. XHTML documents have a third option: to express the character encoding via XML declaration, as follows:.Explicit user instruction. An explicit meta tag within the first 1024 bytes of the document. Preferably XHTML 1.0 Strict. Specify the character-set explicitly as UTF- 8, e.g. with.Sidenote: this (meta http-equiv) is perhaps the only meta tag worth using in an (X)HTML document. (Others: Anne is employed at Opera and often blogs about the obscure details of parsing HTML and other topics of interest for users of this site.). I prefer it as it is better looking in a text editor - the quoted attribute will be syntax coloured and look "proper". It matters if you have any international characters in your HTML. In our above example, we have an Spanish phrase with the tilda n character. When shown in the browser with the meta charsetutf-8, it looks as expected like this HTML5 allows developers to code very loosely, making the HTML 4 loose doctype seem strict. To me, not closing tags, omitting tags, not quoting attributes, etcThe XML declaration is not required if the default UTF-8 encoding is used. The meta charset is also .