Learning HTML 3.2 by Examples, section 5 Descriptions of HTML 3.2 tags:

TITLE - "external" title


To define the (obligatory) "external" title for the document.

Typical rendering

The title is not displayed as part of the document itself but can stand for or be attached to the document in several contexts. The title can be displayed in a browser's window caption, search result lists returned by search engines, hotlists defined by users, history lists etc.

Basic syntax

<TITLE>character sequence</TITLE>

Possible attributes


Allowed context

The head element, in which exactly one TITLE element must appear.


Character sequence. Within it, character entities such as &lt; (for <) and &auml; (for ) are interpreted. No HTML tags are allowed in a title. Therefore, you cannot use different fonts or emphasis in it.


<TITLE>A study of population dynamics</TITLE>


It is important to write a good title especially because search result lists returned by search engines may use the title. For the same reason the title should be descriptive (and appetizing!) even out of context, i.e. when it is the only information available about the document. Avoid titles like Introduction.

On the other hand, the title should be relatively short to fit into one line under all reasonable circumstances. The HTML 2.0 specification says that long titles may be truncated and that titles should be at most 63 characters in length.

See also general notes about the head section.

Use the H1 or some other heading element to specify the main heading to be displayed as part of the document. Using such a heading at the beginning of a document and using a TITLE element are not alternatives but serve different purposes; both are strongly recommended. The title text and the main heading text may well be identical, but of course they need not.

Date of last update: 2010-12-16.
This page belongs to the free information site IT and communication, section Web authoring and surfing, by Jukka "Yucca" Korpela.