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W3C REC-html40-971218

HTML 4.0 specification

W3C Recommendation December 18, 1997

Introduction

This specification defines HyperText Markup Language (HyperText Markup Language - HTML) version 4.0, the language used for publications on the World Wide Web. In addition to textual, multimedia features and hyperlinks present in previous versions of HTML, HTML 4.0 supports new multimedia features, scripts, style sheets, improved printing, and more accessible documents for people with disabilities. The HTML 4.0 version also successfully implemented the internationalization of documents, the goal of which is to make the Web truly global.

HTML 4.0 is an SGML application conforming to International Standard ISO 8879 - Standard Generalized Markup Language [ISO8879] .

Status of this document

This document was reviewed by W3C members and other interested individuals and organizations, and approved by the Director as a W3C Recommendation. This is a permanent document; it can be used as a reference book or given in other documents as a regulatory document. The role of the W3C in this recommendation is to draw attention to this specification and expand its scope. This extends the functionality and interoperability of the Web.

The W3C recommends that users and authors (in particular, document creation tools) use HTML 4.0 version instead of HTML 3.2 (see [HTML32]). For compatibility with previous versions, W3C also recommends HTML 3.2 and HTML 2.0 support for HTML 4.0 interpreters.

A list of current W3C Recommendations and other technical documents can be found at http://www.w3.org/TR .

The discussion on HTML functions takes place at www-html@w3.org .

Available Formats

W3C HTML 4.0 recommendation can also be obtained in the following formats:

In case of discrepancies between electronic and printed form specifications should use the electronic version.

Languages

The only normative version is the English version of this document. However, translations of this document can be found at http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/html40-updates/translations.shtml .

Errors

The list of errors found in the specification is located at http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/html40-updates/html40-errata.shtml

Report errors found in this document at www-html-editor@w3.org .

Content

  1. About the HTML 4.0 specification
    1. Specification Organization
    2. Agreements adopted in the document
      1. Elements and Attributes
      2. Notes and examples
    3. Thanks
    4. Copyright Information
  2. Introduction to HTML 4.0
    1. What is the World Wide Web?
      1. Introduction to URI
      2. Fragment IDs
      3. Relative URI
    2. What is HTML?
      1. HTML brief history
    3. HTML 4.0
      1. Internationalization
      2. Availability
      3. Tables
      4. Compound Documents
      5. Style sheets
      6. Scripts
      7. Print
    4. Creating HTML 4.0 Documents
      1. Separation of structure and presentation
      2. Web Accessibility
      3. Assist user agents in sequential imaging
  3. About SGML and HTML
    1. Introduction to SGML
    2. SGML constructs used in HTML
      1. Items
      2. Attributes
      3. References to symbols
      4. Comments
    3. How to read HTML DTD
      1. DTD Comments
      2. Definition of parameter combinations
      3. Item Ads
      4. Attribute declarations
  4. Compliance: requirements and recommendations
    1. Definitions
    2. SGML
    3. Content type text / html
  5. HTML document representation - Character sets, character encodings and entities
    1. Document Character Set
    2. Character encodings
      1. Select encoding
      2. Specify Encoding
    3. References to symbols
      1. Numeric character references
      2. Combinations of character references
    4. Non-Displayable Characters
  6. Basic HTML Data Types - Information about characters, colors, lengths, URIs, content types, etc.
    1. Register information
    2. The main types of SGML
    3. Text strings
    4. URI
    5. Colors
      1. Notes on the use of colors
    6. Lengths
    7. Content Types (MIME Types)
    8. Language codes
    9. Encodings
    10. Individual characters
    11. date and time
    12. Link types
    13. Device descriptors
    14. Script data
    15. Style sheet data
    16. Target frame names
  7. Global HTML Document Structure - HEAD and BODY Sections
    1. Introduction to HTML Document Structure
    2. HTML version info
    3. The HTML element
    4. Document title
      1. HEAD element
      2. TITLE element
      3. Title attribute
      4. Metadata
    5. Body document
      1. BODY element
      2. Element identifiers: id and class attributes
      3. Block front and embedded elements
      4. Grouping elements: DIV and SPAN elements
      5. Headings: elements H1 , H2 , H3 , H4 , H5 , H6
      6. ADDRESS element
  8. Language Information and Text Direction - Texts in Different Languages
    1. Specify content language: lang attribute
      1. Language codes
      2. Language Code Inheritance
      3. Interpretation of language codes
    2. Specifying the direction of text and tables: dir attribute
      1. Introduction to bidirectional algorithm
      2. Inheritance of text direction information
      3. Set the direction of the embedded text
      4. Priority over the bidirectional algorithm: BDO element
      5. References to symbols to control the direction and association
      6. Style sheets and bidirectionality
  9. Text - Paragraphs, Lines, and Phrases
    1. Unimaginable characters
    2. Structured text
      1. Phrase Elements: EM , STRONG , DFN , CODE , SAMP , KBD , VAR , CITE , ABBR and ACRONYM
      2. Quotes: BLOCKQUOTE and Q elements
      3. Superscripts and Subscripts: SUB and SUP Elements
    3. Lines and paragraphs
      1. Paragraphs: P elements
      2. Manage the transition to the next line
      3. Transfers
      4. Rich text: PRE element
      5. Visual presentation of paragraphs
    4. Markup changes in the document: elements INS and DEL
  10. Lists - Unordered, ordered lists and definition lists
    1. Introduction to Lists
    2. Unordered lists ( UL ), ordered lists ( OL ) and list items ( LI )
    3. Definition Lists : DL , DT, and DD Elements
      1. Visual List View
    4. DIR and MENU elements
  11. Tables
    1. Introduction to the tables
    2. Table construction elements
      1. TABLE element
      2. Table Captions: CAPTION Element
      3. HRC lines: THEAD , TFOOT and TBODY elements
      4. Column groups: COLGROUP and COL elements
      5. Table rows: TR element
      6. Table cells: TH and TD elements
    3. Formatting tables with visual user agents
      1. Borders and rules
      2. Horizontal and vertical alignment
      3. Cell fields
    4. Presentation of tables by non-visual user agents
      1. Linking header information to data cells
      2. Cell categorization
      3. Header Search Algorithm
    5. Sample table
  12. Links - Hypertext and Device Independent Links
    1. Introduction to links and anchors
      1. Navigate to referenced resource
      2. Other link relationships
      3. Setting anchors and links
      4. Link Headers
      5. Internationalization and links
    2. Element a
      1. Anchor Name Syntax
      2. Nested links are not allowed.
      3. Id anchors
      4. Unavailable and undefined resources
    3. Document Relationship: LINK Element
      1. Backward and forward links
      2. Links and external style sheets
      3. Links and search engines
    4. Path Information: BASE Element
      1. Resolution of relative URIs
  13. Objects, images and applets
    1. Introduction to objects, images and applets
    2. Image enablement: IMG element
    3. General inclusion: OBJECT element
      1. Object Representation Rules
      2. Object initialization: PARAM element
      3. Global object naming schemes
      4. Object declaration and initialization
    4. Applet Enable: APPLET Element
    5. Notes on embedded documents
    6. Navigation Maps
      1. Navigation client maps: MAP and AREA elements
      2. Server navigation maps
    7. Visual presentation of images, objects and applets
      1. Width and height
      2. The space around the images and objects
      3. Boundaries
      4. Alignment
    8. How to specify alternative text
  14. Style Sheets - Style in HTML Documents
    1. Introduction to style sheets
    2. How to add style to HTML
      1. Setting the default style sheet language
      2. Built-in style info
      3. Heading Style Information: STYLE Element
      4. Device types
    3. External style sheets
      1. Preferred and alternative style sheets
      2. Specifying external style sheets
    4. Style sheet cascades
      1. Device Independent Cascades
      2. Inheritance and cascades
    5. How to hide style information from user agents
    6. Binding style sheets using HTTP headers
  15. Alignment, font styles and horizontal delimiters
    1. Formatting
      1. Background color
      2. Alignment
      3. Attached objects
    2. Fonts
      1. Font style elements: TT , I , B , BIG , SMALL , STRIKE , S, and U elements
      2. Font controls: FONT and BASEFONT
    3. Separators: HR element
  16. Frames - Presentation of a document in multiple windows
    1. Introduction to frames
    2. Frame location
      1. FRAMESET element
      2. FRAME element
    3. Frame target definition
      1. Set default target for links
      2. Goal semantics
    4. Alternative Content
      1. NOFRAMES element
      2. Long frame descriptions
    5. Embedded Frames: IFRAME Element
  17. Forms - User-filled forms: text fields, buttons, menus, etc.
    1. Introduction to Forms
    2. Control elements
      1. Types of controls
    3. Element form
    4. INPUT element
      1. Types of Controls Created Using the INPUT Element
      2. Examples of forms with control elements like INPUT
    5. BUTTON Element
    6. SELECT , OPTGROUP, and OPTION elements
      1. Pre-selected options
    7. TEXTAREA element
    8. Element ISINDEX
    9. Tags
      1. Element LABEL
    10. Adding structure to forms: FIELDSET and LEGEND elements
    11. Focus transition
      1. Navigate with the Tab Key
      2. Access keys
    12. Disabled read-only controls
      1. Disabled controls
      2. Read-Only Controls
    13. Form submission
      1. Form submission method
      2. Successful Controls
      3. Processing Form Data
      4. Types of form content
  18. Scripts - Animated Documents and Intelligent Forms
    1. Script Introduction
    2. Document development for user agents that support scripts
      1. SCRIPT element
      2. Specify the script language
      3. Internal events
      4. Dynamic document change
    3. Document development for user agents that do not support scripts
      1. NOSCRIPT Element
      2. How to hide the script from user agents
  19. SGML HTML Reference - Formal HTML Definition and Validation
    1. Document validation
    2. Sample SGML Catalog
  20. HTML 4.0 SGML announcement
    1. SGML declaration
  21. Document Type Definition
  22. Transitional Document Type Definition
  23. Frameset Document Type Definition
  24. Character entity references in HTML 4.0
    1. Introduction to character entity references
    2. Character entity references for ISO 8859-1 characters
      1. The list of characters
    3. Character entity references for symbols, mathematical letters, and Greek letters
      1. The list of characters
    4. Character entity references for markup-significant and internationalization characters
      1. The list of characters
  1. Differences between HTML 3.2 and HTML 4.0
    1. Element Differences
      1. New items
      2. Unwanted items
      3. Obsolete items
    2. Attribute Differences
    3. Differences in accessibility
    4. Metadata Differences
    5. Text Differences
    6. Link Differences
    7. Table differences
    8. Differences in images, objects and navigation maps
    9. Form Differences
    10. Differences in style sheets
    11. Frame Differences
    12. Script differences
    13. Differences in Internationalization
  2. Performance, Implementation, and Design Notes
    1. Notes on invalid documents
    2. Special characters in URI attribute values
      1. Non-ASCII characters in URI attribute values
      2. Ampersands in URI attribute values
    3. SGML implementation notes
      1. Line breaks
      2. Specifying non-HTML data
      3. SGML features with limited support
      4. Boolean attributes
      5. Marked Sections
      6. Processing instruments
      7. Shorthand markup
    4. Notes on your web site
      1. Search robots
    5. Notes on tables
      1. Design rationale
      2. Recommended Layout Algorithms
    6. Notes on forms
      1. Incremental display
      2. Future projects
    7. Notes on scripting
      1. Reserved syntax for future script macros
    8. Notes on frames
    9. Notes on accessibility
    10. Notes on security
      1. Security issues for forms

Copyright © 1997 W3C ( MIT , INRIA , Keio )