Tuslob Buwa® and HTML entities

“How do I add ® to my post?” an acquaintance posted on Facebook as everyone piled up on Azul for trademarking Tuslob Buwa by posting their own versions of trademarking Cebu products and delicacies.

It’s so much easier now. You can just copy and paste special characters, including the registered, trademarked, and copyrighted signs, and even emojis. Most phones also have an option for an additional keyboard that will allow you to enter emojis, clipart, and GIFs.

It used to be so much harder.

Some years back, you needed a bit of technical knowhow to display fonts and symbols on a web page. In defining fonts, for example, you need to identify fallback choices because only fonts installed on the user’s computer would be displayed. You have, for example, a line that states font-family: Lato, “Lucida Grande”, Tahoma, Sans-Serif;. This line tells the browser to render text in Lato if available, then go through the list until it finds an installed font. If none is found, it would look for a Sans-Serif font. If the font family is more than one word, you need to enclose it in quotation marks. That is still how fonts are designated today. 

Services like Google Fonts, however, simplify the embedding of fonts for use in web pages and apps. This offers developers the option to pick a wider range of fonts for their sites or applications.

For special characters, which is in a way a precursor to the emoji, you need to use specific symbol fonts such as the popular Wingdings and Webdings or code HTML entities. Even curly or smart quotes “like these” used to be rendered using HTML entities.

HTML entities are a combination of characters starting with an ampersand and ending with a semi colon that will render reserved characters like . Think of it as the code equivalent to Alt + 164 to render ñ on Windows. These are entered when editing in HTML mode in text editors or in manually coding a web page.

Below are a few common HTML entities:

® for ®
→ for →
© for ©
¶ for ¶
% for %
$ for $
£ for £

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