Internationalization of Web Design and Applications Current Status

This page summarizes the relationships among specifications, whether they are finished standards or drafts. Below, each title links to the most recent version of a document.

Completed Work

W3C Recommendations have been reviewed by W3C Members, by software developers, and by other W3C groups and interested parties, and are endorsed by the Director as Web Standards. Learn more about the W3C Recommendation Track.

Group Notes are not standards and do not have the same level of W3C endorsement.



Character Model for the World Wide Web 1.0: Fundamentals

This Architectural Specification provides authors of specifications, software developers, and content developers with a common reference for interoperable text manipulation on the World Wide Web, building on the Universal Character Set, defined jointly by the Unicode Standard and ISO/IEC 10646. Topics addressed include use of the terms 'character', 'encoding' and 'string', a reference processing model, choice and identification of character encodings, character escaping, and string indexing.

For normalization and string identity matching, see the companion document Character Model for the World Wide Web 1.0: Normalization [CharNorm]. For resource identifiers, see the companion document Character Model for the World Wide Web 1.0: Resource Identifiers [CharIRI].


Ruby Annotation

"Ruby" are short runs of text alongside the base text, typically used in East Asian documents to indicate pronunciation or to provide a short annotation. This document proposes a set of CSS properties associated with the 'Ruby' elements. They can be used in combination with the Ruby elements of HTML.

Group Notes


Additional Requirements for Bidi in HTML & CSS

This document contains proposals for new features to be added to HTML to support bidirectional text in languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Thaana, Urdu, etc.


Authoring HTML: Handling Right-to-left Scripts

Provides HTML/XHTML authors with best practices for developing internationalized HTML supported by CSS to create pages for languages that use bidirectional text, such as Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Thaana, Urdu, etc.


Authoring HTML: Language declarations

Provides HTML/XHTML authors with best practices for developing internationalized content, supported by CSS, and focusing specifically on advice about specifying the language of content.


Unicode in XML and other Markup Languages

Provides guidelines on the use of the Unicode Standard in conjunction with markup languages such as XML.


Requirements for Japanese Text Layout

Describes requirements for general Japanese layout realized with technologies like CSS, SVG and XSL-FO. The document is mainly based on a standard for Japanese layout, JIS X 4051, however, it also addresses areas which are not covered by JIS X 4051.


Arabic mathematical notation

Analyzes potential problems with the use of MathML for the presentation of mathematics in the notations customarily used with Arabic, and related languages.


Below are draft documents: Candidate Recommendations, other Working Drafts . Some of these may become Web Standards through the W3C Recommendation Track process. Others may be published as Group Notes or become obsolete specifications.

Candidate Recommendations



While encodings have been defined to some extent, implementations have not always implemented them in the same way, have not always used the same labels, and often differ in dealing with undefined and former proprietary areas of encodings. This specification attempts to fill those gaps so that new implementations do not have to reverse engineer encoding implementations of the market leaders and existing implementations can converge.


CSS Fonts Module Level 3

This CSS3 module describes how font properties are specified and how font resources are loaded dynamically. The contents of this specification are a consolidation of content previously divided into CSS3 Fonts and CSS3 Web Fonts modules.

Other Working Drafts


Internationalization Best Practices for Spec Developers

This document provides a checklist of internationalization-related considerations when developing a specification. Most checklist items point to detailed supporting information in other documents. Where such information does not yet exist, it can be given a temporary home in this document. The dynamic page Internationalization Techniques: Developing specifications is automatically generated from this document.


Requirements for Chinese Text Layout 中文排版需求

This document summarizes the text composition requirements in the Chinese writing system. One of the goals of the task force is to describe the issues in the Chinese layout requirements, another one is to provide satisfactory equivalent to the current standards (i.e. Unicode), also to promote vendors to implement those relevant features correctly.


Requirements for Hangul Text Layout and Typography 한국어 텍스트 레이아웃 및 타이포그래피를 위한 요구사항

This document describes requirements for general Korean language/Hangul text layout and typography realized with technologies like CSS, SVG and XSL-FO. The document is mainly based on a project to develop the international standard for Korean text layout. It is similar in intent to the Japanese Layout Requirements WG Note.


Predefined Counter Styles

This document describes numbering systems used by various cultures around the world and can be used as a reference for those wishing to create user-defined counter styles for CSS.


CSS Ruby Layout Module Level 1

The set of CSS properties proposed in this document can be used in combination with the ruby elements of HTML to produce the stylistic effects needed to display ruby text appropriately relative to base text.


CSS Lists and Counters Module Level 3

This CSS level 3 module describes how lists are styled.


CSS3 module: line

Describes the positioning in the block progression direction both of elements and text within lines and of the lines themselves. This positioning is often relative to a baseline. It also describes special features for formatting of first lines and drop caps.

Obsolete Specifications

These specifications have either been superseded by others, or have been abandoned. They remain available for archival purposes, but are not intended to be used.



Authoring Techniques for XHTML & HTML Internationalization: Characters and Encodings 1.0

Provides HTML/XHTML authors with best practice for developing internationalized HTML supported by CSS, focusing specifically on advice about character sets, encodings, and other character-specific matters.