In the HyperText Markup Language (HTML), as with many computer programming languages, the term "HTML address" can have more than one meaning. It can refer directly to the HTML address tag, which is a formatting tag that defines a block of text as containing information about the person, company or team that designed the particular web page or website being viewed. Alternately, it sometimes is loosely used to refer to a universal resource locator (URL) that points to an HTML document, such as the address of a web page. When used as an HTML tag, the block of address text will display on the browser page as if it were a normal element, except that some browsers will render the text in italics by default, in which case the behavior must be overridden through the use of cascading style sheets (CSS) to remove the italics.
The HTML address tag is a block-level tag that defines the text between the opening and closing tags as the address of the creator of the page. Exactly what this address constitutes is left up to the author of the website, but it generally is intended to be a name, phone number, physical address or email address so a person viewing the page has an immediate way to contact the creator. Within the HTML document, the address will be displayed wherever the tag has been placed, just like any other block-level element, with the exception that some browsers will draw the text in italics by default to differentiate it from other text on the page.
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Most commonly, the HTML address tag is meant to be included in the footer of a webpage, meaning it will appear at the bottom of the page. The tag operates just like any other block-level HTML tag and can be modified with CSS or set to react to user input such as mouse movements. Even though the contents are intended to be an address, no formatting is applied to the block of text unless the user has explicitly defined it, such as with line breaks. The text in the address tag is accessible through the document object model (DOM), meaning the address can be specifically targeted and manipulated within a website.
A more informal definition of an HTML address is the location of an HTML document on the Internet. This can include only the primary domain name of a site, which normally defaults to an HTML file called index.html, or it can be a longer URL that specifies one file within a larger directory. An HTML address also can be any URL that is included within an HTML document that points to a resource, such as an image file, in relation to the location of the HTML document, also called a relative address.