DEV Community

Cover image for HTML tags | doctype
Carlos Espada
Carlos Espada

Posted on • Updated on

HTML tags | doctype

In HTML, the doctype declaration is the required preamble found at the top of all documents. Its sole purpose is to prevent a browser from switching into so-called "quirks mode" when rendering a document; that is, the <!DOCTYPE> doctype ensures that the browser makes a best-effort attempt at following the relevant specifications, rather than using a different rendering mode that is incompatible with some specifications.

All HTML documents must start with a <!DOCTYPE> declaration.

The declaration is not an HTML tag. It is an "information" to the browser about what document type to expect.

In HTML 5, the declaration is simple:

<!DOCTYPE html>
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

In older documents (HTML 4 or XHTML), the declaration is more complicated because the declaration must refer to a DTD (Document Type Definition).

HTML 4.01:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "">
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

XHTML 1.1:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1//EN" "">
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

The <!DOCTYPE> declaration is not case sensitive.


Top comments (0)