
In many browsers, the user sets up correlations between an encoding scheme and a properly encoded font through the browser Preferences or Internet Tools (Internet Explorer-Windows) window. Here is a sample Preference set-up for Japanese encoding. Instructions for setting font preferences in individual browsers are listed below.
Browsers which fully support Unicode are the strongly recommended. Click link in list to view configuration instructions. You will be asked to match a script with a font.
Note on System 9: Because Unicode support is incomplete in System 9, it may be beneficial to upgrade to O S X if you need to work with Unicode.
See the Encoding by Script page to see preferred settings for other languages.
©Penn State University, 2000-2013.
This Web page maintained by Teaching and Learning with Technology, a unit of Information Technology Services. For questions or comments on this Web page, please contact Elizabeth J. Pyatt (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This site uses Unicode to display non-English characters. This site is best viewed in the most recent versions of your browser.
Unicode character names and hexadecimal entity codes are taken from the public Unicode Character Charts.
This publication is available in alternate media upon request.
Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Jun-2013 12:41:29 EDT