Greek Letters and Special Characters: Microsoft vs. the World

This web site was originally generated using Microsoft Word. I knew that Netscape and other browsers garbled the Greek letters in the text, but what I didn't know for a long time is that Microsoft is the oddball, and there is another way, the Unicode Standard, to generate characters in HTML that is close to being universal See for example Alan Wood's Unicode Resources. I have now adopted this system.

Listed below are characters used in this site, in the original Microsoft version, and in the new Unicode version. If you are using the MS Internet Explorer, you probably see all of the characters correctly, except for one version of the Greek "phi," and the math differential operator. If you are using Firefox or Netscape you probably see all of the Unicode characters correctly, and almost all of the Microsoft characters are garbled.

Greek Letters

Microsoft Unicode Character
D Δ Delta
a α alpha
b β beta
c χ chi
d δ delta
e ε epsilon
f ɸ phi
g γ gamma
h η eta
j φ phi
k κ kappa
l λ lambda
m μ mu
p π pi
q θ theta
r ρ rho
s σ sigma
t τ tau
w ω omega
x ξ xi
y ψ psi

Math Symbols
Microsoft Unicode Character
infinity
® limit
± plus or minus
greater than or equal to
less than or equal to
not equal to
identical to, defined to be
Ñ differential operator