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Re: Special Characters


From: Michael Goddard
Date: Aug 23, 2001 1:43PM

What about just using ASCII code for this? I believe for Windows PC the
ASCII code for the trademark symbol is "alt-0153" and for the Macintosh is
is "Option-2"
Will this work? It renders fine in browsers as far as I can tell.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Bohman" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
To: "WebAIM forum" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2001 3:32 PM
Subject: RE: Special Characters

> [Holly] A situation came up where I had a company name with the small
> Trademark
> "TM" following it.
> however in NN4.78 the special character code name - & trade ; - did
> not work and the character code showed on the page
> [Paul] It's true. Netscape 4.x does not do html special characters very
> well.
> [Holly] I have been given some ideas and recall other ways to work this.
> use the numeric character codes-- "& #153 ;" or "& #8482 ;"
> or use html...
> Company <small > < sup >TM < /sup > < /small >
> etc. I suppose I could toss a title="trademark" or alt="trademark" in
> the sup tag?
> [Paul] The above would probably work alright.
> [Holly] or make a small image gif with alt="trademark" in it too.
> [Paul] This is my least favorite of the examples that you gave, because,
> even though not all the special characters work in Netscape 4.x, they do
> exist, and it is better to use the real thing, I think, rather than a
> graphic.
> [Holly] Do screen readers support and read special character sets or code?
> And if they do read these codes, do they translate a copy symbol code to
> copyright, and trade to trademark or the number coding to the
> appropriate full symbol?
> [Paul] Jaws and Home Page Reader support many of the HTML special
> characters, such as trademark, copyright, dollar, yen, euro, pound,
> and others. They don't support some of the lesser-used characters. Both
> and HPR read the full expansion of the special characters.
> [Holly] Which would be the best way to display and code for these items?
> thinking is that without an alt or title attribute around the letters -
> TM, - will end up sounding like - T and M - and may not be clear into
> all..
> [Paul] My preference would be to use the official characters (e.g.
> I know that they won't show up correctly in Netscape 4.x, but they show up
> just fine in the current version of Netscape (6.1), as well as in Opera.
> They are pronounced correctly by modern screen readers, and they are
> meaningful in a textual sense. A graphic of a trademark symbol does not
> the same semantic purpose as the real symbol, even if they look the same
> visually. Some people may have a stronger desire to have things look right
> in older, out-of-date browsers than I do. Most assistive technologies do
> work well with Netscape 4.x, so from a disability access perspective, I
> consider Netscape to be much less important. On the other hand (I can
> both sides here), you might say that people who use the special characters
> which are not supported by Netscape 4.x are excluding the users of
> from full accessibility. This is a valid point, but it is a point that
> concerns me much less, when you are only talking about trademark symbols,
> copyright symbols and such. To me, these are important in a legal sense,
> not really in other ways.
> [Holly] Is unicode supported by all readers or most? what about math
> for
> squared and cubed and also fractions and other math symbols?
> [Paul] Math is another animal. There are special characters for "divided
> by", "multiplied by" and so on. These are read well by screen readers. If
> you get more complex than that, however, things quickly enter a new arena
> complexity and in accessibility. There is a markup language called MathML
> which has been developed so that equations can be marked up successfully
> accurately on the Web. The only browser of which I am aware which supports
> MathML is Amaya, the experimental browser of the W3C. There are plug-ins
> which can be purchased from IBM and other vendors which allow MathML to be
> rendered in a browser, but none of them are accessible to screen readers.
> There is also a project which is trying to come up with solutions for the
> math markup problem by converting equations into audio output. From what I
> understand, this is still a work in progress. At this point, I have to
> that I don't know what the best solution for math equations is, other than
> providing a pre-recorded audio file. Of course, this still shuts out those
> who access the content through Braille alone.
> Paul Bohman
> Technology Coordinator
> WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
> www.webaim.org
> Utah State University
> www.usu.edu
> thanks,
> Holly