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HTML & XHTML Tag Quick Reference

This reference notes some of the most commonly used HTML and XHTML tags. It is
not, nor is it intended to be, a comprehensive list of available tags. Details regarding the
proper use of XHTML are at the end of this document.

Basic Document Tags
What It Is What It Does
<html></html> Indicates the start and end of an HTML Document
Defines the portion of the document that contains
<head></head> essential formatting information. The material in the
head is invisible.
Defines the portion of the document that contains the
<body></body>
visible information.

Body Attributes
What It Is What It Does
<body bgcolor=?> Specifies the background color
<body text=?> Specifies the text color
<body link=?> Specifies the color of unfollowed links.
<body vlink=?> Specifies the color of followed links.
<body alink=?> Specifies the color of links when they are clicked.
NOTE: Body attributes may be combined within the body tag. Example:
<body bgcolor="#FFFFFF" text="#000000" link="#0000CC" vlink="#33CC00"
alink="#FF0000">

Text Tags
What It Is What It Does
The heading tags indicate the importance of a heading
<hl></hl>,<h2></h2>,
ranging from the most important, h1, to the least
<h3></h3>,<h4></h4>,
important, h6. These specifications are intended to
<h5></h5>,<h6></h6>
denote the importance data below the heading.
<b></b> Specifies bold text.
<i></i> Specifies italics text.
<tt></tt> Specifies a typewriter or teletype-like text.
Creates an emphasis on text that is rendered usually as
<em></em> italics, but sometimes as bold depending on the
browser.
Creates an emphasis on text that is usually rendered as
<strong></strong> bold, but sometimes as italics depending on the
browser.
Specifies the font size from 1 to 7. 1 is the smallest, 7
<font size=?></font>
the largest, and 3 is generally the default size.
<font color=?></font> Specifies font color.
NOTE: Font attributes may be combined within the font tag. Example:
<font size="4" color="#33FF00">Example of combined font attributes. </font>

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Common Formatting Tags
What It Is (HTML) What It Is What It Does
(XHTML)
<p></p> Defines a paragraph.
Defines paragraph alignment left,
<p align=?>
right, or center.
<br> <br /> Inserts a line break.
Defines a block quote and indents
<blockquote></blockquote> text from both sides. Usually with
some extra space above and below.
Defines the beginning and end of an
<ol></ol>
ordered list.
Defines the beginning and end of an
<ul></ul>
unordered list.
Defines the beginning and end of a
line within a list. Start a line with a
<li></li>
number in an ordered list, and with a
bullet in an unordered list.

Image Tags
What It Is (HTML) What It Is (XHTML) What It Does
<img src="name"> <img src="name" /> Places and image.
Specifies the alignment of an image;
<img src="name" <img src="name"
left, right, center; bottom, top,
align=?> align=? />
middle
<img src="name" <img src="name" Specifies a border around and
border=?> border=? /> image.
Specifies the alternative label for an
<img src”=name” <img src”=name”
image. This is especially important
alt=”name”> alt=”name” />
for use nongraphical browsers.
NOTE: Attributes within the font tag may be combined.

Example in HTML:
<img src="images/fisherman.jpg" width="209" height="214" alt="Our Founder">

Example in XHTML:
<img src="images/fisherman.jpg" width="209" height="214" alt="Our Founder" />

Horizontal Rule Tags
What It Is (HTML) What It Is What It Does
(XHTML)
Specifies the start of a horizontal
<hr> <hr />
rule.
Specifies the height of a horizontal
<hr size=?> <hr size=? />
rule.

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States that the horizontal rule should
<hr noshade> <hr noshade />
have no shade.
NOTE: Attributes within the horizontal rule tag may be combined.

Example in HTML: <hr noshade width="75%" size="4">

Example in XHTML: <hr noshade width="75%" size="4" />

Table Tags
What It Is What It Does
<table></table> Specifies the beginning and end of a table.
<tr></tr> Specifies the beginning and end of a table
row.
<td></td> Specifies the beginning and end of a table
cell.
<th></th> Defines a table header. A normal cell with
text that is bold and centered.
<table border=#> Specifies the size of the border around a
table and cells within the table.
<table cellspacing=#> Specifies the space between cells.
<table cellpadding=#> Specifies the amount of space between the
border of a cell and the items within the
cell.
<table width=”?”> Specifies the width of a table in either
pixels or percent.
<tr align=?> Specifies the alignment of contents in a
row of cells as either left, right, or center.
<td align=?> Specifies the alignment of contents in a cell
as either left, right, or center.
<tr valign=?> Specifies the vertical alignment of contents
in a row of cells as either top, bottom, or
middle.
<td valign=?> Specifies the vertical alignment of contents
in cell as either top, bottom, or middle.
<td colspan=#> Specifies the number of columns a cell will
span.
<td rowspan=#> Specifies the number of rows a cell will
span.
<td nowrap> Stops text from automatically line
wrapping.

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XHTML can be thought of as an upgraded and stricter version of HTML 4.01. It is not
much more difficult to write XHTML than it is to write properly formed HTML. There
are some simple rules that must be followed. The most important rules are:

• XHTML tags must all be in lower case.
• XHTML elements must be nested correctly.
• All XHTML tag elements must be closed.
• Documents written in XHTML must be well-formed.

Examples of lower case rule:

<STRONG>This is incorrect.</STRONG>

<strong>This is correct.</strong>

Examples of the nesting rule:

<strong><em>This is incorrect nesting.</strong><em>

<strong><em>This is correct nesting.</em></strong>

Examples of the closed tag rule:

This horizontal rule tag is not closed- <hr>

This horizontal rule tag is closed- <hr />

This image tag is not closed- <img source=”https://www.scribd.com/images/picture.jpg” alt=”Cows”>

This image tag is properly closed- <img source=”https://www.scribd.com/images/picture.jpg” alt=”Cows” />

Examples of the well-formed document rule:

XHTML documents must have the proper structure. This means all components
must be within the opening and closing HTML tags, <html></html>. Internal
elements must be correctly nested and located properly. The basic components
and structure of an XHTML document are-

<html>
<head>
</head>
<body>
</body>
</html>

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XHTML Syntax Rules

XHTML requires that some basic rules of syntax be followed. As with the tag rules
noted above, XHTML syntax is not much more difficult that correctly formed HTML.
These rules are, however, much stricter and must not be violated. These rules follow.

• Attributes must be quoted.
• The Name attribute is replaced by the ID attribute
• Attribute shorthand must not be used.
• DOCTYPE statement must be used. (The DOCTYPE statement is part of
Document Type Definition, DTD, and is used to specify which syntax is used in
the Web page.)

Examples of the quoted attribute rule:

This is incorrect- <table width=75% bgcolor=ff0000>

This is correct- <table width-“75” bgcolor=”ff0000”>

Examples of the Name attribute replacement rule:

This is incorrect- <img src=”https://www.scribd.com/images/cows.jpg” name=”photo12” />

This is the correct substitution- <img src=”https://www.scribd.com/images/cows.jpg” id=”photo12” />

Examples of the no shorthand rule:

This is an example of improper shorthand- <input checked>

This is the same tag correctly written without shorthand- <input
checked=”checked”>

Examples of DOCTYPE statements:

<html>
<head>
<title>This is a page without a statement</title>
</head>
<body>
</body>
</html>

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<!DOCTYPE html
PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
<html>
<head>
<title>Example of a page with a DOCTYPE statement</title>
</head>
<body>
</body>
</html>

Note that the DOCTYPE statement goes ahead of the opening HTML tag, <html>. The
statement is not part of the HTML document and does not have a closing tag. It is used
to tell a browser how to render the document. There are three DOCTYPE statements.

Statement used to create clutter-free presentations and when Cascading Style Sheets are
used:

<!DOCTYPE html
PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">

Statement used when HTML presentational features are present and when it is desirable
to support older browsers that do not understand Style Sheets:

<!DOCTYPE html
PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">

Statement used when frames are incorporated into the design of the page:

<!DOCTYPE html
PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Frameset//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-frameset.dtd">

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