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3.8. The Document Body

The document body is the meat of the matter; it's where you put the contents of your document. The <body> tag delimits the document body.

3.8.1. The <body> Tag

Within HTML 4 and XHTML, the <body> tag has a number of attributes that control the color and background of your document. Various browsers, have extended the tag to give even greater control over your document's appearance.

<body>

Function:

Defines the document body

Attributes:

ALINK

ONKEYUP

BACKGROUND

ONLOAD

BGCOLOR

ONMOUSEDOWN

BGPROPERTIES

ONMOUSEMOVE

CLASS

ONMOUSEOUT

DIR

ONMOUSEOVER

ID

ONMOUSEUP

LANG

ONUNLOAD

LEFTMARGIN

STYLE

LINK

TEXT

ONBLUE

TITLE

ONCLICK

TOPMARGIN

ONDBLCLICK

VLINK

ONKEYDOWN

ONFOCUS

ONKEYPRESS

End tag:

</body>; may be omitted in HTML

Contains:

body_content

Used in:

html_tag

Anything inside the <body> tag and its ending counterpart </body> is called body content. The simplest document might have only a sequence of text paragraphs within the <body> tag. More complex documents will include heavily formatted text, graphical figures, tables, and a variety of special effects.

Since the position of the <body> and </body> tags can be inferred by the browser, they can safely be omitted from the document. However, like the <html> and <head> tags, we recommend that you include the <body> tags in your document to make them more easily readable and maintainable.

The various attributes for the <body> tag can be loosely grouped into three sets: those that give you some control over the document's appearance, those that associate programmable functions with the document itself, and those that label and identify the body for later reference. We address the appearance attributes (alink, background, bgcolor, bgproperties, leftmargin, link, text, topmargin, and vlink) in Chapter 5, "Rules, Images, and Multimedia"; the class and style attributes for cascading style sheets in Chapter 8, "Cascading Style Sheets"; JavaScript style sheets and the programmatic attributes (the "on-event" ones) in Chapter 12, "Executable Content"; the language attributes (dir and lang) earlier in this chapter in Section 3.5.1, "Advice Versus Control" and Section 3.5.2, "Character Entities"; and the identification attributes (id and title) in Chapter 4, "Text Basics". Section 3.6.1.1, "The dir attribute", Section 3.6.1.2, "The lang attribute", Section 4.1.1.4, "The id attribute", Section 4.1.1.5, "The title attribute"



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