HTML <DOCTYPE> Tag | HTML Tutorial

Example

An HTML document with a doctype of XHTML 1.0 Transitional:
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html>
<head>
<title>Title of the document</title>
</head>
<body>
The content of the document......
</body>
</html>

Definition and Usage

The doctype declaration should be the very first thing in an
HTML document, before the <html> tag.
The doctype declaration is not an HTML tag; it is an instruction to the web browser about what version of the markup language the page is written in.
The doctype declaration refers to a Document Type Definition (DTD). The DTD specifies the rules for the markup language, so that the browsers can render the content correctly.

Doctypes Available in the W3C Recommendations

HTML 4.01 Strict

This DTD contains all HTML elements and attributes, but does NOT INCLUDE presentational or deprecated elements (like font). Framesets are not allowed.
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">

HTML 4.01 Transitional

This DTD contains all HTML elements and attributes, INCLUDING presentational and deprecated elements (like font). Framesets are not allowed.
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">

HTML 4.01 Frameset

This DTD is equal to HTML 4.01 Transitional, but allows the use of frameset content.
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Frameset//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/frameset.dtd">

XHTML 1.0 Strict

This DTD contains all HTML elements and attributes, but does NOT INCLUDE presentational or deprecated elements (like font). Framesets are not allowed. The markup must also be written as well-formed XML.
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">

XHTML 1.0 Transitional

This DTD contains all HTML elements and attributes, INCLUDING presentational and deprecated elements (like font). Framesets are not allowed. The markup must also be written as well-formed XML.
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">

XHTML 1.0 Frameset

This DTD is equal to XHTML 1.0 Transitional, but allows the use of frameset content.
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Frameset//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-frameset.dtd">

XHTML 1.1

This DTD is equal to XHTML 1.0 Strict, but allows you to add modules (for example to provide ruby support for East-Asian languages).
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/DTD/xhtml11.dtd">
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