Chapter 24: Void Elements

Not all HTML tags are of the same structure. While most elements require an opening tag, a closing tag, and
contents, some elements – known as void elements – only require an opening tag as they themselves do not contain
any elements. This topic explains and demonstrates the proper usage of void elements in HTML

Void elements

HTML 4.01/XHTML 1.0 Strict includes the following void elements:

  • area – clickable, defined area in an image
  • base – specifies a base URL from which all links base
  • br – line break
  • col – column in a table [deprecated]
  • hr – horizontal rule (line)
  • img – image
  • input – field where users enter data
  • link – links an external resource to the document
  • meta – provides information about the document
  • param – defines parameters for plugins

HTML 5 standards include all non-deprecated tags from the previous list and

  • command – represents a command users can invoke [obsolete]
  • keygen – facilitates public key generation for web certificates [deprecated]
  • source – specifies media sources for picture, audio, and video elements

The example below does not include void elements:

 <a href="">
 <h3>Click here to visit <i>Stack Overflow!</i></h3>
 <button onclick="alert('Hello!');">Say Hello!</button>
 <p>My favorite language is <b>HTML</b>. Here are my others:</p>

Notice how every element has an opening tag, a closing tag, and text or other elements inside the opening and
closing tags. Void tags however, are shown in the example below:

<img src="" />
<input type="number" placeholder="Enter your favorite number">

With the exception of the img tag, all of these void elements have only an opening tag. The img tag, unlike any other
tag, has a self closing / before the greater than sign of the opening tag. It is best practice to have a space before the

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