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The Post Editor And HTML Special Characters

Most web pages that you will view on the Internet are written in HTML.

HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, was designed long ago to enhance simple text, giving it ability to display more than simple letters, numbers, special characters, etc. What you're looking at is mostly simple text. Here, on the other hand, is an example of bold text. And here, italicised text. And here, red text. Are you interested yet?

Here's how I coded the above paragraph in HTML:

Most web pages that you will view on the Internet are written in HTML.<br /><br />HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, was designed long ago to enhance simple text, giving it characteristics beyond simple letters, numbers, special characters, etc. What you're looking at is mostly simple text. Here, on the other hand, is an example of <span style="font-weight:bold;">bold text</span>. And here, <span style="font-style:italic;">italicised text</span>. And here, <span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);" >red text</span>. Interested yet?


The above paragraph was translated, from the introductory paragraph at the top, by Postable, a web based utility.

You can use Postable, other similar utilities, or Notepad, and convert your HTML to displayable text. When you compose a post, in "HTML" mode, there are several special characters, that you can't enter as simple text.

  • The quote symbol " which must be entered as "&quot;", or "&#34;".
  • The apostrophe ' which must be entered as "&apos;" (If you are reading this in Internet Explorer, you may not see this properly!), or "&#39;".
  • The ampersand & which must be entered as "&amp;", or "&#38;".
  • The less than sign < which must be entered as "&lt;", or "&#60;".
  • The greater than sign > which must be entered as "&gt;", or "&#62;".

When you display HTML code in your posts, you'll have to translate each of these characters as in the above examples - or using the corresponding ASCII numeric codes - if you want your code to be selectively readable as code, in a post.

If you want the entire post to display all special characters as code, you can use the Post Editor "Post settings" feature - Options - "Compose mode", and select "Interpret typed HTML". This lets you display a block of code without requiring special character translation, as above - though it prevents you from using formatting in the post, in HTML mode.

To display "&quot;", "&apos;", "&amp;", "&lt;", or "&gt;", you enter "&amp;quot;", "&amp;apos;", "&amp;amp;", "&amp;lt;", or "&amp;gt;", respectively.

I'll let you figure out how to display "&amp;quot;" "&amp;apos;", "&amp;amp;", "&amp;lt;", or "&amp;gt;".

Now that the post editor in New Blogger June/July 2008 is part of Production Blogger, you can, optionally, display HTML routinely, by a selection in the Post Editor "Post settings". Or, you can still enter special characters in HTML.

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