HTML: the Root Element

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

What's Root Element

root element” of HTML is the element represented by the <html></html> tags.

Root element of XML may be other, depending on the XML. For example, root element of SVG is represented by the <svg></svg> tags.

[see Practical SVG Tutorial]

Root element of Atom Web Feed is <feed></feed>.

Why is Root Element Important

It's important because many CSS unit's meaning refers to it.

[see CSS: Units]

CSS Syntax for Root Element

In CSS, the root can be specified by: :root

For example, make all text red:

:root { color: red; }

This is often used when using CSS variables.

[see CSS Variable]

HTML Basics

  1. HTML Basics
  2. HTML5 Tags
  3. Case Sensitivity
  4. Allowed Characters
  5. Charset and Encoding
  6. Self-Closing Tags
  7. Multiple Class Value
  8. HTML Entity List

HTML Table

  1. HTML Table Examples
  2. HTML Table, thead, tbody, tfoot
  3. HTML Table, colgroup, col
  4. Styling HTML Table with CSS
  5. CSS: 3 Columns Page Layout
  6. Pure CSS Table


  1. Viewport Meta
  2. the Root Element
  3. iframe
  4. video
  5. audio
  6. figure
  7. dl, dt, dd
  8. s strike del
  9. time
  10. meter
  11. progress
  12. q
  13. address
  14. canvas
  15. ruby
  16. HTML5 Custom Data Attribute
  17. Big Tag
  18. Image Maps
  19. Marquee, Scrolling Text
  20. How to Markup Subtitle
  21. Meta Language Tag Obsolete
  22. Browser Auto Refresh

HTML4 Frameset

  1. HTML: Split Windows; Frameset
  2. HTML Nested Frameset
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