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How to Work with Empty and Container Tags in HTML

Generally speaking, HTML has two types of tags: empty and container. In this how-to, you'll learn the difference between the two.

Most HTML elements consist of a starting tag, an ending tag, and everything that comes between the two tags, which is known as the element's contents. Here's an example of an element with a starting tag, and ending tag, and content:


<p>Hello, world!</p>

When tags are part of an element that can have content, the tags are called container tags.

Some elements only have a single tag and therefore can't have any content. These elements are called empty elements or empty tags.

Empty elements have the following syntax:

<tagname>
or
<tagname att1="value" att2="value">

The empty elements are:

  • <area>
  • <base>
  • <br>
  • <col>
  • <embed>
  • <hr>
  • <img>
  • <input>
  • <link>
  • <meta>
  • <param>
  • <source>
  • <track>
  • <wbr>
Author: Chris Minnick
Chris is a prolific author and trainer, and the CEO of WatzThis?. His published books include Writing Computer Code, JavaScript for Kids, Coding with JavaScript For Dummies, Beginning HTML5 and CSS3 For Dummies, Webkit For Dummies, CIW eCommerce Certification Bible, and New Riders' XHTML.
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