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
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