HTML 4.01 Element Reference | WebReference

HTML 4.01 Element Reference

HTML 4.01 Element Reference

By Lee Underwood

The most basic, common language on the World Wide Web is HTML. It's not that hard to learn so most novices can catch on pretty quick.

The HTML language was created in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee for use on his newly created World Wide Web. It is based on SGML (Standard Generalized Mark-up Language). The first specification was released in the summer of 1991. After going through several changes, we now have the current version, 4.01. The "standards" for the HTML language are maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). (They are not actually "standards"; rather they are "recommendations". They are treated, however, as standards by most Web designers.)

The reference on this Web site lists all the elements ("tags") for the HTML 4.01 language. Included are all available attributes, browser compatibility, and important notes.

The name of each element is linked to the W3C recommendations for the specified element. Deprecated elements and attributes are noted on each page and listed here in italics. You should avoid those elements and use alternatives. Most deprecations are related to presentation issues and can be handled using style sheets.

The examples shown for each element do not display the code as it would be rendered on a computer screen. Their main purpose is to show the proper formatting of the element.

The opening element tag tells the user agent (e.g., browser) where to begin using the code. The closing element tag tells it where to stop using it. I have used the notation "opt" to designate the closing element is optional. If the element shows only one tag it is called an empty tag and there is no closing tag.

Browser compatibility is also shown for each element, using the following code: NN = Netscape (includes Firefox and Mozilla); IE = Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Each HTML element also includes XHTML specifications, if necessary. Unless otherwise noted, all elements are usable in XHTML 1.0. See also the "HTML Compatibility Guidelines" for XHTML.


Created: March 30, 2005