This HTML Reference arose for the desire to encourage people
to use HTML 5 - as soon as I started to try to create a
drawing of the new features of HTML 5, I realised that there
isn't my sort of drawing of HTML of any variety (that I've
found yet). But, before I could do a drawing, I needed to write
HTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Mark-up Language. The most
important feature of a Text mark-up language is text.
In this reference, you will find comparatively little about
the text - that's because the text is pervasive: everywhere in
the mark-up. The HTML gives additional opportunities for text,
by adding attributes like "title" and "alt". But the
underlying text (that is marked-up) is still the most
This reference is about Tags, more than anything else.
Tags appear in the mark up like this:
<p>The most important feature of a
Text mark-up language is <strong>text</strong>.
A tag can be closed or open.
An Open tag
An open tag starts with a chevron < and the tag name, some
attributes (optional), and the other chevron >:
Later, the tag must be closed, by putting a chevron, a slash,
the name and the other chevron:
The open tag includes text and/or other mark-up with in it
(i.e. between the open of the tag and its close).
A Closed tag
A closed tag starts with a chevron < and the tag name,
some attributes (optional), a slash and the other chevron
Attributes are very important in HTML, but they are also a
second-order matter - getting the structure of the tags right
is right is what makes a page useful, whereas getting the
attributes correct is significant, but can't compromise the
I expect, hope and desire that you will read the source of
web pages. If you don't this reference is not of much use to
You can read the source in most browsers - there are menu
options that show you the source, and you need to find how to
do this to understand what this reference is about.
You may use a tool to write HTML - that's fine, but you
probably need to see the source that it's writing for you to
make use of this reference. If you're not interested in the
source, you probably don't need this reference either. I'm
cool with that, and I hope you are, too.
There are many other, better, more interesting, more
important, sites about HTML. Please read them, use them,
understand them. I just have a particular spin on HTML, which
I hope you'll find useful.