user2238214 user2238214 - 6 months ago 50
HTML Question

HTML Best Practices: Should I use ’ or the special keyboard shortcut?

I know that

will produce an apostrophe in an HTML document.

I also know that
option shift right bracket
on a Mac will simply produce a

Are there best practices for writing code, e.g., should I write

<b>The User&rsquo;s Forum</b>


<b>The User’s Forum</b>

(note that by using the keyboard shortcut I've been able to type
instead of

It strikes me that the latter (using the keyboard shortcut) is more robust, as it's not likely to display the raw HTML if, for example, it's not escaped.

On the other hand, the special ’ character may not be readable in some browsers, perhaps(?).

Anyone have any best practices on this?


I don't think that one is better than the other in general; it depends on how you intend to use it.

  • If you want to store it in a DB column that has a charset/collation that does not support the right single quote character, you may run into storing it as the multi-byte character instead of 7-bit ASCII (&rsquo;).
  • If you are displaying it on an html element that specifies a charset that does not support it, it may not display in either case.
  • If many developers are going to be editing/viewing this file with editors/keyboards that do not support properly typing or displaying the character, you may want to use the entity
  • If you need to convert the file between various character encodings or formats, you may want to use the entity
  • If your HTML code may escape entities improperly, you may want to use the character.

In general I would lean more towards using the character because as you point out it is easier to read and type.