RE: accented cyrillic characters

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Mon Feb 24 2003 - 07:57:57 EST

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    Barnie De Los Angeles wrote:
    > Even after studying the Unicode web site for a while I am not able to
    > find a solution for this issue.
    > The task is to include accented cyrillic characters (vowels
    > only) into
    > russian html. (Vowels are accented or "stressmarked" in Russian for
    > educational purpose.)
    > My html pages are always utf-8 encoded.
    > "Pre-accented" Russian vowels obviously do not exist as Unicode
    > characters of their own.
    > I only need one kind of accent. Its Unicode number is
    > probably 0301 and it is called "accent" or sometimes
    > "stressmark".
    > The remaining question is how to "combine" this accent with a
    > vowel, or: how to get that dammed stress mark 0301 on top of a
    > character?

    You simply put the accent character *after* the letter character. Either
    character can be encoded directly (e.g. in UTF-8) or with a numerical


    The fourth notation should work independently of the page encoding, while
    the other three require a charset declaration by your server, or inserted in
    the <head>...</head> section of your file:

            <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">

    The visual result depends on the font installed on the computer of people
    reading your page. The typical results are:

            1. Two rectangles: no font supports Cyrillic or combining marks;

            2. A rectangle with an accent on top of it: the font supports
    combining marks but no Cyrillic;

            3. A Cyrillic "a" followed by a rectangle: the font supports
    Cyrillic but no combining marks;

            4. A Cyrillic "a" with an accent too high on top of it: the font
    supports Cyrillic and combining marks, but it is not a "smart font" (the
    accent is so high in order to also fit on a capital letter);

            5. A Cyrillic "a" with an accent on top of it, placed at a correct
    height: the font supports Cyrillic, combining marks, and it is a "smart

    As an author, what you can do to try and force result 5 (or 4, at least) is:

            - Specifying that that piece of text should use one of commonly
    available fonts that fit your needs, in order of preference. You can do this
    with a Cascading Style Sheet or with the <font> tag. E.g.:
            <font face="Code2000, Arial Unicode MS, Arial, Times New
            To do this, you must make some assumption about the kind of
    operating system(s) used by your users, and know which fonts are commonly
    available on those computers.

            - Adding a link to a help page (written in English and/or with
    Russian text included as a picture) which explains to users how they can set
    up their computers to have the proper font support.

            - Doing nothing. You have done your part, encoding the page
    correctly, so let the users do their homework too.

    _ Marco

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