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The Semicolon Solution to Problems
with Special Characters When There is No
Space Between Them.

This article was contributed by Mark Ture. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent... My special thanks to Mark for his diligent research.

Hi Bruce Gronich, aka BigNoseBird.
Code Output w/o a ";" Output with a ";"
1. © © ©
3. ©MHT &copyMHT ©MHT
The effects of a trailing semi-colon on special chars in web browsers.
The "&copy" as they appear in the source and the output are displayed in blue.
The optional semi-colons are displayed in red.


NOTE: Please have a look at the source code.

This table displays the reason why some (maybe all) browsers display the word "&copy" instead of the © symbol. A simple semi-colon was omitted from the abbreviation. The outputs for the first two rows look identical. That was expected. There are no letters immediately following the "&copy" in the source code. However, in the next two rows, the copyright symbol doesn't display correctly in the second column. This is due to the missing semi-colon. While the semi-colon is not needed for the first two cases, it is required for the next two because otherwise the browser is unable to separate the text "copy" from the following characters (MHT). To the browser, it looks like "copyMHT" and therefore doesn't recognize it as a copyright symbol.
I have seem this mistake of the omitted semi-colon many places on the web, including on XXXXXXXXX's web site (numerous times). Would it be possible for you to put a little something on your site? I guess it might just be a pet peeve of my own, but it is quite a common error.

Thanks for your time and consideration.

Mark Ture

P.S.-you have express written permission of Mark Ture for reproduction :)

For the full list of displayable characters, check out the ASCII CHART.

The Fine Print
Copyright © 1997 Mark Ture. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written or typed permission of Mark Ture is prohibited.

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