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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast cowboystyle's Avatar
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    The importance of character encoding?

    My site ranks only as "Tentatively Valid for HTML 4.01" because it is missing character encoding. I read what the w3c had to say about this, but honestly it didn't make much sense. I would just throw a meta tag in there to solve this, but I'm interested in knowing what the heck all this means.

    Once again, thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Winemaster bronze trophy BonRouge's Avatar
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    Well, it can't check if your characters are OK if you don't say which set of characters you're using...

  3. #3
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    It's very important. The character encoding tells the browser how to interpret the character codes in your document. If you get it wrong (i.e. the declared encoding doesn't match the actual encoding) the page will contain gibberish.

    If you write in English, you normally don't notice any problems, because almost all characters you use are in the same code positions in most common Western encodings.

    You should set the encoding to whatever encoding you've saved your documents in. Chances are that it's ISO 8859-1 or UTF-8 if you don't know, depending on what editor you're using.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast cowboystyle's Avatar
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    umm, I'm currently working with a windows program called "TextPad" and I'm saving in ANSI. They offer UTF-8 but I don't see the ISO standard there. What should I do?

  5. #5
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    Simon Pieters

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast cowboystyle's Avatar
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    thanks! answered all my questions.


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