Character encoding

Character encoding

Character encoding is the process of representing characters (such as “a” or “3”) in a particular way, such as text on a computer screen.

Morse code was an early character encoding system used to send telegraphs and communicate with boats and airplanes. In Morse code, each letter maps onto a unique series of dots and dashes (or short and long sounds), which people on the other end convert back into letters to understand the message.

Computers need character encoding systems because they process information as bits and bytes (a binary system). That means each letter, number, character, emoji, and piece of punctuation needs to be mapped onto a unique binary representation. When characters appear as “�” or strings like “£,” it signals a problem with character encoding.

While there are many different character encoding schemes — including the ASCII, Mac OS Roman, ISO 8859, and MS Windows character sets — Unicode (Unicode Transmission Format – 8-bit, or UTF-8) is the scheme with the widest range of character representations. That means it’s the best choice to allow people to access your site in different languages.

Webflow websites are automatically encoded using UTF-8, which appears in the site’s <meta> tag as follows: <meta charset=”UTF-8”>. To change the character set, add a new custom attribute to your site.

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