Teaching and Learning with Technology

Computing With Accents and Foreign Scripts

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Unicode Pages on Netscape/Mozilla Composer (Deprecated)

This technique is useful for developing small Unicode pages or for converting Unicode text to escape code sequences (for older tools only), but requires users to have activate and switch language keyboards.

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Additional Tools Needed

Developers must activate keyboards for any script they wish to type.

When to Use it

This is best used for Unicode pages.  Do NOT use this for other encodings such as Latin-2 and so forth.


  1. Open a copy of Netscape 7/8 or Mozilla.
  2. To open a Composer file, go to  Tasks then Composer or press Control+4 (P C) or Command+4 (Mac).
  3. Click the <HTML> Source tab on the bottom to view the HTML code.
  4. Change the encoding meta tag in the HEAD from ISO-8859-1 to utf-8.
  5. If you are using Netscape Composer, go to File then Save as Charset. In the pop-up window choose the desired encoding such as Unicode (UTF-8).
  6. Click on the Normal tab on the bottom to return to normal Compose view.
  7. Switch your keyboard to the script  you wish to type and develop your page. You can switch between keyboards as many times as you wish. Supported keyboards include the Windows U.S. International Keyboard and the OS X Extended keyboard codes.

Potential Pitfalls

Composer actually encodes characters as four-digit Unicode escape codes (e.g. &#1033 for Cyrillic Љ). In Composer itself, these numeric codes are not seen, but would be seen in other programs such as Dreamweaver or plain text-editors. As a result,  Composer should be used only for Unicode or Latin-1 (ISO-8859-1) pages.


Create Vietnamese Unicode HTML documents in Netscape Composer

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Jun-2013 12:41:32 EDT