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3. Anatomy of an HTML Document > Tags and Attributes

Tags and Attributes

For the most part, tags — the markup elements of HTML and XHTML — are simple to understand and use, since they are made up of common words, abbreviations, and notations. For instance, the <i> and </i> tags respectively tell the browser to start and stop italicizing the text characters that come between them. Accordingly, the syllable “simp” in our barebones example above would appear italicized on a browser display.

The HTML and XHTML standards and their various extensions define how and where you place tags within a document. Let’s take a closer look at that syntactic sugar that holds together all documents.

The Syntax of a Tag

Every tag consists of a tag name, sometimes followed by an optional list of tag


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