HTML attributes provide additional information about HTML elements.
- All HTML elements can have attributes
- Attributes provide additional information about elements
- Attributes are always specified in the start tag
- Attributes usually come in name/value pairs like: name=”value”
The href Attribute
<a> tag defines a hyperlink. The
href attribute specifies the URL of the page the link goes to:
<a href=”https://www.w3schools.com”>Visit W3Schools</a>
You will learn more about links in our HTML Links chapter.
The src Attribute
<img> tag is used to embed an image in an HTML page. The
src attribute specifies the path to the image to be displayed:
There are two ways to specify the URL in the
1. Absolute URL – Links to an external image that is hosted on another website. Example: src=”https://www.w3schools.com/images/img_girl.jpg”.
Notes: External images might be under copyright. If you do not get permission to use it, you may be in violation of copyright laws. In addition, you cannot control external images; it can suddenly be removed or changed.
2. Relative URL – Links to an image that is hosted within the website. Here, the URL does not include the domain name. If the URL begins without a slash, it will be relative to the current page. Example: src=”img_girl.jpg”. If the URL begins with a slash, it will be relative to the domain. Example: src=”/images/img_girl.jpg”.
Tip: It is almost always best to use relative URLs. They will not break if you change domain.
The width and height Attributes
<img> tag should also contain the
height attributes, which specifies the width and height of the image (in pixels):
<img src=”img_girl.jpg” width=”500″ height=”600″>
The alt Attribute
alt attribute for the
<img> tag specifies an alternate text for an image, if the image for some reason cannot be displayed. This can be due to slow connection, or an error in the
src attribute, or if the user uses a screen reader.
<img src=”img_girl.jpg” alt=”Girl with a jacket”>
See what happens if we try to display an image that does not exist:
<img src=”img_typo.jpg” alt=”Girl with a jacket”>
You will learn more about images in our HTML Images chapter.
The style Attribute
style attribute is used to add styles to an element, such as color, font, size, and more.
<p style=”color:red;”>This is a red paragraph.</p>
You will learn more about styles in our HTML Styles chapter.
The lang Attribute
You should always include the
lang attribute inside the
<html> tag, to declare the language of the Web page. This is meant to assist search engines and browsers.
The following example specifies English as the language:
Country codes can also be added to the language code in the
lang attribute. So, the first two characters define the language of the HTML page, and the last two characters define the country.
The following example specifies English as the language and United States as the country:
You can see all the language codes in our HTML Language Code Reference.
The title Attribute
title attribute defines some extra information about an element.
The value of the title attribute will be displayed as a tooltip when you mouse over the element:
<p title=”I’m a tooltip”>This is a paragraph.</p>
We Suggest: Always Use Lowercase Attributes
The HTML standard does not require lowercase attribute names.
The title attribute (and all other attributes) can be written with uppercase or lowercase like title or TITLE.
However, W3C recommends lowercase attributes in HTML, and demands lowercase attributes for stricter document types like XHTML.
At W3Schools we always use lowercase attribute names.
We Suggest: Always Quote Attribute Values
The HTML standard does not require quotes around attribute values.
However, W3C recommends quotes in HTML, and demands quotes for stricter document types like XHTML.
<a href=”https://www.w3schools.com/html/”>Visit our HTML tutorial</a>
<a href=https://www.w3schools.com/html/>Visit our HTML tutorial</a>
Sometimes you have to use quotes. This example will not display the title attribute correctly, because it contains a space:
<p title=About W3Schools>
At W3Schools we always use quotes around attribute values.
Single or Double Quotes?
Double quotes around attribute values are the most common in HTML, but single quotes can also be used.
In some situations, when the attribute value itself contains double quotes, it is necessary to use single quotes:
<p title=’John “ShotGun” Nelson’>
Or vice versa:
<p title=”John ‘ShotGun’ Nelson”>
- All HTML elements can have attributes
<a>specifies the URL of the page the link goes to
<img>specifies the path to the image to be displayed
<img>provide size information for images
<img>provides an alternate text for an image
styleattribute is used to add styles to an element, such as color, font, size, and more
langattribute of the
<html>tag declares the language of the Web page
titleattribute defines some extra information about an element
HTML Attribute Reference
A complete list of all attributes for each HTML element, is listed in our: HTML Attribute Reference.