Question:

How do you indicate the character set being used by an HTML5 document? How does this differ from older HTML standards?

Answer:

In HTML5, the encoding used can be indicated with the charset attribute of a <meta> tag inside the document’s <head> element:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
...
<meta charset="UTF-8">
...
</head>
...
</html>

This is a slightly simpler syntax from older HTML standards, which did not have the charset attribute. For example, an HTML 4.01 document would use the <meta> tag as follows:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html>
  <head>
    ...
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
    ...
  </head>
  ...
</html>

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