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The Document-Type Declaration

This tag gives the version information for the document (what version of HTML you're using) and the location of the DTD for that version. The tag goes at the very beginning of the HTML document, before even the <HTML> tag, and has no closing tag.

HTML 4.0 has three versions:

HTML 4.0 Specification § 7.2

Here is a sample HTML page:

Sample Page

Here is the code for the sample above:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"
All About Violets *\*/*
<STYLE type="text/css">
<!-- H1 {color: #800080} -->
<BODY bgcolor="#FFFFFF" link="#FF0000" alink="#FF00FF" vlink="#0000FF" text="#006600">
<H1>All About Violets</H1>
<p>The beautiful wild violets that decorate lawns... blah, blah, blah...</p>