HTML element

An HTML element is an individual component of an HTML document or web page, once this has been parsed into the Document Object Model. HTML is composed of a tree of HTML elements and other nodes, such as text nodes. Each element can have HTML attributes specified. Elements can also have content, including other elements and text. Many HTML elements represent semantics, or meaning. For example, the title element represents the title of the document.

In the HTML syntax, most elements are written with a start tag and an end tag, with the content in between. An HTML tag is composed of the name of the element, surrounded by angle brackets. An end tag also has a slash after the opening angle bracket, to distinguish it from the start tag. For example, a paragraph, which is represented by the p element, would be written as

In the HTML syntax, most elements are written ...

However, not all of these elements require the end tag, or even the start tag, to be present. Some elements, the so-called void elements, do not have an end tag. A typical example is the br element, which represents a significant line break, such as in a poem or an address. A void element's behaviour is predefined, and it cannot contain any content or other elements. For example, the address of the dentist in the movie Finding Nemo would be written as

P. Sherman
42 Wallaby Way
Sydney

When using an XHTML DTD, it is required to open and close the element with a single tag. To specify that it is a void element, a "/" is included at the end of the tag (not to be confused with the "/" at the beginning of a closing tag).

P. Sherman
42 Wallaby Way
Sydney

HTML attributes are specified inside the start tag. For example, the abbr element, which represents an abbreviation, expects a title attribute within its opening tag. This would be written as

abbr.

Contents

  • Concepts 1
    • Document vs. DOM 1.1
    • Elements vs. tags 1.2
    • SGML vs. XML 1.3
      • %block; vs. box 1.3.1
  • Overview 2
    • Syntax 2.1
    • Element standards 2.2
    • Element status 2.3
    • Content vs. presentation and behavior 2.4
  • Document structure elements 3
  • Document head elements 4
  • Document body elements 5
    • Block elements 5.1
      • Basic text 5.1.1
      • Lists 5.1.2
      • Other block elements 5.1.3
    • Inline elements 5.2
      • Anchor 5.2.1
      • Phrase elements 5.2.2
        • General 5.2.2.1
        • Computer phrase elements 5.2.2.2
        • Presentation 5.2.2.3
      • Span 5.2.3
      • Other inline elements 5.2.4
    • Images and objects 5.3
    • Forms 5.4
    • Tables 5.5
  • Frames 6
    • Longdesc 6.1
      • Example 6.1.1
      • Linking to the long description in the text 6.1.2
        • Example 6.1.2.1
  • Historic elements 7
  • Non-standard elements 8
  • Previously obsolete but added back in HTML 5 9
  • Comments 10
  • Notes 11
  • References 12
  • Bibliography 13
    • HTML standards 13.1
    • Other sources 13.2
  • External links 14

Concepts

Document vs. DOM

HTML documents are delivered as "documents".[note 1] These are then parsed, which turns them into the Document Object Model (DOM) internal representation, within the web browser.[note 2][note 3]

Presentation by the web browser, such as screen rendering or access by JavaScript, is then performed on this internal model, not the original document.

Early HTML documents, and to a lesser extent today, were largely invalid HTML and riddled with syntax errors. The parsing process was also required to "fix-up" these errors, as best it could. The resultant model was often not correct (i.e. it did not represent what a careless coder had originally intended), but it would at least be valid, according to the HTML standard. A valid model was produced, no matter how bad the "tag soup" supplied had been. Only in the rarest cases would the parser abandon parsing altogether.

Elements vs. tags

"Elements" and "tags" are terms that are widely confused. HTML documents contain tags, but do not contain the elements. The elements are only generated after the parsing step, from these tags.

As is generally understood, the position of an element is indicated as spanning from a start tag, possibly including some child content, and is terminated by an end tag.[3] This is the case for many, but not all, elements within an HTML document.

As HTML is based on SGML,[4] its parsing also depends on the use of a DTD, specifically an HTML DTD such as that for HTML 4.01.[5][note 4] The DTD specifies which element types are possible (i.e. it defines the set of element types that go to make up HTML) and it also specifies the valid combinations in which they may appear in a document. It is part of general SGML behaviour that where only one valid structure is possible (per the DTD), it is not generally a requirement that the document explicitly states that structure. As a simple example, the

start tag indicating the start of a paragraph element should be closed by a

end tag, indicating the end of the element. Also the DTD states that paragraph elements cannot be nested. The HTML document fragment:

Para 1

Para 2

Para 3

can thus be inferred to be equivalent to:

Para 1

Para 2

Para 3

(If one paragraph element cannot contain another, any currently open paragraph must be closed before starting another.)

Because of this implied behaviour, based on the combination of the DTD and the individual document, it is not possible to infer elements from the document tags alone, but only by also using an SGML or HTML aware parser, with knowledge of the DTD.

SGML vs. XML

SGML is complex, which has limited its widespread adoption and understanding. XML was developed as a simpler alternative. XML is similar to SGML, and can also use the DTD mechanism to specify the elements supported and their permitted combinations as document structure. XML parsing is however simpler. The relation from tags to elements is always simply that of parsing the actual tags included in the document, without the implied closures that are part of SGML.[note 5]

Where HTML can be formed as XML, either through XHTML or through HTML5 as XML, the parsing from document tags to DOM elements is simplified, but still follows the same basic process. Once the DOM of elements is obtained, behaviour beyond that point (i.e. screen rendering) is identical.[note 6]

%block; vs. box

Part of this CSS presentation behaviour is the notion of the "box model". This is applied to those elements that CSS considers to be "block" elements, set through the CSS display: block; statement.

HTML also has a similar concept, although different, and the two are very frequently confused. %block; and %inline; are groups within the HTML DTD that group elements as being either "block-level" or "inline".[7] This is used to define their nesting behaviour: block-level elements cannot be placed into an inline context.[note 7] This behaviour cannot be changed, it is fixed in the DTD. Block and inline elements have the appropriate and different CSS behaviours attached to them by default,[7] including the relevance of the box model for particular element types.

Note though that this CSS behaviour can, and frequently is, changed from the default. Lists with

  • ... are %block; elements and are presented as block elements by default. However, it is quite common to set these with CSS to display as an inline list.[8]

    Overview

    Syntax

    Parts of an HTML container element:
    • Start tag:

      • Attribute:
        • name: class
        • value: foo
    • Content: This is a paragraph.
    • End tag:

    There are multiple kinds of HTML elements: void elements, raw text elements, and normal elements.

    Void elements only have a start tag, which contains any HTML attributes. They may not contain any children, such as text or other elements. Often they are place holders for elements which reference external files, such as the image () element. The attributes included in the element will then point to the external file in question. Another example of a void element is the link element, for which the syntax is

    
    

    This link element points the browser at a style sheet to use when presenting the HTML document to the user. Note that in the HTML syntax, attributes don't have to be quoted. When using the XML syntax (XHTML), on the other hand, all attributes must be quoted, and a trailing slash is required before the last angle bracket:

    
    

    Raw text elements are constructed with:

    • a start tag () marking the beginning of an element, which may incorporate any number of HTML attributes;
    • some amount of text content, but no elements (all tags, apart from the applicable end tag, will be interpreted as content);
    • an end tag, in which the element name is prefixed with a slash: . In some versions of HTML, the end tag is optional for some elements. The end tag is required in XHTML.

    Normal elements usually have both a start tag and an end tag, although for some elements the end tag, or both tags, can be omitted. It is constructed in a similar way:

    • a start tag () marking the beginning of an element, which may incorporate any number of HTML attributes;
    • some amount of content, including text and other elements;
    • an end tag, in which the element name is prefixed with a slash: .

    HTML attributes define desired behaviour or indicate additional element properties. Most attributes require a value. In HTML, the value can be left unquoted if it doesn't include spaces (name=value), or it can be quoted with single or double quotes (name='value' or name="value"). In XML, those quotes are required. Boolean attributes, on the other hand, don't require a value to be specified. An example is the checked for checkboxes:

    
    

    In the XML syntax, though, the name should be repeated as the value:

    
    

    Informally, HTML elements are sometimes referred to as "tags" (an example of synecdoche), though many prefer the term tag strictly in reference to the markup delimiting the start and end of an element.

    Element (and attribute) names may be written in any combination of upper or lower case in HTML, but must be in lower case in XHTML.[9] The canonical form was upper-case until HTML 4, and was used in HTML specifications, but in recent years, lower-case has become more common.

    Element standards

    HTML elements are defined in a series of freely available open standards issued since 1995, initially by the IETF and subsequently by the W3C.

    Since the early 1990s, developers of user agents (e.g. web browsers) have often developed their own elements, some of which have been adopted in later standards. Other user agents may not recognize non-standard elements, and they may be ignored or displayed improperly.

    In 1998, XML (a simplified form of SGML) introduced mechanisms to allow anyone to develop their own elements and incorporate them in XHTML documents, for use with XML-aware user agents.[10]

    Subsequently, HTML 4.01 was rewritten in an XML-compatible form, XHTML 1.0 (eXtensible HTML). The elements in each are identical, and in most cases valid XHTML 1.0 documents will be valid or nearly valid HTML 4.01 documents. This article mainly focuses on real HTML, unless noted otherwise; however, it remains applicable to XHTML. (See HTML for a discussion of the minor differences between the two).

    Element status

    Since the first version of HTML, several elements have become outmoded, and are deprecated in later standards, or do not appear at all, in which case they are invalid (and will be found invalid, and perhaps not displayed, by validating user agents).[11]

    At present, the status of elements is complicated by the existence of three types of HTML 4.01 / XHTML 1.0 DTD:

    • Transitional, which contain deprecated elements, but which were intended to provide a transitional period during which authors could update their practices;
    • Frameset, which are versions of the Transitional DTDs which also allow authors to write frameset documents;
    • Strict, which is the up-to date (as at 1999) form of HTML.

    The first Standard (HTML 2.0) contained four deprecated elements, one of which was invalid in HTML 3.2. All four are invalid in HTML 4.01 Transitional, which also deprecated a further ten elements. All of these, plus two others, are invalid in HTML 4.01 Strict. While the frame elements are still current in the sense of being present in the Transitional and Frameset DTDs, there are no plans to preserve them in future standards, as their function has been largely replaced, and they are highly problematic for user accessibility.

    (Strictly speaking, the most recent XHTML standard, XHTML 1.1 (2001), does not include frames at all; it is approximately equivalent to XHTML 1.0 Strict, but also includes the Ruby markup module.)[12]

    A common source of confusion is the loose use of deprecated to refer to both deprecated and invalid status, and to elements which are expected to be formally deprecated in future.

    Content vs. presentation and behavior

    Since HTML 4, HTML has increasingly focused on the separation of content (the visible text and images) from presentation (like color, font size, and layout).[13] This is often referred to as a separation of concerns. HTML is used to represent the structure or content of a document, its presentation remains the sole responsibility of CSS style sheets. A default style sheet is suggested as part of the CSS standard, giving a default rendering for HTML.[14]

    Behavior (interactivity) is also kept separate from content, and is handled by scripts. Images are contained in separate graphics files, separate from text, though they can also be considered part of the content of a page.

    Separation of concerns allows the document to be presented by different user agents according to their purposes and abilities. For example, a user agent can select an appropriate style sheet to present a document by displaying on a monitor, printing on paper, or to determine speech characteristics in an audio-only user agent. The structural and semantic functions of the markup remain identical in each case.

    Historically, user agents did not always support these features. In the 1990s, as a stop-gap, presentational elements (like and ) were added to HTML, at the cost of creating problems for interoperability and user accessibility. This is now regarded as outmoded and has been superseded by style sheet-based design; most presentational elements are now deprecated.[15]

    External image files are incorporated with the img or object elements. (With XHTML, the SVG language can also be used to write graphics within the document, though linking to external SVG files is generally simpler.)[16] Where an image is not purely decorative, HTML allows replacement content with similar semantic value to be provided for non-visual user agents.

    An HTML document can also be extended through the use of scripts to provide additional behaviours beyond the abilities of HTML hyperlinks and forms.

    The elements style and script, with related HTML attributes, provide reference points in HTML markup for links to style sheets and scripts. They can also contain instructions directly.

    • In the document head, script and style may either link to shared external documents, or contain embedded instructions. (The link element can also be used to link style sheets.)
    • The style attribute is valid in most document body elements for inclusion of inline style instructions.
    • Event-handling attributes, which provide links to scripts, are optional in most elements.
    • script can occur at any point in the document body.
    • For user agents which do not operate scripts, the noscript element provides alternative content where appropriate; however, it can only be used as a block-level element.

    Document structure elements

    >...

    The Root element of an HTML document; all other elements are contained in this.
    The HTML element delimits the beginning and the end of an HTML document.
    Standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

    >...

    Container for processing information and metadata for an HTML document.
    Standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.
    (See Document head elements for child elements.)

    >...

    Container for the displayable content of an HTML document.
    Standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.
    (See Document body elements for child elements.)

    Document head elements

    >

    Specifies a base URL for all relative href and other links in the document. Must appear before any element that refers to an external resource. HTML permits only one base element for each document. The base element has HTML attributes, but no contents.
    A development version of BASE is mentioned in HTML Tags; standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

    > (deprecated)

    Specifies a base font size, typeface, and colour for the document. Used together with font elements. Deprecated in favour of style sheets.
    Standardized in HTML 3.2; deprecated in HTML 4.0 Transitional; invalid in HTML 4.0 Strict.

    > (deprecated)

    isindex could either appear in the document head or in the body, but only once in a document. See Forms.

    >

    Specifies links to other documents, such as previous and next links, or alternate versions.[17] A common use is to link to external style sheets, using the form:
    [18]
    A less-common, but important, usage is to supply navigation hints consistently through use of microformats. Several common relationships are defined, that may be exposed to users through the browser interface rather than directly in the web page.
    A document's head element may contain any number of link elements. The link element has HTML attributes, but no contents.
    LINK existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

    >

    Can be used to specify additional metadata about a document, such as its author, publication date, expiration date, page description, keywords, or other information not provided through the other header elements and HTML attributes. Because of their generic nature, meta elements specify associative key-value pairs. In general, a meta element conveys hidden information about the document. Several meta tags can be used, all of which should be nested in the head element. The specific purpose of each meta element is defined by its attributes.
    In one form, meta elements can specify HTTP headers which should be sent by a web server before the actual content, for example:
    — this specifies that the page should be served with an HTTP header called foo that has a value bar.
    In the general form, a meta element specifies name and associated content HTML attributes describing aspects of the HTML page. To prevent possible ambiguity, an optional third attribute, scheme, may be supplied to specify a semantic framework that defines the meaning of the key and its value: for example:
    In this example, the meta element identifies itself as containing the foo element, with a value of bar, from the DC or Dublin Core resource description framework.
    Standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

    >...

    Used for including generic objects within the document header. Though rarely used within a head element, it could potentially be used to extract foreign data and associate it with the current document.
    Standardized in HTML 4.0; still current.

    >...

    Can act as a container for script instructions or link to an external script with the optional src attribute.[19] Also usable in the document body to dynamically generate either both block or inline content.
    Standardized in HTML 3.2; still current.

    >...

    Specifies a style for the document, usually in the form:
    Can either act as a container for style instructions or link to external style sheets – for example, in CSS, with @import directives of the form:
    [20]
    Standardized in HTML 3.2; still current.

    >...

    Define a document title. Required in every HTML and XHTML document. User agents may use the title in different ways. For example:
    • Web browsers usually display it in a window's title bar when the window is open, and (where applicable) in the task bar when the window is minimized.
    • It may become the default file-name when saving the page.
    • Search enginesweb crawlers may pay particular attention to the words used in the title.
    The title element must not contain other elements, only text. Only one title element is permitted in a document.
    TITLE existed in HTML Tags, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

    Document body elements

    In visual browsers, displayable elements can be rendered as either block or inline. While all elements are part of the document sequence, block elements appear within their parent elements:

    • as rectangular objects which do not break across lines;
    • with block margins, width and height properties which can be set independently of the surrounding elements.

    Conversely, inline elements are treated as part of the flow of document text; they cannot have margins, width or height set, and do break across lines.

    Block elements

    Block elements, or block-level elements, have a rectangular structure. By default, these elements will span the entire width of its parent element, and will thus not allow any other element to occupy the same horizontal space as it is placed on.

    The rectangular structure of a block element is often referred to as the box model, and is made up of several parts. Each element contains the following:

    • The content of an element is the actual text (or other media) placed between the opening and closing tags of an element.
    • The padding of an element is the space around that content, which still form part of said element. Padding is physically part of an element, and should not be used to create white space between two elements. Any background style assigned to the element, such as a background image or color, will be visible within the padding. Increasing the size of an element's padding increases the space this element will take up.
    • The border of an element is the absolute end of an element, and spans the perimeter of that element. The thickness of a border increases the size of an element.
    • The margin of an element is the white-space that surrounds an element. The content, padding and border of any other element will not be allowed to enter this area, unless forced to do so by some advanced CSS placement. Using most standard DTDs, margins on the left and right of different elements will push each other away. Margins on the top or bottom of an element, on the other hand, will not stack, or will inter mingle. This means that the white-space between these elements will be as big as the larger margin between them.

    The above section refers only to the detailed implementation of CSS rendering and has no relevance to HTML elements themselves.

    Basic text

    >...

    Creates a paragraph, perhaps the most common block level element.
    P existed in HTML Tags, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

    >... >... >... >... >... >...

    Section headings at different levels.

    delimits the highest-level heading,

    the next level down (sub-section),

    for a level below that, and so on to
    . They are sometimes referred to collectively as n> tags, n meaning any of the available heading levels.

    Most visual browsers show headings as large bold text by default, though this can be overridden with CSS. Heading elements are not intended merely for creating large or bold text—in fact, they should not be used for explicitly styling text. Rather, they describe the document’s structure and organization. Some programs use them to generate outlines and tables of contents.
    Headings existed in HTML Tags, and were standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

    Lists

    >...

    A description list (a.k.a. association list), which consists of name–value groups,[21] and was known as a definition list prior to HTML5.[22] Description lists are intended for groups of "terms and definitions, metadata topics and values, questions and answers, or any other groups of name–value data".[23]
    DL existed in HTML Tags, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

    >...

    A name in a description list (previously definition term in a definition list).
    DT existed in HTML Tags, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

    >...

    A value in a description list (previously definition data in a definition list).
    DD existed in HTML Tags, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

    >...

    An ordered (enumerated) list. The type attribute can be used to specify the kind of marker to use in the list, but style sheets give more control. The default is Arabic numbering. CSS: list-style-type: foo. HTML attribute:
      , in either case, replacing foo with one of the following:
      • A for A, B, C...
      • a for a, b, c...
      • I for I, II, III...
      • i for i, ii, iii...
      • 1 for 1, 2, 3...
    OL existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

    >...

An unordered (bulleted) list. Style sheets can be used to specify the list marker: list-style-type: foo. The default marker type is disc, other values are square, circle and none.
UL existed in HTML Tags, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

>...

A list item in ordered (ol) or unordered (ul) lists.
LI existed in HTML Tags, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

>... (deprecated)

A directory listing. The original purpose of this element was never widely supported; deprecated in favor of
    .
DIR existed in HTML Tags, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; deprecated in HTML 4.0 Transitional; invalid in HTML 4.0 Strict.

Other block elements

>...

Contact information for the document author.
ADDRESS existed in HTML Tags, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

>...

A block-level quotation, for when the quotation includes block level elements, e.g. paragraphs. The cite attribute may give the source, and must be a fully qualified Uniform Resource Identifier.
The default presentation of block quotations in visual browsers is usually to indent them from both margins. This has led to the element being unnecessarily used just to indent paragraphs, regardless of semantics. For quotations not containing block level elements see the quote (q) element.
BLOCKQUOTE existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current. See blockquote element for more information.

>...

Creates a block-level center-aligned division. Deprecated in favor of
or another element with centring defined using style sheets.
Standardized in HTML 3.2;

>...

Marks a deleted section of content. This element can also be used as inline.
Standardized in HTML 4.0; still current.

>...

A block-level logical division. A generic element with no semantic meaning used to distinguish a document section, usually for purposes such as presentation or behaviour controlled by style sheets or DOM calls.
Proposed in the HTML 3.0 Drafts; Standardized in HTML 3.2; still current.

>

A horizontal rule. Presentational rules can also be drawn with style sheets.
Standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

>...

Marks a section of inserted content. This element can also be used as inline.
Standardized in HTML 4.0; still current.

>...

Replacement content for scripts. Unlike script this can only be used as a block-level element.
Standardized in HTML 4.0; still current.

>...

Pre-formatted text. Text within this element is typically displayed in a non-proportional font exactly as it is laid out in the file (see ASCII art). Whereas browsers ignore white-space for other HTML elements, in pre, white-space should be rendered as authored. (With the CSS properties: {white-space: pre; font-family: mono-space;}, other elements can be presented in the same way.) This element can contain any inline element except: image (IMG), object (OBJECT), big font size (BIG), small font size (SMALL), superscript (SUP), and subscript (SUB).
PRE existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

>...

Places a script in the document. Also usable in the head and in inline contexts.
Note: SCRIPT is not itself either a block or inline element; by itself it should not display at all, but it can contain instructions to dynamically generate either both block or inline content.
Standardized in HTML 3.2; still current.

Inline elements

Inline elements cannot be placed directly inside the body element; they must be wholly nested within block-level elements.[24]

Anchor

>...

An anchor element is called an anchor because web designers can use it to anchor a URL to some text on a web page. When users view the web page in a browser, they can click the text to activate the link and visit the page whose URL is in the link.[25]
In HTML, an anchor can be either the origin or the target (destination) end of a hyperlink.
With the attribute href (hypertext reference [2]), the anchor becomes a hyper-link to either another part of the document or another resource (e.g. a webpage) using an external URL.
Alternatively (and sometimes concurrently), with the name or id HTML attributes set, the element becomes a target. A Uniform Resource Locator can link to this target via a fragment identifier. Any element can now be made into an anchor by using the id attribute,[26] so using is not necessary.
The attribute title may be set to give brief information about the link:
link text
In most graphical browsers, when the cursor hovers over a link, the cursor changes into a hand with a stretched index finger and the title is displayed in a tooltip or in some other manner. Some browsers render alt text the same way, despite this not being what the specification calls for.
A existed in HTML Tags, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

Phrase elements

General

>...

Marks an abbreviation, and can make the full form available:
abbr.
Standardized in HTML 4.0; still current.

>... (deprecated)

Similar to the abbr element, but marks an acronym:
HTML
Standardized in HTML 4.0; still current, not supported in HTML5.

>...

inline definition of a single term.
DFN existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, and was fully standardized in HTML 3.2; still current.

>...

Emphasis (conventionally displayed in italics)
EM existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

>...

strong emphasis (conventionally displayed bold).
An aural user agent may use different voices for emphasis.
STRONG existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.
Computer phrase elements

These elements are useful primarily for documenting computer code development and user interaction through differentiation of source code (), source code variables (), user input (), and terminal output ().

>...

A code snippet. Conventionally rendered in a mono-space font: Code snippet.
CODE existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

>...

Sample output (from a program or script)
SAMP existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

>...

Keyboard - text to be entered by the user
KBD existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

>...

Variable
VAR existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.
Presentation

As visual presentational markup only applies directly to visual browsers, its use is discouraged. Style sheets should be used instead. Several of these elements are deprecated or invalid in HTML 4 / XHTML 1.0, and the remainder are invalid in the current draft of XHTML 2.0. The current draft of HTML 5, however, re-includes , , and , assigning new semantic meaning to each. In an HTML 5 document, the use of these elements is no longer discouraged, provided that it is semantically correct.

>...

In HTML 4, set font to boldface where possible. Equivalent CSS: {font-weight: bold}. ... usually has the same effect in visual browsers, as well as having more semantic meaning, under HTML 4.01.
In HTML 5, however, b has its own meaning, distinct from that of strong. It denotes "text to which attention is being drawn for utilitarian purposes without conveying any extra importance and with no implication of an alternate voice or mood."[27]
B existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

>...

In HTML 4, set font to italic where possible. Equivalent CSS: {font-style: italic}. ... usually has the same effect in visual browsers, as well as having more semantic meaning, under HTML 4.01.
In HTML 5, however, i has its own semantic meaning, distinct from that of em. It denotes "a different quality of text" or "an alternative voice or mood"—e.g., a thought, a ship name, a binary species name, a foreign-language phrase, etc.[28]
I existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

>...

In HTML 4, underlined text. Equivalent CSS: {text-decoration: underline}. Deprecated in HTML 4.01. Restored in HTML 5.
In HTML 5, the u element denotes "a span of text with an unarticulated, though explicitly rendered, non-textual annotation, such as labelling the text as being a proper name in Chinese text (a Chinese proper name mark), or labelling the text as being misspelt." The HTML 5 specification reminds developers that other elements are almost always more appropriate than u and admonishes designers not to use underlined text where it could be confused for a hyper-link.[29]
U existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, was standardized in HTML 3.2 but was deprecated in HTML 4.0 Transitional and was invalid in HTML 4.0 Strict. The u element is reintroduced in HTML 5.

>...

In HTML 4, decreased font size (smaller text). Equivalent CSS: {font-size: smaller}
In HTML 5, the small element denotes "side comments such as small print."[30]
Standardized in HTML 3.2; still current.

>...

In HTML 4, indicated strike-through text (Strikethrough) and was equivalent to strike.
In HTML 5, the s element denotes information that is "no longer accurate or no longer relevant", and is not to be confused with del, which indicates removal/deletion.[31]
S was deprecated in HTML 4.0 Transitional (having not appeared in any previous standard), and was invalid in HTML 4.0 Strict. The s element is reintroduced in HTML 5.

>...

Increased font size (bigger text). Equivalent CSS: {font-size: larger}
Standardized in HTML 3.2; not supported in HTML5.

>...

Strike-through text (Strikethrough), (Equivalent CSS: {text-decoration: line-through})
STRIKE was standardized in HTML 3.2; deprecated in HTML 4.0 Transitional; invalid in HTML 4.0 Strict.

>...

Fixed-width font (typewriter-like), also known as teletype. (Equivalent CSS: {font-family: monospace;})
TT existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; not supported[32] in HTML 5.

>...

colour] [size=size] [face=face]>...
Can specify the font colour with the color attribute (note the American spelling), typeface with the face attribute, and absolute or relative size with the size attribute.
Examples (all uses are deprecated, use CSS equivalents if possible):
  1. text creates green text.
  2. text creates text with hexadecimal color #114499.
  3. text creates text with size 4. Sizes are from 1 to 7. The standard size is 3, unless otherwise specified in the or other tags.
  4. text creates text with size 1 bigger than the standard. text is opposite.
  5. text makes text with Courier font.
Equivalent CSS for font attributes:
  • corresponds to {font-size: Yunits} (the HTML specification does not define the relationship between size N and unit-size Y, nor does it define a unit).
  • corresponds to {color: red}
  • corresponds to {font-family: "Courier"}
Standardized in HTML 3.2; deprecated in HTML 4.0 Transitional; invalid in HTML 4.0 Strict. Not part of HTML5.

Span

>...

An inline logical division. A generic element with no semantic meaning used to distinguish a document section, usually for purposes such as presentation or behaviour controlled by style sheets or DOM calls.
Standardized in HTML 4.0; still current.

Other inline elements

>

A forced line-break.
Standardized in HTML 2.0; still current,

>...

Marks an inline section of text in which the reading direction is the opposite from that of the parent element.
Standardized in HTML 4.0; still current.

>...

In HTML 4, a citation or a reference for a quote or statement in the document.
In HTML 5, the title of a book, paper, article, poem, film, TV show, opera, play, musical, painting, sculpture, or other piece of work.
CITE existed in HTML Internet Draft 1.2, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

>...

Deleted text. Typically rendered as a strikethrough: Deleted text.
Standardized in HTML 4.0; still current.

>...

Inserted text. Often used to mark up replacement text for 'd text. Typically rendered underlined: Inserted text.
Standardized in HTML 4.0; still current.
Note, both and elements may also be used as block elements: containing other block and inline elements. However, these elements must still remain wholly within their parent element to maintain a well-formed HTML document. For example deleting text from the middle of one paragraph across several other paragraphs and ending in a final paragraph would need to use three separate elements. Two elements would be required as inline element to indicate the deletion of text in the first and last paragraphs, and a third, used as a block element, to indicate the deletion in the intervening paragraphs.

>...

An inline quotation (for block level quotation see BLOCK-QUOTE). Quote elements may be nested.
should automatically generate quotation marks in conjunction with style sheets. Practical concerns due to browser non-compliance may force authors to find workarounds.
The cite attribute gives the source, and must be a fully qualified URI.
Standardized in HTML 4.0; still current.
Note: Lengthy inline quotations may be displayed as indented blocks (as block-quote) using style sheets. For example, with a suitable CSS rule associated with q.lengthy:
An inline quotation of significant length (say 25 words, for example) goes here...

>...

Places a script in the document. Also usable in the head and in block contexts.
Note: