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ISO/IEC 15445
W3C HTML 4.01

HTML, which stands for HyperText Markup Language, is the predominant markup language for web pages. A markup language is a set of markup tags, and HTML uses markup tags to describe web pages.

HTML is written in the form of HTML elements consisting of tags, enclosed in angle brackets (like <html>), within the web page content. HTML tags normally come in pairs like <h1> and </h1>. The first tag in a pair is the start tag, the second tag is the end tag (they are also called opening tags and closing tags).

The purpose of a web browser is to read HTML documents and compose them into visual or audible web pages. The browser does not display the HTML tags, but uses the tags to interpret the content of the page.

HTML elements form the building blocks of all websites. HTML allows images and objects to be embedded and can be used to create interactive forms. It provides a means to create structured documents by denoting structural semantics for text such as headings, paragraphs, lists, links, quotes and other items. It can embed scripts in languages such as JavaScript which affect the behavior of HTML webpages.

Web browsers can also refer to Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to define the appearance and layout of text and other material. The W3C, maintainer of both the HTML and the CSS standards, encourages the use of CSS over explicitly presentational HTML markup.[1]


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