Some characters have special meaning in HTML documents. When you want to use these characters in your text, you can use their “entity names” to prevent browsers from misinterpreting them. For example, the lesser-than and greater-than signs (<, >) are used to form tags in HTML code. Using the entity names “<” and “>” instead of “<” and “>” prevents browsers from interpreting the characters as tag brackets.
An example of when entity names might be useful is when posting articles that include HTML tags. My recent post “Permalinks and <!−−more−−>” used the <!−−more−−> HTML tag both in the post title and in the body text. Doing this can cause validation errors at W3C. A fix is to use entity names for the tag components:
You can find a complete list of characters and symbols and their replacement names at
For a great review of both HTML and CSS, including more about entity names, check out this article: