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HTML5 is the newest revision of the HyperText Markup Language. It updates and replaces HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.1. It is being standardized at W3C, and jointly developed by W3C and WHATWG. It is currently in W3C’s Candidate Recommendation phase, and is expected to be finalized as a Recommendation in 2014.

For more information, there is a developer-friendly version of the spec, HTML: The Markup Language, and a HTML5 differences from HTML4 document to find out what’s changed.

To get started using HTML5, you can read our HTML tutorials.

Here is a summary of which features are new, changed, or even obsolete in HTML5.


New Elements

There are 47 new elements in HTML5:

Changed Elements

There are 11 elements that were changed in HTML5:

  • a: hyperlink
  • b: offset text conventionally styled in bold
  • cite: cited title of a work
  • hr: thematic break
  • input: input control
  • i: offset text conventionally styled in italic
  • menu: list of commands
  • meta: metadata
  • small: small print
  • s: struck text
  • u: offset text conventionally styled with an underline

Obsolete Elements

Several existing elements were declared obsolete in HTML5, though for the sake of completeness and handling legacy content, they are still defined in the specification. However, authors should not use these elements.

There are different reasons for these elements being made obsolete:

  1. they are purely presentational, and CSS should be used instead
  2. they harm usability and accessibility
  3. they are confusing, duplicative, or rarely used

There are 13 elements made obsolete in HTML5:

Existing Elements

There are 84 unchanged elements in HTML5:


New Attributes

Changed Attributes

Obsolete Attributes

Existing Attributes


New APIs