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Presentational elements and attributes

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Revision as of 22:32, 24 June 2009 by Zcorpan (talk | contribs)
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The HTML 5 spec lists some obsolete elements and attributes, some of which the advice given is "Use CSS instead.".

This page is intended to give advice about specific CSS features that can be used instead of each such element or attribute.

You should think about whether there is a semantic element that matches the intent of your use of a presentational element. If there is such an element, you should use it, and if it doesn't already have a default styling that you like, then you can use CSS from the tables below to make it look like you want. You may also have to reset any other properties that some elements have.

For example, if you have a page such as:

<body>
 <big><strong>Welcome to my page</strong></big>
 <p>Hello world.</p>
 ...

...then clearly the intent of "Welcome to my page" is a heading, and thus h1 should be used:

<body>
 <h1>Welcome to my page</h1>
 <p>Hello world.</p>
 ...

You can then style the h1 so that it looks like the first example by using:

h1 { font-size:larger; margin:0 }

Presentational elements

Element CSS feature
basefont 'font-size', 'font-family' and 'color' on body
big 'font-size:larger'
blink 'text-decoration:blink'
center 'text-align:center' and 'margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto' on descendant blocks
font 'font-size', 'font-family' and 'color'
marquee CSS transitions and animations
s 'text-decoration:line-through'
spacer 'margin', 'padding'
strike 'text-decoration:line-through'
tt 'font-family:monospace'
u 'text-decoration:undefline'

Presentational attributes

Attribute CSS feature
alink on body elements 'color' on :link:active, :visited:active
background on body elements 'background-image' on body
bgcolor on body elements 'background-color' on body
link on body elements 'color' on :link
text on body elements 'color' on body
vlink on body elements 'color' on :visited
clear on br elements 'clear' (or other techniques to clear floats)
align on caption elements 'caption-side', 'text-align'
align on col elements 'text-align' on the appropriate th/td
char on col elements -
charoff on col elements -
valign on col elements 'vertical-align' on the appropriate th/td
width on col elements 'width' on col
align on div elements 'text-align' and 'margin-left:auto' and/or 'margin-right:auto' on descendant blocks
compact on dl elements -
align on hr elements 'margin-left:auto' and/or 'margin-right:auto' on hr
noshade on hr elements 'border-style:solid' on hr
size on hr elements 'border-width' or 'height' on hr
width on hr elements 'width' on hr
align on h1—h6 elements 'text-align' on h1-h6
align on iframe elements 'float' on iframe
frameborder on iframe elements 'border' on iframe
marginheight on iframe elements 'margin-top' and 'margin-bottom' on body in the containing document
marginwidth on iframe elements 'margin-left' and 'margin-right' on body in the containing document
scrolling on iframe elements 'overflow' on the root element in the containing document
align on input elements 'float' or 'vertical-align' on input
align on img elements 'float' on img
border on img elements 'border' on img
hspace on img elements 'margin-left' and 'margin-right' on img
vspace on img elements 'margin-top' and 'margin-bottom' on img
align on legend elements -
type on li elements 'list-style-type' on li
compact on menu elements -
align on object elements 'float' on object
border on object elements 'border' on object
hspace on object elements 'margin-left' and 'margin-right' on object
vspace on object elements 'margin-top' and 'margin-bottom' on object
compact on ol elements -
type on ol elements 'list-style-type' on ol
align on p elements 'text-align' on p
width on pre elements 'width' on pre
align on table elements 'margin-left:auto' and/or 'margin-right:auto' on table
bgcolor on table elements 'background-color' on table
border on table elements 'border-width' on table and on the table's td and th
cellpadding on table elements 'padding' on the table's td and th
cellspacing on table elements 'border-spacing' on table
frame on table elements 'border-color:black' and 'border-style' on table
rules on table elements 'border-color:black' and 'border-style' on the table's appropriate elements
width on table elements 'width' on table
align on tbody, thead, and tfoot elements 'text-align' on tbody, thead and tfoot and 'margin-left:auto' and/or 'margin-right:auto' on descendant blocks
char on tbody, thead, and tfoot elements -
charoff on tbody, thead, and tfoot elements -
valign on tbody, thead, and tfoot elements 'vertical-align' on tbody, thead and tfoot
align on td and th elements 'text-align' on td and th and 'margin-left:auto' and/or 'margin-right:auto' on descendant blocks
bgcolor on td and th elements 'background-color' on td and th
char on td and th elements -
charoff on td and th elements -
height on td and th elements 'height' on td and th
nowrap on td and th elements 'white-space:nowrap' on td and th
valign on td and th elements 'vertical-align' on td and th
width on td and th elements 'width' on td and th
align on tr elements 'text-align' on tr and 'margin-left:auto' and/or 'margin-right:auto' on descendant blocks
bgcolor on tr elements 'background-color' on tr
char on tr elements -
charoff on tr elements -
valign on tr elements 'vertical-align' on tr
compact on ul elements -
type on ul elements 'list-style-type' on ul