Character Sets

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I am trying to get stars in my website using character sets.  I put in

In return:  IE gives me squares and Firefox shows question marks.

Can anyone help?

Thank you in advance

Re: Character Sets

Diane broadcast on alt.html:

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Does the glyph exist in any of your installed fonts?  If not, no browser can
display it.

Lars Eighner <
                    War hath no fury like a noncombatant.
                          - Charles Edward Montague

Re: Character Sets

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The problem is that they aren't using a font with silly characters like
stars in it.

You can't really change that-- you can suggest a font with font-family
but the browser doesn't have to use it if for example it can't find it.

Better to use an inline image, like <img src="star.png" alt="star">.

Re: Character Sets

Ben C wrote:

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The correct technical explanation is that the OP's system has no font
containing the character denoted by &#9733;, i.e. U+2605 BLACK STAR. Less
certainly, but rather probably, the reason to this is that the system hasn't
got Microsoft Office installed, or has an old version of it. This hypothesis
is based on the observation that among the fonts that contain the character,
for a fairly good list, Arial Unicode MS is the only one that we can
reasonably expect an ordinary user to have, and it is shipped with Microsoft

There's nothing silly about U+2605 BLACK STAR. It is a reputable
miscellaneous symbol with with well-defined properties, and it's been in
Unicode since the early days.

Some uses of that character might be silly, but we have no information about
the intended usage and meaning.

And using the character on a web page isn't safe, since a large number of
users won't see it. But you might use it e.g. as a special symbol on page
about mathematics, containing all kinds of unusual characters anyway.

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Well, obviously it won't use something that does not exist for it.

Using <font face="Arial Unicode MS">&#9733;</font> on something similar
(<span class="math">&#9733;</span> with .math { font-family: Arial Unicode
MS; }) will increase the odds of having the character displayed. Earlier
versions of IE may need such help.

There's yet another problem. In size 13pt and smaller, the black star looks
broken in Arial Unicode MS. The font design does not seem to work in such

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Let me guess... the most common use of star-like symbols on web pages is in
ratings, as in evaluations with starts from 1 to 5, or something like that.
The black star, possibly colored differently (e.g. red), is suitable for the
purpose in principle and better than the ASCII asterisk, "*". But it does
not seem to be a practical choice, and images are indeed a better approach.
In that case, I would suggest creating images for 1 star, 2 stars etc. (it's
just simple copying in an image processing program), and using
<img src="star1.png" alt="one star">
<img src="star2.png" alt="two stars">
Think about how the alt attributes will be used by speech browsers, and
you'll see my point - surely you would prefer hearing "five stars" rather
than "star star star star star".


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