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What is this DOCTYPE good for?


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What is the purpose of the <!DOCTYPE ..> tag in HTML pages and what should I put in there?


The <!DOCTYPE ..> tag is a special declaration in the very first line of your webpage, it comes even before the <HTML> tag. This tag informs a validator tool what rules to use when it has to validate your page. Newer browsers (IE 6+, Mozilla, NS6+, Opera, IE 5+ on Mac) use this setting to determine whether to display your page in 'Quirks' or 'Standards' mode.

Visit this web site to try an online validator:

// HTML 4.01 transitional doctype supports all attributes of HTML 4.01,
// presentational attributes, deprecated elements, and link targets.
// It is meant to be used for webpages that are transitioning to HTML 4.01 strict:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"

// HTML 4.01 Strict is a trimmed down version of HTML 4.01 with emphasis on 
// structure over presentation. Deprecated elements and attributes
// (including most presentational attributes), frames, and link
// targets are not allowed. CSS should be used to style all elements:


// HTML 4.01 frameset is identical to Transitional above,
// except for the use of <frameset> over <body>:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Frameset//EN"


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