Māori macron characters in XHTML

This also applies to HTML.

Background

New Zealand thankfully seems to be moving away from building web pages using a vowel with a diaeresis (a vowel with a double dot above it), then asking the user to download a modified font which replaces the diaeresis with a macron. I dislike this approach because I think it’s a hack, it can cause problems with laser printers (which have built-in fonts), all pages with diaereses will appear as macrons, and there’s a better way—Unicode.

This Page

My site is in UTF-8, part of the Unicode (ISO 10646) standard, because it makes for easier authoring of web pages—I can type macrons and other high-ASCII characters directly, or copy & paste text from other documents. The macrons occur in the Latin Extended-A set.

While most browsers (Safari and IE) handled this OK, to make it work under Firefox for the Mac and obtain W3C validation I had to fix the HTTP header by adding a .htaccess file for Apache (which my ISP uses):

AddType text/html;charset=UTF-8 html

2005-08. Apache/1.3.26

But

You may want to use HTML character entities (&#nnn;) for a few more years yet, to ensure compatibility with all browsers. This is the approach used by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, The Māori Language Commission, though currently not explicity stated.

Viewing this Page under Mac OS X 10.x

Macron Test Table

If the following table displays macrons your browser is configured correctly:

Unicode Value (‘U+xxxx’)Letter (sans macron)Letter with Macron in Your Browser using UTF-8Letter with Macron in Your Browser using &#
UTF-8 Sequence

Heading

Normal Text
Fixed Width
HTML Code

Heading

Normal Text
Fixed Width
0100AC480

Ā

Ā
Ā
Ā

Ā

Ā
Ā
0101aC481

ā

ā
ā
ā

ā

ā
ā
0112EC492

Ē

Ē
Ē
Ē

Ē

Ē
Ē
0113eC493

ē

ē
ē
ē

ē

ē
ē
012AIC4AA

Ī

Ī
Ī
Ī

Ī

Ī
Ī
012BiC4AB

ī

ī
ī
ī

ī

ī
ī
014COC58C

Ō

Ō
Ō
Ō

Ō

Ō
Ō
014DoC58D

ō

ō
ō
ō

ō

ō
ō
016AUC5AA

Ū

Ū
Ū
Ū

Ū

Ū
Ū
016BuC5AB

ū

ū
ū
ū

ū

ū
ū

Diaeresis Test Table

If your system has been ‘hacked’ to display diaereses as macrons, you’ll see macrons instead of diaereses in the following table:

HTML CodeLetterLetter with Diaeresis in Your Browser
HeadingNormal TextFixed Width
ÄA

Ä

Ä
Ä
äa

ä

ä
ä
ËE

Ë

Ë
Ë
ëe

ë

ë
ë
ÏI

Ï

Ï
Ï
ïi

ï

ï
ï
ÖO

Ö

Ö
Ö
öo

ö

ö
ö
ÜU

Ü

Ü
Ü
üu

ü

ü
ü

Links

Other links which may be helpful to configure your system to display macrons: