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Idocs Guide to HTML

Document Tags

Contents

<!DOCTYPE ...>
<HTML>
<HTMLPLUS ...>
<HEAD>
<BODY ...>
<TITLE>
<META ...> <LINK ...>
<!DOCTYPE ...> next page
Document tags define the overall structure of an HTML document.

There are four tags every HTML document should have. These tags define the what type of document it is, and the major sections. These tags are <HTML>, <HEAD>, <TITLE>, and <BODY ...>. You may also wish to use the <!DOCTYPE ...> declaration under some circumstances.

A really basic document might look like this:

<HTML>

<HEAD>
<TITLE>A Really Basic Document</TITLE>
</HEAD>

<BODY>
This is a really basic document.
</BODY>

</HTML>

The use some of these tags (particularly <HTML>, <HEAD>) has been an ongoing source of controversy for some time. Because these tags don't have any visible effect on a web page, they seem useless. In fact, these tags are optional. The standards published by W3C have clearly stated all along that <HTML>, <HEAD>, and <BODY ...> are optional.

So why use them at all? The answer falls into the concept of good form. A well written HTML document not only produces a good web page, it is easy to read and understand in its "raw" form. By using the document level tags, you divide the page into logical sections, each with its own purpose. This results in a page of HTML that is easy to understand and edit.


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