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HTML4 Reference

HTML <meta /> tag


The <meta /> tag is a self closing tag that allows us to send metadata about the data within our HTML file.

The <meta /> tag must reside within the <head></head> element.


<html  xmlns="">
  <title>A Title which will appear in the Windows title bar.</title>

  <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />


Required Attributes

content attribute specifies the content of the meta information.

<meta name="Description" content="some text here" />

Optional Attributes

Use the http-equiv attribute or the name attribute, not both.

http-equiv - used to describe an equivalent HTTP-Header and the value we wish to use for it.

<!-- Define methods allowed by server (GET, POST etc) -->
<meta http-equiv="Allow" content="get" />

<!-- Define the the encoding type of the returned data -->
<meta http-equiv="Content-Encoding" content="zip" />

<!-- Define the MIME type for the content -->
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />

<!-- Define the document creation date -->
<meta http-equiv="Date" content="aDate" />

<!-- Define the date when a document is to be reloaded -->
<meta http-equiv="Expires" content="aDate" />

<!-- Define the date when a document was last modified -->
<meta http-equiv="Last-Modified" content="aDate" />

<!-- Define an absolute URL for the location of the document -->
<meta http-equiv="Location" content="URL" />

<!-- Define a pages refresh rate (avoid this!) -->
<meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="20" />

<!-- Define a cookie value to set from the content -->
<meta http-equiv="Set-Cookie" content="cookieValue" />

<!-- Define authentication rules (visible security information, not advisable) -->
<meta http-equiv="WWW-Authenticate" content="cookieValue" />

name - used to describe the name of the data in the content attribute and can be any value you choose.

<!-- Define a name for the content -->
<meta name="Description" content="some text here" />

scheme - used to describe the data format or URL, that points to a data format, to apply to the data within the content attribute.

<!-- For example provide the Date Format of the content -->
<meta name="Description" content="01-01-2010" scheme="DD-MM-YYYY" />

Common Attributes


Language Attributes

dir - specifies the directional flow of the content.

<meta dir="ltr" />   <!-- The text will flow from left to right -->
<meta dir="rtl" />   <!-- The text will flow from right to left -->

lang - specifies a language code for the content of the element.

<meta lang="en" />

xml:lang - specifies a language code for the content of the element in XHTML documents.

<meta xml:lang="fr" />

Event Attributes


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HTML Elements

The complete set of HTML elements also known as HTML tags from the latest HTML 4.01 Specification.

Click the links for more information on individual tags and their attributes.








<area />


<base />

<basefont />





<br />






<col />













<frame />


<h1> - <h6>


<hr />




<img />

<input />


<isindex />





<link />



<meta />








<param />