charset property CSS Reference

Definition and Usage

The @charset CSS at-rule specifies the character encoding used in the style sheet. It must be the first element in the style sheet and not be preceded by any character; as it is not a nested statement, it cannot be used inside conditional group at-rules. If several @charset at-rules are defined, only the first one is used, and it cannot be used inside a style attribute on an HTML element or inside the <style> element where the character set of the HTML page is relevant.

This at-rule is useful when using non-ASCII characters in some CSS properties, like content.

As there are several ways to define the character encoding of a style sheet, the browser will try the following methods in the following order (and stop as soon as one yields a result) :

  • The value of the Unicode byte-order character placed at the beginning of the file.
  • The value given by the charset attribute of the Content-Type: HTTP header or the equivalent in the protocol used to serve the style sheet.
  • The @charset CSS at-rule.
  • Use the character encoding defined by the referring document: the charset attribute of the <link> element. This method is obsoleted in HTML5 and must not be used.
  • Assume that the document is UTF-8


@charset charset;

where :

Is a <string> denoting the character encoding to be used. It must be the name of a web-safe character encoding defined in the IANA-registry. If several names are associated with an encoding, only the one marked with preferred must be used.


@charset "UTF-8";       /* Set the encoding of the style sheet to Unicode UTF-8 */
@charset 'iso-8859-15'; /* Set the encoding of the style sheet to Latin-9 (Western European languages, with euro sign) */
@charset "UTF-8";       /* Invalid, there is a character (a space) before the at-rule */
@charset UTF-8;         /* Invalid, without ' or ", the charset is not a CSS <string> */


Desktop browsers

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 2.0 1.5 (1.8) 5.5 [**] 9 4

Mobile browsers

Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 2.1 1.0 (1.8) 5.5 [**] 10.0 4

Relative articles