HTML 3.2 Reference Specification

(abridged) Original

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This is the way I use HTML. I have stripped out all the legalese and the dangerous APPLET for Java feature. Later versions of HTML only added even more undesirable complex features.


Contents


The Structure of HTML documents

HTML 3.2 Documents start with a <!DOCTYPE> declaration followed by an HTML element containing a HEAD and then a BODY element:

  <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2 Final//EN">
  <HTML>
  <HEAD>
  <TITLE>A study of population dynamics</TITLE>
  ... other head elements
  </HEAD>
  <BODY>
  ... document body
  </BODY>
  </HTML>

In practice, the HTML, HEAD and BODY start and end tags can be omitted from the markup.

Every conforming HTML 3.2 document must start with the <!DOCTYPE> declaration that is needed to distinguish HTML 3.2 documents from other versions of HTML.

Every HTML 3.2 document must also include the descriptive title element. A minimal HTML 3.2 document thus looks like:

  <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2 Final//EN">
  <TITLE>A study of population dynamics</TITLE>


The HEAD element

This contains the document head, but you can always omit both the start and end tags for HEAD. The contents of the document head is an unordered collection of the following elements:

TITLE defines the document title, and is always needed.
BASE defines base URL for resolving relative URLs.
META used to supply meta info as name/value pairs.

TITLE is a container and requires both start and end tags.

TITLE

Every HTML 3.2 document must have exactly one TITLE element in the document's HEAD. It provides an advisory title which can be displayed in a user agent's window caption etc. Character entities can be used for accented characters and to escape special characters such as & and <. Markup is not permitted in the content of a TITLE element.

Example TITLE element:

    <TITLE>A study of population dynamics</TITLE>

BASE

The BASE element gives the base URL for dereferencing relative URLs, using the rules given by the URL specification, e.g.

    <BASE href="http://www.acme.com/intro.html">
     ...
    <IMG SRC="icons/logo.gif">

The image is deferenced to

    http://www.acme.com/icons/logo.gif

In the absence of a BASE element the document URL should be used. Note that this is not necessarily the same as the URL used to request the document, as the base URL may be overridden by an HTTP header accompanying the document.

META

The META element can be used to include name/value pairs describing properties of the document, such as author, expiry date, a list of key words etc. The NAME attribute specifies the property name while the CONTENT attribute specifies the property value, e.g.

    <META NAME="Author" CONTENT="Dave Raggett">


The BODY element

This contains the document body. Both start and end tags for BODY may be omitted. The body can contain a wide range of elements:

The key attributes are: BACKGROUND, BGCOLOR, TEXT, LINK, VLINK and ALINK. These can be used to set a repeating background image, plus background and foreground colors for normal text and hypertext links.

Example:

 <body bgcolor=white text=black link=red vlink=maroon alink=fuchsia>
bgcolor
Specifies the background color for the document body. See below for the syntax of color values.
text
Specifies the color used to stroke the document's text. This is generally used when you have changed the background color with the BGCOLOR or BACKGROUND attributes.
link
Specifies the color used to stroke the text for unvisited hypertext links.
vlink
Specifies the color used to stroke the text for visited hypertext links.
alink
Specifies the highlight color used to stroke the text for hypertext links at the moment the user clicks on the link.
background
Specifies a URL for an image that will be used to tile the document background.

Colors are given in the sRGB color space as hexadecimal numbers (e.g. COLOR="#C0FFC0"), or as one of 16 widely understood color names. These colors were originally picked as being the standard 16 colors supported with the Windows VGA palette.

Color names and sRGB values
O Black = "#000000" O Green = "#008000"
O Silver = "#C0C0C0" O Lime = "#00FF00"
O Gray = "#808080" O Olive = "#808000"
O White = "#FFFFFF" O Yellow = "#FFFF00"
O Maroon = "#800000" O Navy = "#000080"
O Red = "#FF0000" O Blue = "#0000FF"
O Purple = "#800080" O Teal = "#008080"
O Fuchsia = "#FF00FF" O Aqua = "#00FFFF"

Block and Text level elements

Most elements that can appear in the document body fall into one of two groups: block level elements which cause paragraph breaks, and text level elements which don't. Common block level elements include H1 to H6 (headers), P (paragraphs) LI (list items), and HR (horizontal rules). Common text level elements include EM, I, B and FONT (character emphasis), A (hypertext links), IMG and APPLET (embedded objects) and BR (line breaks). Note that block elements generally act as containers for text level and other block level elements (excluding headings and address elements), while text level elements can only contain other text level elements. The exact model depends on the element.

Headings

H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6 are used for document headings. You always need the start and end tags. H1 elements are more important than H2 elements and so on, so that H6 elements define the least important level of headings. More important headings are generally rendered in a larger font than less important ones. Use the optional ALIGN attribute to set the text alignment within a heading, e.g.

  <H1 ALIGN=CENTER> ... centered heading ... </H1>

The default is left alignment, but this can be overridden by an enclosing DIV or CENTER element.

ADDRESS

The ADDRESS element requires start and end tags, and specifies information such as authorship and contact details for the current document. User agents should render the content with paragraph-breaks before and after. Note that the content is restricted to paragraphs, plain text and text-like elements as defined by the %text entity.

Example:

<ADDRESS>
Newsletter editor<BR>
J.R. Brown<BR>
8723 Buena Vista, Smallville, CT 01234<BR>
Tel: +1 (123) 456 7890
</ADDRESS>

Block elements

P paragraphs
The paragraph element requires a start tag, but the end tag can always be omitted. Use the ALIGN attribute to set the text alignment within a paragraph, e.g. <P ALIGN=RIGHT>
UL unordered lists
These require start and end tags, and contain one or more LI elements representing individual list items.
OL ordered (i.e. numbered) lists
These require start and end tags, and contain one or more LI elements representing individual list items.
DL definition lists
These require start and end tags and contain DT elements that give the terms, and DD elements that give corresponding definitions.
PRE preformatted text
Requires start and end tags. These elements are rendered with a monospaced font and preserve layout defined by whitespace and line break characters.
DIV document divisions
Requires start and end tags. It is used with the ALIGN attribute to set the text alignment of the block elements it contains. ALIGN can be one of LEFT, CENTER or RIGHT.
CENTER text alignment
Requires start and end tags. It is used to center text lines enclosed by the CENTER element. See DIV for a more general solution.
BLOCKQUOTE quoted passage
Requires start and end tags. It is used to enclose extended quotations and is typically rendered with indented margins.
FORM fill-out forms
Requires start and end tags. This element is used to define a fill-out form for processing by HTTP servers. The attributes are ACTION, METHOD and ENCTYPE. Form elements can't be nested.
HR horizontal rules
Not a container, so the end tag is forbidden. attributes are ALIGN, NOSHADE, SIZE and WIDTH.
TABLE can be nested
Requires start and end tags. Each table starts with an optional CAPTION followed by one or more TR elements defining table rows. Each row has one or more cells defined by TH or TD elements. attributes for TABLE elements are WIDTH, BORDER, CELLSPACING and CELLPADDING.


Paragraphs

The P element is used to markup paragraphs. It is a container and requires a start tag. The end tag is optional as it can always be inferred by the parser. User agents should place paragraph breaks before and after P elements. The rendering is user agent dependent, but text is generally wrapped to fit the space available.

Example:

    <P>This is the first paragraph.
    <P>This is the second paragraph.

Paragraphs are usually rendered flush left with a ragged right margin. The ALIGN attribute can be used to explicitly specify the horizontal alignment:

align=left
The paragraph is rendered flush left.
align=center
The paragraph is centered.
align=right
The paragraph is rendered flush right.

For example:

<p align=center>This is a centered paragraph.
<p align=right>and this is a flush right paragraph.

The default is left alignment, but this can be overridden by an enclosing DIV or CENTER element.

Lists

List items can contain block and text level items, including nested lists, although headings and address elements are excluded. This limitation is defined via the %flow entity.

Unordered Lists

Unordered lists take the form:

    <UL>
      <LI> ... first list item
      <LI> ... second list item
      ...
    </UL>

The UL element is used for unordered lists. Both start and end tags are always needed. The LI element is used for individual list items. The end tag for LI elements can always be omitted. Note that LI elements can contain nested lists. The COMPACT attribute can be used as a hint to the user agent to render lists in a more compact style.

The TYPE attribute can be used to set the bullet style on UL and LI elements. The permitted values are "disc", "square" or "circle". The default generally depends on the level of nesting for lists.

  • with <li type=disc>
  • with <li type=square>
  • with <li type=circle>

This list was chosen to cater for the original bullet shapes used by Mosaic in 1993.

Ordered (i.e. numbered) Lists

Ordered (i.e. numbered) lists take the form:

    <OL>
      <LI> ... first list item
      <LI> ... second list item
      ...
    </OL>

The OL START attribute can be used to initialize the sequence number (by default it is initialized to 1). You can set it later on with the VALUE attribute on LI elements. Both of these attributes expect integer values. You can't indicate that numbering should be continued from a previous list, or to skip missing values without giving an explicit number.

The COMPACT attribute can be used as a hint to the user agent to render lists in a more compact style. The OL TYPE attribute allows you to set the numbering style for list items:

Type Numbering style
1 Arabic numbers1, 2, 3, ...
a lower alphaa, b, c, ...
A upper alphaA, B, C, ...
i lower romani, ii, iii, ...
I upper romanI, II, III, ...

Definition Lists

Definition lists take the form:

  <DL>
    <DT> term name
    <DD> term definition
    ...
  </DL>

DT elements can only act as containers for text level elements, while DD elements can hold block level elements as well, excluding headings and address elements.

For example:

<DL>
<DT>Term 1<dd>This is the definition of the first term.
<DT>Term 2<dd>This is the definition of the second term.
</DL>

which could be rendered as:

Term 1
This is the definition of the first term.
Term 2
This is the definition of the second term.

The COMPACT attribute can be used with the DL element as a hint to the user agent to render lists in a more compact style.

DIR and MENU

These elements have been part of HTML from the early days. They are intended for unordered lists similar to UL elements. User agents are recommended to render DIR elements as multicolumn directory lists, and MENU elements as single column menu lists. In practice, Mosaic and most other user agents have ignored this advice and instead render DIR and MENU in an identical way to UL elements.

Preformatted Text

The PRE element can be used to include preformatted text. User agents render this in a fixed pitch font, preserving spacing associated with white space characters such as space and newline characters. Automatic word-wrap should be disabled within PRE elements.

Note that the SGML standard requires that the parser remove a newline immediately following the start tag or immediately preceding the end tag.

PRE has the same content model as paragraphs, excluding images and elements that produce changes in font size, e.g. IMG, BIG, SMALL, SUB, SUP and FONT.

A few user agents support the WIDTH attribute. It provides a hint to the user agent of the required width in characters. The user agent can use this to select an appropriate font size or to indent the content appropriately.

Here is an example of a PRE element; a verse from Shelley (To a Skylark):

<PRE>
       Higher still and higher
         From the earth thou springest
       Like a cloud of fire;
         The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.
</PRE>
which is rendered as:
       Higher still and higher
         From the earth thou springest
       Like a cloud of fire;
         The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

The horizontal tab character (encoded in Unicode, US ASCII and ISO 8859-1 as decimal 9) should be interpreted as the smallest non-zero number of spaces which will leave the number of characters so far on the line as a multiple of 8. Its use is strongly discouraged since it is common practice when editing to set the tab-spacing to other values, leading to misaligned documents.

XMP, LISTING and PLAINTEXT

These are obsolete tags for preformatted text that predate the introduction of PRE. User agents may support these for backwards compatibility. Authors should avoid using them in new documents!

DIV and CENTER

DIV elements can be used to structure HTML documents as a hierarchy of divisions. The ALIGN attribute can be used to set the default horizontal alignment for elements within the content of the DIV element. Its value is restricted to LEFT, CENTER or RIGHT, and is defined in the same way as for the paragraph element <P>.

Note that because DIV is a block-like element it will terminate an open P element. Other than this, user agents are not expected to render paragraph breaks before and after DIV elements. CENTER is directly equivalent to DIV with ALIGN=CENTER. Both DIV and CENTER require start and end tags.

CENTER was introduced by Netscape before they added support for the HTML 3.0 DIV element. It is retained in HTML 3.2 on account of its widespread deployment.

BLOCKQUOTE

This is used to enclose block quotations from other works. Both the start and end tags are required. It is often rendered indented, e.g.

They went in single file, running like hounds on a strong scent, and an eager light was in their eyes. Nearly due west the broad swath of the marching Orcs tramped its ugly slot; the sweet grass of Rohan had been bruised and blackened as they passed.

from "The Two Towers" by J.R.R. Tolkien.

FORM

This is used to define an HTML form, and you can have more than one form in the same document. Both the start and end tags are required. Forms can contain a wide range of HTML markup including several kinds of form fields such as single and multi-line text fields, radio button groups, checkboxes, and menus.

action
This specifies a URL which is either used to post forms via email, e.g. action="mailto:foo@bar.com", or used to invoke a server-side forms handler via HTTP, e.g. action="http://www.acme.com/cgi-bin/register.pl"
method
When the action attribute specifies an HTTP server, the method attribute determines which HTTP method will be used to send the form's contents to the server. It can be either GET or POST, and defaults to GET.
enctype
This determines the mechanism used to encode the form's contents. It defaults to application/x-www-form-urlencoded.

Further details on handling forms are given in RFC 1867.

HR - horizontal rules

Horizontal rules may be used to indicate a change in topic. In a speech based user agent, the rule could be rendered as a pause.

HR elements are not containers so the end tag is forbidden. The attributes are: ALIGN, NOSHADE, SIZE and WIDTH.

align
This determines whether the rule is placed at the left, center or right of the space between the current left and right margins for align=left, align=center or align=right respectively. By default, the rule is centered.
noshade
This attribute requests the user agent to render the rule in a solid color rather than as the traditional two colour "groove".
size
This can be used to set the height of the rule in pixels.
width
This can be used to set the width of the rule in pixels (e.g. width=100) or as the percentage between the current left and right margins (e.g. width="50%"). The default is 100%.

Tables

HTML 3.2 includes a widely deployed subset of the specification given in RFC 1942 and can be used to markup tabular material or for layout purposes. Note that the latter role typically causes problems when rending to speech or to text only user agents.

Tables take the general form:

  <TABLE BORDER=3 CELLSPACING=2 CELLPADDING=2 WIDTH="80%">
  <CAPTION> ... table caption ... </CAPTION>
  <TR><TD> first cell <TD> second cell
  <TR> ...
  ...
  </TABLE>

The attributes on TABLE are all optional. By default, the table is rendered without a surrounding border. The table is generally sized automatically to fit the contents, but you can also set the table width using the WIDTH attribute. BORDER, CELLSPACING and CELLPADDING provide further control over the table's appearence. Captions are rendered at the top or bottom of the table depending on the ALIGN attribute.

Each table row is contained in a TR element, although the end tag can always be omitted. Table cells are defined by TD elements for data and TH elements for headers. Like TR, these are containers and can be given without trailing end tags. TH and TD support several attributes: ALIGN and VALIGN for aligning cell content, ROWSPAN and COLSPAN for cells which span more than one row or column. A cell can contain a wide variety of other block and text level elements including form fields and other tables.

The TABLE element always requires both start and end tags. It supports the following attributes:

align
This takes one of the case insensitive values: LEFT, CENTER or RIGHT. It specifies the horizontal placement of the table relative to the current left and right margins. It defaults to left alignment, but this can be overridden by an enclosing DIV or CENTER element.
width
In the absence of this attribute the table width is automatically determined from the table contents. You can use the WIDTH attribute to set the table width to a fixed value in pixels (e.g. WIDTH=212) or as a percentage of the space between the current left and right margins (e.g. WIDTH="80%").
border
This attribute can be used to specify the width of the outer border around the table to a given number of pixels (e.g. BORDER=4). The value can be set to zero to suppress the border altogether. In the absence of this attribute the border should be suppressed. Note that some browsers also accept <TABLE BORDER> with the same semantics as BORDER=1.
cellspacing
In traditional desktop publishing software, adjacent table cells share a common border. This is not the case in HTML. Each cell is given its own border which is separated from the borders around neighboring cells. This separation can be set in pixels using the CELLSPACING attribute, (e.g. CELLSPACING=10). The same value also determines the separation between the table border and the borders of the outermost cells.
cellpadding
This sets the padding in pixels between the border around each cell and the cell's contents.

The CAPTION element has one attribute ALIGN which can be either ALIGN=TOP or ALIGN=BOTTOM. This can be used to force the caption to be placed above the top or below the bottom of the table respectively. Most user agents default to placing the caption above the table. CAPTION always requires both start and end tags. Captions are limited to plain text and text-level elements as defined by the %text entity. Block level elements are not permitted.

The TR or table row element requires a start tag, but the end tag can always be left out. TR acts as a container for table cells. It has two attributes:

align
Sets the default horizontal alignment of cell contents. It takes one of the case insensitive values: LEFT, CENTER or RIGHT and plays the same role as the ALIGN attribute on paragraph elements.
valign
This can be used to set the default vertical alignment of cell contents within each cell. It takes one of the case insensitive values: TOP, MIDDLE or BOTTOM to position the cell contents at the top, middle or bottom of the cell respectively.

There are two elements for defining table cells. TH is used for header cells and TD for data cells. This distinction allows user agents to render header and data cells in different fonts, and enables speech based browsers to do a better job. The start tags for TH and TD are always needed but the end tags can be left out. Table cells can have the following attributes:

nowrap
The presence of this attribute disables automatic word wrap within the contents of this cell (e.g. <TD NOWRAP>). This is equivalent to using the &nbsp; entity for non-breaking spaces within the content of the cell.
rowspan
This takes a positive integer value specifying the number of rows spanned by this cell. It defaults to one.
colspan
This takes a positive integer value specifying the number of columns spanned by this cell. It defaults to one.
align
Specifies the default horizontal alignment of cell contents, and overrides the ALIGN attribute on the table row. It takes the same values: LEFT, CENTER and RIGHT. If you don't specify an ALIGN attribute value on the cell, the default is left alignment for <td> and center alignment for <th> although you can override this with an ALIGN attribute on the TR element.
valign
Specifies the default vertical alignment of cell contents, overriding the VALIGN attribute on the table row. It takes the same values: TOP, MIDDLE and BOTTOM. If you don't specify a VALIGN attribute value on the cell, the default is middle although you can override this with a VALIGN attribute on the TR element.
width
Specifies the suggested width for a cell content in pixels excluding the cell padding. This value will normally be used except when it conflicts with the width requirements for other cells in the same column.
height
Specifies the suggested height for a cell content in pixels excluding the cell padding. This value will normally be used except when it conflicts with the height requirements for other cells in the same row.

Tables are commonly rendered in bas-relief, raised up with the outer border as a bevel, and individual cells inset into this raised surface. Borders around individual cells are only drawn if the cell has explicit content. White space doesn't count for this purpose with the exception of &nbsp;.

The algorithms used to automatically size tables should take into account the minimum and maximum width requirements for each cell. This is used to determine the minimum and maximum width requirements for each column and hence for the table itself.

Cells spanning more than one column contribute to the widths of each of the columns spanned. One approach is to evenly apportion the cell's minimum and maximum width between these columns, another is to weight the apportioning according to the contributions from cells that don't span multiple columns.

For some user agents it may be necessary or desirable to break text lines within words. In such cases a visual indication that this has occurred is advised.

The minimum and maximum width of nested tables contribute to the minimum and maximum width of the cell in which they occur. Once the width requirements are known for the top level table, the column widths for that table can be assigned. This allows the widths of nested tables to be assigned and hence in turn the column widths of such tables. If practical, all columns should be assigned at least their minimum widths. It is suggested that any surplus space is then shared out proportional to the difference between the minimum and maximum width requirements of each column.

Note that pixel values for width and height refer to screen pixels, and should be multiplied by an appropriate factor when rendering to very high resolution devices such as laser printers. For instance if a user agent has a display with 75 pixels per inch and is rendering to a laser printer with 600 dots per inch, then the pixel values given in HTML attributes should be multiplied by a factor of 8.


Text level elements

These don't cause paragraph breaks. Text level elements that define character styles can generally be nested. They can contain other text level elements but not block level elements.

Font style elements

These all require start and end tags, e.g.

  This has some <B>bold text</B>.

Text level elements must be properly nested - the following is in error:

  This has some <B>bold and <I></B>italic text</I>.
User agents should do their best to respect nested emphasis, e.g.
  This has some <B>bold and <I>italic text</I></B>.

Where the available fonts are restricted or for speech output, alternative means should be used for rendering differences in emphasis.

TT TT teletype or monospaced text
I I italic text style
B bold text style
U U underlined text style
STRIKE STRIKE strike-through text style
BIG BIG places text in a large font
SMALL SMALL places text in a small font
SUB SUB places text in subscript style
SUP SUP places text in superscript style

Note: future revisions to HTML may be phase out STRIKE in favor of the more concise "S" tag from HTML 3.0.

Phrase Elements

These all require start and end tags, e.g.

  This has some <EM>emphasized text</EM>.
EM EM basic emphasis typically rendered in an italic font
STRONG STRONG strong emphasis typically rendered in a bold font
DFN DFN defining instance of the enclosed term
CODE CODE used for extracts from program code
SAMP SAMP used for sample output from programs, and scripts etc.
KBD KBD used for text to be typed by the user
VAR VAR used for variables or arguments to commands
CITE CITE used for citations or references to other sources

Form fields

INPUT, SELECT and TEXTAREA are only allowed within FORM elements. INPUT can be used for a variety of form fields including single line text fields, password fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, submit and reset buttons, hidden fields, file upload, and image buttons. SELECT elements are used for single or multiple choice menus. TEXTAREA elements are used to define multi-line text fields. The content of the element is used to initialize the field.

INPUT text fields, radio buttons, check boxes, ...

INPUT elements are not containers and so the end tag is forbidden.

type
Used to set the type of input field:

type=text (the default)
A single line text field whose visible size can be set using the size attribute, e.g. size=40 for a 40 character wide field. Users should be able to type more than this limit though with the text scrolling through the field to keep the input cursor in view. You can enforce an upper limit on the number of characters that can be entered with the maxlength attribute. The name attribute is used to name the field, while the value attribute can be used to initialize the text string shown in the field when the document is first loaded.
    <input type=text size=40 name=user value="your name">
type=password
This is like type=text, but echoes characters using a character like * to hide the text from prying eyes when entering passwords. You can use size and maxlength attributes to control the visible and maximum length exactly as per regular text fields.
    <input type=password size=12 name=pw>
type=checkbox
Used for simple Boolean attributes, or for attributes that can take multiple values at the same time. The latter is represented by several checkbox fields with the same name and a different value attribute. Each checked checkbox generates a separate name/value pair in the submitted data, even if this results in duplicate names. Use the checked attribute to initialize the checkbox to its checked state.
    <input type=checkbox checked name=uscitizen value=yes>
type=radio
Used for attributes which can take a single value from a set of alternatives. Each radio button field in the group should be given the same name. Radio buttons require an explicit value attribute. Only the checked radio button in the group generates a name/value pair in the submitted data. One radio button in each group should be initially checked using the checked attribute.
    <input type=radio name=age value="0-12">
    <input type=radio name=age value="13-17">
    <input type=radio name=age value="18-25">
    <input type=radio name=age value="26-35" checked>
    <input type=radio name=age value="36-">
type=submit
This defines a button that users can click to submit the form's contents to the server. The button's label is set from the value attribute. If the name attribute is given then the submit button's name/value pair will be included in the submitted data. You can include several submit buttons in the form. See type=image for graphical submit buttons.
    <input type=submit value="Party on ...">
type=image
This is used for graphical submit buttons rendered by an image rather than a text string. The URL for the image is specified with the src attribute. The image alignment can be specified with the align attribute. In this respect, graphical submit buttons are treated identically to IMG elements, so you can set align to left, right, top, middle or bottom. The x and y values of the location clicked are passed to the server: In the submitted data, image fields are included as two name/value pairs. The names are derived by taking the name of the field and appending ".x" for the x value, and ".y" for the y value.
<p>Now choose a point on the map:

    <input type=image name=point src="map.gif">

Note: image fields typically cause problems for text-only and speech-based user agents!

type=reset
This defines a button that users can click to reset form fields to their initial state when the document was first loaded. You can set the label by providing a value attribute. Reset buttons are never sent as part of the form's contents.
    <input type=reset value="Start over ...">
type=file
This provides a means for users to attach a file to the form's contents. It is generally rendered by text field and an associated button which when clicked invokes a file browser to select a file name. The file name can also be entered directly in the text field. Just like type=text you can use the size attribute to set the visible width of this field in average character widths. You can set an upper limit to the length of file names using the maxlength attribute. Some user agents support the ability to restrict the kinds of files to those matching a comma separated list of MIME content types given with the ACCEPT attribute e.g. accept="image/*" restricts files to images. Further information can be found in RFC 1867.
    <input type=file name=photo size=20 accept="image/*">
type=hidden
These fields should not be rendered and provide a means for servers to store state information with a form. This will be passed back to the server when the form is submitted, using the name/value pair defined by the corresponding attributes. This is a work around for the statelessness of HTTP. Another approach is to use HTTP "Cookies".
    <input type=hidden name=customerid value="c2415-345-8563">
name
Used to define the property name that will be used to identify this field's content when it is submitted to the server.
value
Used to initialize the field, or to provide a textual label for submit and reset buttons.
checked
The presence of this attribute is used to initialize checkboxes and radio buttons to their checked state.
size
Used to set the visible size of text fields to a given number of average character widths, e.g. size=20
maxlength
Sets the maximum number of characters permitted in a text field.
src
Specifies a URL for the image to use with a graphical submit button.
align
Used to specify image alignment for graphical submit buttons. It is defined just like the IMG align attribute and takes one of the values: top, middle, bottom, left or right, defaulting to bottom.

SELECT menus

SELECT is used to define select one from many or many from many menus. SELECT elements require start and end tags and contain one or more OPTION elements that define menu items. One from many menus are generally rendered as drop-down menus while many from many menus are generally shown as list boxes.

Example:

    <SELECT NAME="flavor">
    <OPTION VALUE=a>Vanilla
    <OPTION VALUE=b>Strawberry
    <OPTION VALUE=c>Rum and Raisin
    <OPTION VALUE=d>Peach and Orange
    </SELECT>

SELECT attributes:

name
This specifies a property name that is used to identify the menu choice when the form is submitted to the server. Each selected option results in a property name/value pair being included as part of the form's contents.
size
This sets the number of visible choices for many from many menus.
multiple
The presence of this attribute signifies that the users can make multiple selections. By default only one selection is allowed.

OPTION attributes:

selected
When this attribute is present, the option is selected when the document is initially loaded. It is an error for more than one option to be so selected for one from many menus.
value
Specifies the property value to be used when submitting the form's content. This is combined with the property name as given by the name attribute of the parent SELECT element.

TEXTAREA multi-line text fields

TEXTAREA elements require start and end tags. The content of the element is restricted to text and character entities. It is used to initialize the text that is shown when the document is first loaded.

Example:

    <TEXTAREA NAME=address ROWS=4 COLS=40>
    Your address here ...
    </TEXTAREA>

It is recommended that user agents canonicalize line endings to CR, LF (ASCII decimal 13, 10) when submitting the field's contents. The character set for submitted data should be ISO Latin-1, unless the server has previously indicated that it can support alternative character sets.

name
This specifies a property name that is used to identify the textarea field when the form is submitted to the server.
rows
Specifies the number of visible text lines. Users should be able to enter more lines that this, so user agents should provide some means to scroll through the contents of the textarea field when the contents extend beyond the visible area.
cols
Specifies the visible width in average character widths. Users should be able to enter longer lines that this, so user agents should provide some means to scroll through the contents of the textarea field when the contents extend beyond the visible area. User agents may wrap visible text lines to keep long lines visible without the need for scrolling.

Special Text level Elements

A (Anchor), IMG, FONT, BASEFONT, BR and MAP.

The A (anchor) element

Anchors can't be nested and always require start and end tags. They are used to define hypertext links and also to define named locations for use as targets for hypertext links, e.g.

   The way to <a href="hands-on.html">happiness</a>.

and also to define named locations for use as targets for hypertext links, e.g.

   <h2><a name=mit>545 Tech Square - Hacker's Paradise</a></h2>
name
This should be a string defining unique name for the scope of the current HTML document. NAME is used to associate a name with this part of a document for use with URLs that target a named section of a document.
href
Specifies a URL acting as a network address for the linked resource. This could be another HTML document, a PDF file or an image etc.
rel
The forward relationship also known as the "link type". It can be used to determine to how to deal with the linked resource when printing out a collection of linked resources.
rev
This defines a reverse relationship. A link from document A to document B with REV=relation expresses the same relationship as a link from B to A with REL=relation. REV=made is sometimes used to identify the document author, either the author's email address with a mailto URL, or a link to the author's home page.
title
An advisory title for the linked resource.

IMG - inline images

Used to insert images. IMG is an empty element and so the end tag is forbidden. Images can be positioned vertically relative to the current textline or floated to the left or right. See BR with the CLEAR attribute for control over textflow.

e.g.  <IMG SRC="canyon.gif" ALT="Grand Canyon">

IMG elements support the following attributes:

src
This attribute is required for every IMG element. It specifies a URL for the image resource, for instance a GIF, JPEG or PNG image file.
alt
This is used to provide a text description of the image and is vital for interoperability with speech-based and text only user agents.
align
This specifies how the image is positioned relative to the current textline in which it occurs:

align=top
positions the top of the image with the top of the current text line. User agents vary in how they interpret this. Some only take into account what has occurred on the text line prior to the IMG element and ignore what happens after it.
align=middle
aligns the middle of the image with the baseline for the current textline.
align=bottom
is the default and aligns the bottom of the image with the baseline.
align=left
floats the image to the current left margin, temporarily changing this margin, so that subsequent text is flowed along the image's righthand side. The rendering depends on whether there is any left aligned text or images that appear earlier than the current image in the markup. Such text (but not images) generally forces left aligned images to wrap to a new line, with the subsequent text continuing on the former line.
align=right
floats the image to the current right margin, temporarily changing this margin, so that subsequent text is flowed along the image's lefthand side. The rendering depends on whether there is any right aligned text or images that appear earlier than the current image in the markup. Such text (but not images) generally forces right aligned images to wrap to a new line, with the subsequent text continuing on the former line.

Note that some browsers introduce spurious spacing with multiple left or right aligned images. As a result authors can't depend on this being the same for browsers from different vendors. See BR for ways to control text flow.

width
Specifies the intended width of the image in pixels. When given together with the height, this allows user agents to reserve screen space for the image before the image data has arrived over the network.
height
Specifies the intended height of the image in pixels. When given together with the width, this allows user agents to reserve screen space for the image before the image data has arrived over the network.
border
When the IMG element appears as part of a hypertext link, the user agent will generally indicate this by drawing a colored border (typically blue) around the image. This attribute can be used to set the width of this border in pixels. Use border=0 to suppress the border altogether. User agents are recommended to provide additional cues that the image is clickable, e.g. by changing the mouse pointer.
hspace
This can be used to provide white space to the immediate left and right of the image. The HSPACE attribute sets the width of this white space in pixels. By default HSPACE is a small non-zero number.
vspace
This can be used to provide white space above and below the image The VSPACE attribute sets the height of this white space in pixels. By default VSPACE is a small non-zero number.
usemap
This can be used to give a URL fragment identifier for a client-side image map defined with the MAP element.
ismap
When the IMG element is part of a hypertext link, and the user clicks on the image, the ISMAP attribute causes the location to be passed to the server. This mechanism causes problems for text-only and speech-based user agents. Whenever its possible to do so use the MAP element instead.

Here is an example of how you use ISMAP:

<a href="/cgibin/navbar.map"><img src=navbar.gif ismap border=0></a>

The location clicked is passed to the server as follows. The user agent derives a new URL from the URL specified by the HREF attribute by appending `?' the x coordinate `,' and the y coordinate of the location in pixels. The link is then followed using the new URL. For instance, if the user clicked at at the location x=10, y=27 then the derived URL will be: "/cgibin/navbar.map?10,27". It is generally a good idea to suppress the border and use graphical idioms to indicate that the image is clickable.

Note that pixel values refer to screen pixels, and should be multiplied by an appropriate factor when rendering to very high resolution devices such as laser printers. For instance if a user agent has a display with 75 pixels per inch and is rendering to a laser printer with 600 dots per inch, then the pixel values given in HTML attributes should be multiplied by a factor of 8.

FONT

Requires start and end tags. This allows you to change the font size and/or color for the enclosed text. The attributes are: SIZE and COLOR. Font sizes are given in terms of a scalar range defined by the user agent with no direct mapping to point sizes etc. The FONT element may be phased out in future revisions to HTML.

size
This sets the font size for the contents of the font element. You can set size to an integer ranging from 1 to 7 for an absolute font size, or specify a relative font size with a signed integer value, e.g. size="+1" or size="-2". This is mapped to an absolute font size by adding the current base font size as set by the BASEFONT element (see below).
color
Used to set the color to stroke the text. Colors are given as RGB in hexadecimal notation or as one of 16 widely understood color names defined as per the BGCOLOR attribute on the BODY element.

Some user agents also support a FACE attribute which accepts a comma separated list of font names in order of preference. This is used to search for an installed font with the corresponding name. FACE is not part of HTML 3.2.

The following shows the effects of setting font to absolute sizes:

size=1 size=2 size=3 size=4 size=5 size=6 size=7

The following shows the effect of relative font sizes using a base font size of 3:

size=-4 size=-3 size=-2 size=-1 size=+1 size=+2 size=+3 size=+4

The same thing with a base font size of 6:

size=-4 size=-3 size=-2 size=-1 size=+1 size=+2 size=+3 size=+4

BASEFONT

Used to set the base font size. BASEFONT is an empty element so the end tag is forbidden. The SIZE attribute is an integer value ranging from 1 to 7. The base font size applies to the normal and preformatted text but not to headings, except where these are modified using the FONT element with a relative font size.

BR

Used to force a line break. This is an empty element so the end tag is forbidden. The CLEAR attribute can be used to move down past floating images on either margin. <BR CLEAR=LEFT> moves down past floating images on the left margin, <BR CLEAR=RIGHT> does the same for floating images on the right margin, while <BR CLEAR=ALL> does the same for such images on both left and right margins.

MAP

The MAP element provides a mechanism for client-side image maps. These can be placed in the same document or grouped in a separate document although this isn't yet widely supported. The MAP element requires start and end tags. It contains one or more AREA elements that specify hotzones on the associated image and bind these hotzones to URLs.

Here is a simple example for a graphical navigational toolbar:

<img src="navbar.gif" border=0 usemap="#map1">

<map name="map1">
 <area href=guide.html alt="Access Guide" shape=rect coords="0,0,118,28">
 <area href=search.html alt="Search" shape=rect coords="184,0,276,28">
 <area href=shortcut.html alt="Go" shape=rect coords="118,0,184,28">
 <area href=top10.html alt="Top Ten" shape=rect coords="276,0,373,28">
</map>

The MAP element has one attribute NAME which is used to associate a name with a map. This is then used by the USEMAP attribute on the IMG element to reference the map via a URL fragment identifier. Note that the value of the NAME attribute is case sensitive.

The AREA element is an empty element and so the end tag is forbidden. It takes the following attributes: SHAPE, COORDS, HREF, NOHREF and ALT. The SHAPE and COORDS attributes define a region on the image. If the SHAPE attribute is omitted, SHAPE="RECT" is assumed.

shape=rect coords="left-x, top-y, right-x, bottom-y"

shape=circle coords="center-x, center-y, radius"

shape=poly coords="x1,y1, x2,y2, x3,y3, ..."

Where x and y are measured in pixels from the left/top of the associated image. If x and y values are given with a percent sign as a suffix, the values should be interpreted as percentages of the image's width and height, respectively. For example:

   SHAPE=RECT COORDS="0, 0, 50%, 100%"

The HREF attribute gives a URL for the target of the hypertext link. The NOHREF attribute is used when you want to define a region that doesn't act as a hotzone. This is useful when you want to cut a hole in an underlying region acting as a hotzone.

If two or more regions overlap, the region defined first in the map definition takes precedence over subsequent regions. This means that AREA elements with NOHREF should generally be placed before ones with the HREF attribute.

The ALT attribute is used to provide text labels which can be displayed in the status line as the mouse or other pointing device is moved over hotzones, or for constructing a textual menu for non-graphical user agents. Authors are strongly recommended to provide meaningful ALT attributes to support interoperability with speech-based or text-only user agents.


Character Entities for ISO Latin-1

      nbsp   "&#160;" no-break space
    ¡ iexcl  "&#161;" inverted exclamation mark
    ¢ cent   "&#162;" cent sign
    £ pound  "&#163;" pound sterling sign
    ¤ curren "&#164;" general currency sign
    ¥ yen    "&#165;" yen sign
    ¦ brvbar "&#166;" broken (vertical) bar
    § sect   "&#167;" section sign
    ¨ uml    "&#168;" umlaut (dieresis)
    © copy   "&#169;" copyright sign
    ª ordf   "&#170;" ordinal indicator, feminine
    « laquo  "&#171;" angle quotation mark, left
    ¬ not    "&#172;" not sign
    ­ shy    "&#173;" soft hyphen
    ® reg    "&#174;" registered sign
    ¯ macr   "&#175;" macron
    ° deg    "&#176;" degree sign
    ± plusmn "&#177;" plus-or-minus sign
    ² sup2   "&#178;" superscript two
    ³ sup3   "&#179;" superscript three
    ´ acute  "&#180;" acute accent
    µ micro  "&#181;" micro sign
    ¶ para   "&#182;" pilcrow (paragraph sign)
    · middot "&#183;" middle dot
    ¸ cedil  "&#184;" cedilla
    ¹ sup1   "&#185;" superscript one
    º ordm   "&#186;" ordinal indicator, masculine
    » raquo  "&#187;" angle quotation mark, right
    ¼ frac14 "&#188;" fraction one-quarter
    ½ frac12 "&#189;" fraction one-half
    ¾ frac34 "&#190;" fraction three-quarters
    ¿ iquest "&#191;" inverted question mark
    À Agrave "&#192;" capital A, grave accent
    Á Aacute "&#193;" capital A, acute accent
    Â Acirc  "&#194;" capital A, circumflex accent
    Ã Atilde "&#195;" capital A, tilde
    Ä Auml   "&#196;" capital A, dieresis or umlaut mark
    Å Aring  "&#197;" capital A, ring
    Æ AElig  "&#198;" capital AE diphthong (ligature)
    Ç Ccedil "&#199;" capital C, cedilla
    È Egrave "&#200;" capital E, grave accent
    É Eacute "&#201;" capital E, acute accent
    Ê Ecirc  "&#202;" capital E, circumflex accent
    Ë Euml   "&#203;" capital E, dieresis or umlaut mark
    Ì Igrave "&#204;" capital I, grave accent
    Í Iacute "&#205;" capital I, acute accent
    Î Icirc  "&#206;" capital I, circumflex accent
    Ï Iuml   "&#207;" capital I, dieresis or umlaut mark
    Ð ETH    "&#208;" capital Eth, Icelandic
    Ñ Ntilde "&#209;" capital N, tilde
    Ò Ograve "&#210;" capital O, grave accent
    Ó Oacute "&#211;" capital O, acute accent
    Ô Ocirc  "&#212;" capital O, circumflex accent
    Õ Otilde "&#213;" capital O, tilde
    Ö Ouml   "&#214;" capital O, dieresis or umlaut mark
    × times  "&#215;" multiply sign
    Ø Oslash "&#216;" capital O, slash
    Ù Ugrave "&#217;" capital U, grave accent
    Ú Uacute "&#218;" capital U, acute accent
    Û Ucirc  "&#219;" capital U, circumflex accent
    Ü Uuml   "&#220;" capital U, dieresis or umlaut mark
    Ý Yacute "&#221;" capital Y, acute accent
    Þ THORN  "&#222;" capital THORN, Icelandic
    ß szlig  "&#223;" small sharp s, German (sz ligature)
    à agrave "&#224;" small a, grave accent
    á aacute "&#225;" small a, acute accent
    â acirc  "&#226;" small a, circumflex accent
    ã atilde "&#227;" small a, tilde
    ä auml   "&#228;" small a, dieresis or umlaut mark
    å aring  "&#229;" small a, ring
    æ aelig  "&#230;" small ae diphthong (ligature)
    ç ccedil "&#231;" small c, cedilla
    è egrave "&#232;" small e, grave accent
    é eacute "&#233;" small e, acute accent
    ê ecirc  "&#234;" small e, circumflex accent
    ë euml   "&#235;" small e, dieresis or umlaut mark
    ì igrave "&#236;" small i, grave accent
    í iacute "&#237;" small i, acute accent
    î icirc  "&#238;" small i, circumflex accent
    ï iuml   "&#239;" small i, dieresis or umlaut mark
    ð eth    "&#240;" small eth, Icelandic
    ñ ntilde "&#241;" small n, tilde
    ò ograve "&#242;" small o, grave accent
    ó oacute "&#243;" small o, acute accent
    ô ocirc  "&#244;" small o, circumflex accent
    õ otilde "&#245;" small o, tilde
    ö ouml   "&#246;" small o, dieresis or umlaut mark
    ÷ divide "&#247;" divide sign
    ø oslash "&#248;" small o, slash
    ù ugrave "&#249;" small u, grave accent
    ú uacute "&#250;" small u, acute accent
    û ucirc  "&#251;" small u, circumflex accent
    ü uuml   "&#252;" small u, dieresis or umlaut mark
    ý yacute "&#253;" small y, acute accent
    þ thorn  "&#254;" small thorn, Icelandic
    ÿ yuml   "&#255;" small y, dieresis or umlaut mark

Valid HTML 3.2!