HTML Decoder

HTML Decoder

HTML Decode Online

What is an HTML Decoder?

An HTML decoder is a tool that converts encoded HTML entities and characters into regular text. HTML entities are used to display reserved characters like <, >, ", &, and non-ASCII characters in HTML by encoding them as character references like < or ©.

Some common reasons to use an HTML decoder include:

  • Viewing source code with encoded entities - Decoding makes it human readable

  • Processing form data submitted as encoded HTML

  • Converting encoded text from databases/APIs to plain text

  • Preparing encoded text for display in non-HTML environments


What is HTML Decoding?

HTML decoding is the process of converting encoded HTML entities and characters back into regular text that is human readable. It decodes encodings like &lt; into the < character and &#169; into the © copyright symbol.

HTML decoding reverses the effects of encoding and allows you to view the original plaintext version of encoded content. It's an essential tool for processing and displaying encoded HTML source code and data.

For example, HTML decode would convert:

  • &lt; → <

  • &#169; → ©

  • &nbsp; → (space character)

HTML encoding is used to represent reserved and special characters in HTML by encoding them as character entity references. Encoding allows these characters to be transmitted reliably across systems that may not be able to handle them otherwise.

HTML decoding reverses this process and restores the original data so it can be displayed properly in browsers and applications. Some common uses of HTML decoding include:

  • Processing form data submitted as encoded HTML

  • Parsing and analyzing encoded HTML source code

  • Converting encoded text from databases and APIs to plain text

  • Preparing encoded text for display in non-HTML environments

HTML decoding functionality is built into most major programming languages and platforms. There are also many free online HTML decoder tools available to quickly decode HTML strings as needed.


How to Use an HTML Decoder

Using an HTML decoder is straightforward:

  1. Copy or input your encoded HTML into the decoder

  2. Click the "Decode" button to convert entities to regular characters

  3. The decoded plain text will be outputted

You can use our free HTML decoder online or use developer tools like your browser's console.


How to Decode HTML Strings Online?

Decoding HTML strings is a common task for web developers and anyone working with web technologies. With the prevalence of URL encoding and HTML encoding, you'll often encounter strings that contain HTML entity codes and other encodings that may not display properly in your application. Thankfully, there are easy ways to decode these strings online so you can view the original plaintext.

Here are three simple methods for decoding HTML strings using free online tools:

1. Use an Online HTML Decoder

There are many websites that offer HTML decoding tools. Simply paste your encoded string into the decoder text area and it will output the decoded result. 

2. Use an Online Text Editor

Many online text editors like Notepad++ allow you to decode HTML strings. Paste your text, then use the TextFX > HTML Decode menu option to convert HTML entities to regular characters.

3. Use Developer Tools in Your Browser

Modern web browsers come with developer tools that have an HTML decoder built in. For example, in Chrome DevTools you can paste your HTML string and press Shift+Ctrl+U to decode it.

The next time you need to decode an HTML encoded string, use one of these handy online tools to quickly convert it to readable plaintext.

What Can You Do With HTML Decode?

Here are some of the most common uses of HTML decoding:

View Encoded Source Code

HTML decoding lets you view encoded HTML source code in a human readable format by converting entities like < and & to < and & symbols.

Process Form Data

Form values submitted via POST requests are often encoded in HTML entities. Decoding converts them to plain text for processing.

Parse and Analyze HTML

Tools that parse and analyze HTML code rely on decoding to access the original source text instead of encoded entities.

Display Encoded Text

To properly display encoded text from databases and APIs in non-HTML environments, you need to HTML decode it first.

Store Plaintext in Databases

Data should be HTML decoded before storing it in databases to remove unnecessary encoding and save storage space.

Improve Text Processing

By converting encoded HTML to plaintext, HTML decoding improves text processing capabilities like search, indexing, analysis, and more.

Increase Security

Decoding encoded user input from forms and URLs helps prevent cross-site scripting (XSS) and other injection attacks.

Fix Encoding Issues

Decoding can resolve problems with improperly encoded text by converting it to a consistent plaintext format.

Normalize Data

HTML decoding brings all encoded text into a common format so it can be easily compared, analyzed, and processed.

In summary, HTML decoding is a simple but powerful tool for working with encoded HTML content. It enables you to access, display, store, analyze, and process encoded text in its original plaintext form.


Alex Smith


I build online web software to simplify and solve daily life problems.

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