E-MELD School of Best Practice


I can't view all the characters!

This website is in Unicode (UTF-8), which is a relatively new way of encoding the characters and letters that you see on the screen. In the early days of computing, only 256 different characters could be displayed at a time, but Unicode allows for around 95,000 and counting, which is extremely useful for a website such as this one. Unicode is an emerging standard.

If you are experiencing problems viewing some characters, such as Chinese or IPA, you may be able to adjust your computer.

First, see if you have a Unicode font installed and accessible by your browser: Look in the font list in your browser 'options' screen for a font such as 'Arial Unicode MS', 'Code 2000', 'Lucida Sans Unicode'. Set one of these to be default (preferably Arial Unicode MS, if you have it). Windows XP and MacOS X come with a large number of Unicode fonts, though you might find that they are not automatically installed.

If setting the font does not help, you may need to upgrade your browser. We particularly recommend Mozilla 1.4 or higher or Netscape 7.1 (not 7.0) for both MacOS X and Windows. Internet Explorer 6 on the PC and Safari on MacOS X are also Unicode-compliant, though Safari is not sufficiently so for FIELD. Opera on both MacOS X and the PC has problems with directionality, e.g. displaying Arabic right to left. There seems to be little Unicode-compatible software for MacOS 9; in this case, we unfortunately must recommend that you upgrade your operating system.

More information about Unicode, fonts and browsers is available at:

I can't view XML/XSL pages

Because XML and XSL are relatively new standards, all browsers do not support the technology. You can view the raw XML in older browsers, but to see the pages in their proper format, you will need to download a later browser, such as IE 6.0 or Firefox.


This site is continually under development. Your feedback is most welcome.
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