This is a list of tags used in the HTML language. Each tag starts with a tag opener (a less than sign) and ends with a tag closer (a greater than sign). Many tags have corresponding closing tags which identical except for a slash after the tag opener. (For example, the TITLE tag).

Some tags take parameters, called attributes. The attributes are given after the tag, separated by spaces. Certain attributes have an effect simply by their presence, others are followed by an equals sign and a value. (See the Anchor tag, for example). The names of tags and attributes are not case sensitive: they may be in lower, upper, or mixed case with exactly the same meaning. (In this document they are generally represented in upper case.)

Currently HTML documents are transmitted without the normal SGML framing tags, but if these are included parsers will ignore them.


The title of a document is given between title tags: <TITLE> ... </TITLE> The text between the opening and the closing tags is a title for the hypertext node. There should only be one title in any node. It should identify the content of the node in a fairly wide context, and should ideally fit on one line.

The title is not strictly part of the text of the document, but is an attribute of the node. It may not contain anchors, paragraph marks, or highlighting. the title may be used to identify the node in a history list, to label the window displaying the node, etc. It is not normally displayed in the text of a document itself. Contrast titles with headings .

Next ID

Obsolete: NeXT Browser only. May be ignored. This tag takes a single attribute which is the number of the next document-wide numeric identifier to be allocated (not good SGML). Note that when modifying a document, old anchor ids should not be reused, as there may be references stored elsewhere which point to them. This is read and generated by hypertext editors. Human writers of HTML usually use mnemonic alpha identifiers. Browser software may ignore this tag. Example of use: <NEXTID 27>

Base Address

Anchors specify addresses of other documents, in a from relative to the address of the current document. Normally, the address of a document is known to the browser because it was used to access the document. However, is a document is mailed, or is somehow visible with more than one address (for example, via its filename and also via its library name server catalogue number), then the browser needs to know the base address in order to correctly deduce external document addresses.

The format of this tag is not yet specified. NOT CURRENTLY USED


The format of an anchor is as follows: <A NAME=xxx HREF=XXX> ... </A> The text between the opening tag and the closing tag is either the start or destination (or both) of a link. Attributes of the anchor tag are as follows.
If the HREF attribute is present, the anchor is senstive text: the start of a link. If the reader selects this text, he should be presented with another document whose network address is defined by the value of the HREF attribute . The format of the network address is specified elsewhere . This allows for the form HREF=#identifier to refer to another anchor in the same document. If the anchor is in another document, the atribute is a relative name , relative to the documents address (or specified base address if any).
The attribute NAME allows the anchor to be the destination of a link. The value of the parameter is that part of a hypertext address which follows the hash sign .
An attribute TYPE may give the relationship described by the hyertext link. The type is expressed by a string for extensibility. Strings for types with particular semantics will be registered by the W3 team. The default relationship if none other is given is void.
All attributes are optional, although one of NAME and HREF is necessary for the anchor to be useful.


This tag informs the reader that the document is an index document. As well as reading it, the reader may use a keyword search.


<ISINDEX> The node may be queried with a keyword search by suffixing the node address with a question mark, followed by a list of keywords separated by plus signs. See the network address format .


This tag indicates that all following text is to be taken litterally, up to the end of the file. Plain text is designed to be represented in the same way as example XMP text, with fixed width character and significant line breaks. Format: <PLAINTEXT> This tag allows the rest of a file to be read efficiently without parsing. Its presence is an optimisation. There is no closing tag.

Example sections

These styles allow text of fixed-width characters to be embedded absolutely as is into the document. The format is: <LISTING> ... </LISTING> The text between these tags is to be portrayed in a fixed width font, so that any formatting done by character spacing on successive lines will be maintained. Between the opening and closing tags: The LISTING tag is portrayed so that at least 132 characters will fit on a line. The XMP tag is portrayed in a font so that at least 80 characters will fit on a line but is otherwise identical to LISTING. The examples of markup are here given using the XMP tag.


This tag indicates a new paragraph. The exact representation of this (indentation, leading, etc) is not defined here, and may be a function of other tags, style sheets etc. The format is simply <P> (In SGML terms, paragraph elements are transmitted in minimised form).


Several levels (at least six) of heading are supported. Note that a hypertext document tends to need less levels of heading than a normal document whose only structure is given by the nesting of headings. H1 is the highest level of heading, and is recommened for the start of a hypertext node. It is suggested that the first heading be one suitable for a reader who is already browsing in related information, in contrast to the title tag which should identify the node in a wider context. <H1>, <H2>, <H3>, <H4>, <H5>, <H6> These tags are kept as defined in the CERN SGML guide. Their definition is completely historical, deriving from the AAP tag set. A difference is that HTML documents allow headings to be terminated by closing tags: <H2>Second level heading</h2>


This tag is for address information, signatures, etc, normally at the top or bottom of a document. typically, it is italic and/or right justified or indented. The format is: <ADDRESS> text ... </ADDRESS>


The highlighted phrase tags may occur in normal text, and may be nested. For each opening tag there must follow a corresponding closing tag. NOT CURRENTLY USED. <HP1>...</HP1> <HP2>... </HP2> etc.


A glosary (or definition list) is a list of paragraphs each of which has a short title alongside it. Apart from glossaries, this format is useful for presenting a set of named elements to the reader. The format is as follows: <DL> <DT>Term<DD>definition pagagraph <DT>Term2<DD>Definition of term2 </DL>


A list is a sequence of paragraphs, each of which is preceded by a special mark or sequence number. The format is: <UL> <LI> list element <LI> another list element ... </UL> The opening list tag must be immediately followed by the first list element. The representation of the list is not defined here, but a bulleted list for unordered lists, and a sequence of numbered paragraphs for an ordered list would be quite appropriate. Other possibilities for interactive display include embedded scrollable browse panels.

Opening list tags are:

A list multi-line paragraphs, typically separated by some white space.
A list of smaller paragraphs. Typically one line per item, with a style more compact than UL.
A list of short elements, less than one line. Typical style is to arrange in four columns or provide a browser, etc.
the closing tag must obviously match the opening tag.