HTML Attributes: Using attributes in HTML tags

In HTML, each tag can have different attributes applied. Attributes allow the HTML tags to have specific properties added to them. You can assign a “class” to either reuse styles throughout your website or style your elements with the “style” attribute. Don’t worry about how the style and class attributes work at this moment, this will be discussed further in our Using & Understanding CSS course.

Basic HTML attributes

The following example explains how an <a> anchor tag uses the attributes “href“, “target“, and “title“.

<a href="https://google.com" target="_blank" title="Click Here">

In this example, the anchor is a hyperlink to Google.com. The href attribute will direct the visitor to Google. The target attribute will open the link in a different window or the same window. In this case _blank opens to a new window or tab. The title attribute will display text when hovering over the link. Below is a small list of common attributes used and a description. Below are the most commonly used HTML attributes.

Most common HTML Attributes
classThis attribute is used to apply CSS styles in a style sheet. For example: <p class="paragraph"></p>.
styleAllows CSS style to be applied to a specific element. An example usage of this is the following: <p style="color: #000000"></p>.
idThis is a particular identifier of the element. This can only be used once per element. For example: <p id="para1"></p>.
titleThe title codes information in the tag about the tag. For example in an <a> anchor tag, you can use the title attribute to allow a small text pop up when the mouse is hovers over the anchor. For example: <a href="" title="Click Here"></a>
nameThis gives the element a name. This is different than the title in that the name is not seen by the visitor. The most common use of this is in the <a> anchor tag. The name will navigate the visitor to a specific place on the page. For example: <a name="this-page-location"></a>. This will navigate your browser to the location of this anchor when you visit the url in the browser like the following: https://example.com/#this-page-location
widthThe width attribute can be used in elements that support dimensions. For example: <div width="100"></div>
alignThe align attribute tells the browser if the text is centered, left, or right aligned. For example: <div align="left"></div>

These attributes are used most often to style and label your HTML tags. You can add or remove attributes as needed for the tag to function how you want.

HTML Attribute reference

Below is an more exhaustive reference and their correlating tags they are used for.

attributeSupported Elements
abbr<td> <th>
accept-charset<form>
accept<form> <input>
accesskey<a> <area> <button> <input> <label> <legend> <textarea>
action<form>
align<caption> <iframe> <img> <input> <object> <legend> <table> <hr> <div> <h1> <h2> <h3> <p> <col> <colgroup> <tbody> <td> <tfoot> <th> <thead> <tr>
alink<body>
alt<applet> <area> <img> <input>
archive<applet> <object>
axis<td> <th>
background<tbody
bgcolor<table> <tr> <td> <th> <body>
border<table> <img> <object>
cellpadding<table>
char<col> <colgroup> <tbody> <td> <tfoot> <th> <thead> <tr>
charoff<col> <colgroup> <tbody> <td> <tfoot> <th> <thead> <tr>
charset<a> <link> <script>
checked<input>
cite<blockquot> <q> <del> <ins>
classMost Elements
classid<object>
clear<br>
code<applet>
codebase<applet> <object>
codetype<object>
color<basefont> <font>
cols<frameset> <textarea>
colspan<th> <td>
compact<applet> <dir> <dl> <menu> <ol> <ul>
content<meta>
coords<area> <a>
data<object>
datetime<del> <ins>
declare<object>
defer<script>
dirMost Elements
disabled<button> <input> <optgtoup> <option> <select> <textarea>
enctype<form>
face<basefont> <font>
for<label>
frame<table>
frameborder<frame> <iframe>
headers<th> <td>
height<iframe> <td> <th> <img> <object> <applet>
href<a> <area> <link> <base>
hreflang<a> <link>
hspace<applet> <img> <object>
http-equiv<meta>
idMost Elements
ismap<img> <input>
label<option> <optgroup>
langMost Elements
language<script>
link<body>
longdesc<img> <frame> <iframe>
marginheight<frame> <iframe>
marginwidth<frame> <iframe>
maxlength<input>
media<style> <link>
method<form>
multiple<select>
name<button> <textarea> <applet> <select> <form> <frame> <iframe> <img> <a> <input> <objext> <map> <param> <meta>
nohref<area>
noresize<frame>
noshade<hr>
nowrap<th> <td>
object<applet>
onblur<a> <area> <button> <input> <label> <select> <textarea>
onchange<input> <select> <textarea>
onclickMost Elements
ondblclickMost Elements
onfocus<a> <area> <button> <input> <label> <select> <textarea>
onkeydownMost Elements
onkeypressMost Elements
onkeyupMost Elements
onload<frameset> <body>
onmousedownMost Elements
onmousemoveMost Elements
onmouseoutMost Elements
onmouseoverMost Elements
onmouseupMost Elements
onreset<form>
onselect<nput> <textarea>
onsubmit<form>
onunload<frameset> <body>
profile<head>
prompt<bisindexody>
readonly<textarea> <input>
rel<a> <link>
rev<a> <link>
rows<frameset> <textarea>
rowspan<th> <td>
rules<table>
scheme<meta>
scope<th> <td>
scrolling<frame> <iframe>
selected<option>
shape<a> <area>
size<hr> <font> <input> <basefont> <select>
span<col> <colgroup>
src<script> <input> <frame> <iframe> <img>
standby<object>
start<ol>
styleMost Elements
summary<table>
tabindex <a> <area> <button> <input> <object> <select> <textarea>
target<a> <area> <base> <form> <link>
text<body>
titleMost Elements
type<a> <link> <object> <param> <script> <style> <input> <li> <ol> <ul> <button>
usemap<img> <input> <object>
valign<col> <colgroup> <tbody> <td> <tfoot> <th> <thead> <tr>
value<input> <option> <param> <button> <li>
valuetype<param>
version<html>
vlink<body>
vspace<applet> <image> <object> <iframe> <img> <object> <table> <col> <col> <col> <col> <col>
width<hr> <iframe> <img> <object> <table> <td> <th> <applet> <col> <colgroup>
widthpre<col>

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