PYTHON html_entity_decode

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Python replacement for PHP's html_entity_decode [ edit | history ]
import htmlentitydefs
import re

pattern = re.compile("&(\w+?);")

def html_entity_decode_char(m, defs=htmlentitydefs.entitydefs):
        return defs[]
    except KeyError:

def html_entity_decode(string):
    return pattern.sub(html_entity_decode_char, string)

print html_entity_decode("&lt;spam&amp;eggs&gt;")  # <spam&eggs>

PHP html_entity_decode

PHP original manual for html_entity_decode [ show | ]


(PHP 4 >= 4.3.0, PHP 5)

html_entity_decodeConvert all HTML entities to their applicable characters


string html_entity_decode ( string $string [, int $quote_style= ENT_COMPAT [, string $charset ]] )

html_entity_decode() is the opposite of htmlentities() in that it converts all HTML entities to their applicable characters from string .



The input string.


The optional second quote_style parameter lets you define what will be done with 'single' and "double" quotes. It takes on one of three constants with the default being ENT_COMPAT:

Available quote_style constants
Constant Name Description
ENT_COMPAT Will convert double-quotes and leave single-quotes alone.
ENT_QUOTES Will convert both double and single quotes.
ENT_NOQUOTES Will leave both double and single quotes unconverted.


The ISO-8859-1 character set is used as default for the optional third charset . This defines the character set used in conversion.

Following character sets are supported in PHP 4.3.0 and later.

Supported charsets
Charset Aliases Description
ISO-8859-1 ISO8859-1 Western European, Latin-1
ISO-8859-15 ISO8859-15 Western European, Latin-9. Adds the Euro sign, French and Finnish letters missing in Latin-1(ISO-8859-1).
UTF-8   ASCII compatible multi-byte 8-bit Unicode.
cp866 ibm866, 866 DOS-specific Cyrillic charset. This charset is supported in 4.3.2.
cp1251 Windows-1251, win-1251, 1251 Windows-specific Cyrillic charset. This charset is supported in 4.3.2.
cp1252 Windows-1252, 1252 Windows specific charset for Western European.
KOI8-R koi8-ru, koi8r Russian. This charset is supported in 4.3.2.
BIG5 950 Traditional Chinese, mainly used in Taiwan.
GB2312 936 Simplified Chinese, national standard character set.
BIG5-HKSCS   Big5 with Hong Kong extensions, Traditional Chinese.
Shift_JIS SJIS, 932 Japanese

Note: Any other character sets are not recognized and ISO-8859-1 will be used instead.

Return Values

Returns the decoded string.


Version Description
5.0.0 Support for multi-byte character sets was added.


Example #1 Decoding HTML entities

"I'll \"walk\" the <b>dog</b> now";

$a htmlentities($orig);

$b html_entity_decode($a);

$a// I'll &quot;walk&quot; the &lt;b&gt;dog&lt;/b&gt; now

echo $b// I'll "walk" the <b>dog</b> now

// For users prior to PHP 4.3.0 you may do this:
function unhtmlentities($string)
// replace numeric entities
$string preg_replace('~&#x([0-9a-f]+);~ei''chr(hexdec("\\1"))'$string);
$string preg_replace('~&#([0-9]+);~e''chr("\\1")'$string);
// replace literal entities
$trans_tbl get_html_translation_table(HTML_ENTITIES);
$trans_tbl array_flip($trans_tbl);

$c unhtmlentities($a);

$c// I'll "walk" the <b>dog</b> now



Note: You might wonder why trim(html_entity_decode('&nbsp;')); doesn't reduce the string to an empty string, that's because the '&nbsp;' entity is not ASCII code 32 (which is stripped by trim()) but ASCII code 160 (0xa0) in the default ISO 8859-1 characterset.

See Also