Viewing webpages with non-roman characters
Viewing webpages with non-roman characters consists of matching the encoding
that your browser is using (variable) with that of the page
itself (fixed). Your browser has built-in tools to display all languages
Frequently a browser will convert pages automatically.
this doesn’t occur, in the menu bar, go to View > Character Set (or Encoding) and choose the auto-detect feature if there is one for your language. Intenet
Explorer offers an autodetect for Japanese only, while Mozilla Firebird has an autodetect for all languages with non-roman writing systems taught at
Colby, and the default setting of Safari also works well in multiple languages.
If the browser has more than one encoding choice for your language, toggle though
them until one works satisfactorily. You can see exactly which character
any given page is encoded with by looking at the source code from the
page. Even if you are not terribly familiar with html it’s not difficult
to spot; look for the charset attribute near the top of the page.
This code was extracted from Yahoo! China:
meta http-equiv=”content-type” content=”text/html; charset=gb2312″>
And this is from Yahoo! Hong Kong:
meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=big5″>
You can see that charset is defined differently, but most browsers will display them both properly by
default. Any Colby faculty having trouble reading webpages can contact Qiuli Wang for
As more pages are written in Unicode, dealing with different character sets will become less troubling. It is an
official recommendation of the LRC that webpages written by faculty utilize
the Unicode character set. To change the encoding of your own page,
open the html file in Dreamweaver, and click Modify > Page Properties. In the dialog window that appears, select UTF-8 (a pared down version of Unicode) from the Document Encoding list. Click Apply, then OK.