PYTHON htmlspecialchars

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Python replacement for PHP's htmlspecialchars [ edit | history ]
import cgi
print cgi.escape("<a href='test'>Test</a>", True)
# &lt;a href=&#039;test&#039;&gt;Test&lt;/a&gt;

#more info:

PHP htmlspecialchars

PHP original manual for htmlspecialchars [ show | ]


(PHP 4, PHP 5)

htmlspecialcharsConvert special characters to HTML entities


string htmlspecialchars ( string $string [, int $quote_style= ENT_COMPAT [, string $charset [, bool $double_encode= true ]]] )

Certain characters have special significance in HTML, and should be represented by HTML entities if they are to preserve their meanings. This function returns a string with some of these conversions made; the translations made are those most useful for everyday web programming. If you require all HTML character entities to be translated, use htmlentities() instead.

This function is useful in preventing user-supplied text from containing HTML markup, such as in a message board or guest book application.

The translations performed are:

  • '&' (ampersand) becomes '&amp;'
  • '"' (double quote) becomes '&quot;' when ENT_NOQUOTES is not set.
  • ''' (single quote) becomes '&#039;' only when ENT_QUOTES is set.
  • '<' (less than) becomes '&lt;'
  • '>' (greater than) becomes '&gt;'



The string being converted.


The optional second argument, quote_style , tells the function what to do with single and double quote characters. The default mode, ENT_COMPAT, is the backwards compatible mode which only translates the double-quote character and leaves the single-quote untranslated. If ENT_QUOTES is set, both single and double quotes are translated and if ENT_NOQUOTES is set neither single nor double quotes are translated.


Defines character set used in conversion. The default character set is ISO-8859-1.

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.


When double_encode is turned off PHP will not encode existing html entities, the default is to convert everything.

Return Values

The converted string.


Version Description
5.2.3 The double_encode parameter was added.
4.1.0 The charset parameter was added.


Example #1 htmlspecialchars() example

htmlspecialchars("<a href='test'>Test</a>"ENT_QUOTES);
$new// &lt;a href=&#039;test&#039;&gt;Test&lt;/a&gt;


Note: Note that this function does not translate anything beyond what is listed above. For full entity translation, see htmlentities().

See Also