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An HTML element is an individual component of an HTML document or web page, once this has been parsed into the Document Object Model. HTML is composed of a tree of HTML elements and other nodes, such as text nodes. Each element can have HTML attributes specified. Elements can also have content, including other elements and text. Many HTML elements represent semantics, or meaning. For example, the title element represents the title of the document.

In the HTML syntax, most elements are written with a start tag and an end tag, with the content in between. An HTML tag is composed of the name of the element, surrounded by angle brackets. An end tag also has a slash after the opening angle bracket, to distinguish it from the start tag. For example, a paragraph, which is represented by the p element, would be written as <syntaxhighlight lang="html4strict">

In the HTML syntax, most elements are written ...

</syntaxhighlight> However, not all of these elements require the end tag, or even the start tag, to be present. Some elements, the so-called void elements, do not have an end tag. A typical example is the br element, which represents a significant line break, such as in a poem or an address. A void element's behaviour is predefined, and it cannot contain any content or other elements. For example, the address of the dentist in the movie Finding Nemo would be written as <syntaxhighlight lang="html4strict">

P. Sherman
42 Wallaby Way
Sydney

</syntaxhighlight> When using an XHTML DTD, it is required to open and close the element with a single tag. To specify that it is a void element, a "/" is included at the end of the tag (not to be confused with the "/" at the beginning of a closing tag). <syntaxhighlight lang="html4strict">

P. Sherman
42 Wallaby Way
Sydney

</syntaxhighlight>

HTML attributes are specified inside the start tag. For example, the abbr element, which represents an abbreviation, expects a title attribute within its opening tag. This would be written as <syntaxhighlight lang="html4strict"> abbr. </syntaxhighlight>


HTML element sections
Intro  Concepts  Overview  Document structure elements  Document head elements  Document body elements  Frames  Historic elements  Non-standard elements  Previously obsolete but added back in HTML 5  Comments   Notes   References  Bibliography  External links  

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