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The meta Element

Although it is not required in a document, the meta element performs so many different functions that it's a good idea to become familiar with it right away.

Document Encoding

Document encoding means setting the character set for your page, which is particularly important when writing documents in other languages. For many years, those of us writing in Latin characters (including English) used the ISO 8859-1 character set. The ISO sets and subsets cover a wide range of languages. But nowadays, we have UTF-8, a more universal format following a different standard than ISO values. UTF-8 can be helpful in a variety of browsers, but there are some limitations. If you are publishing in another language, such as Russian or Japanese, you'll want to have your document encoding set up under ISO rather than Unicode character sets.


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