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HTML Entities

Typographic Punctuation

Character Description HTML entity no. HTML entity name
   em-dash &#8212; &mdash;

The em dash is the length of the point size of the font being used. So, for a 12pt font, the em dash is 12 points.

Do not use a hyphen instead of an em-dash! The hyphen has only two uses:
  1. breaking a word at the end of a line to continue onto the next line.
  2. joining words together to create compound adjectives, e.g. well-built

The em dash is used:
  1. as a break in thought, e.g. I was walking down the street—the same street I played in as a child.
  2. as an open range, e.g. Bertie Bassett [1929—]


   en-dash &#8211; &ndash;

The en dash is half the length of the point size of the font being used. So, for a 12pt font, the em dash is 6 points.

Do not use a hyphen instead of an en-dash! The hyphen has only two uses:
  1. breaking a word at the end of a line to continue onto the next line.
  2. joining words together to create compound adjectives, e.g. well-built.

The en dash is used:
  1. to indicate a range of numbers, e.g. Kids aged 12–14;   1969–2009.
  2. to indicate a connection between things, e.g. London–Brighton Bike Ride.


   left single quote &#8216; &lsquo;

Straight quotes and apostrophes ( ' " ) were designed to reduce the number of keys on the keyboard.
Don’t use them!

   right single quote, apostrophe &#8217; &rsquo;

Straight quotes and apostrophes ( ' " ) were designed to reduce the number of keys on the keyboard.
Don’t use them!

   left double quote &#8220; &ldquo;

Straight quotes and apostrophes ( ' " ) were designed to reduce the number of keys on the keyboard.
Don’t use them!

   right double quote &#8221; &rdquo;

Straight quotes and apostrophes ( ' " ) were designed to reduce the number of keys on the keyboard.
Don’t use them!

   ellipsis &#8230; &hellip;

Use an ellipsis (instead of three fullstops) to:
  1. omit a word or words, e.g. One, two, three … one hundred. Coming, ready or not!
  2. indicate an interruption, e.g. I was just … Was that someone at the door?
  3. when your thoughts are trailing off, e.g. Ah, one day …
  4. introduce suspense, e.g. First prize goes to …


Mathematical Notation

Character Description HTML entity no. HTML entity name
   minus &#8722; &minus;

Never use the keyboard hyphen for a minus. A minus is thicker, to match the equals sign.

   × times &#215; &times;

Never use the keyboard ‘x’ for the ‘times’ symbol.

   ½ half &#189; &frac12;

Use HTML entities for fractions. Many exist. Just Google them:  ⅔  ⅗  ⅝…
To write complicated fractions, like 3943, you can use:   <sup>39</sup>&frasl;<sub>43</sub>


Ligatures

Ligature Instead of... HTML entity no.
   ff &#64256;
   fi &#64257;
   fl &#64258;
   ffi &#64259;
   ffl &#64260;
   st &#64262;