Doctypes

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A Document Type Definition (a.k.a DOCTYPE or the even shorter abbreviation DTD) is used to tell the browser what specification the document adheres too and whether to render in a standards-compliant ("strict") or backwards-compatible, buggy mode ("quirks"). It must appear as the first tag in the document, even before the HTML tag.

Note: !DOCTYPE must appear in captials, which may be counter-intuitive to those used to working in XHTML. Remember, it appears before the HTML document starts...

There are many DTDs out there; listed below are the ones most used for web pages.

HTML 5

<!DOCTYPE html>

XHTML 1.1 DTD

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/DTD/xhtml11.dtd">

XHTML 1.0 Strict, Transitional, Frameset

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Frameset//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-frameset.dtd">

HTML 4.01 Strict, Transitional, Frameset

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd"><!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd"><!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Frameset//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/frameset.dtd">

Further reading and sources