The <meta> element represents an interface to provide metadata pertaining to the document. Metadata is data that is used to describe the document that contains it. The <meta> element must be placed inside the <head> element of the document.


<meta />

The <meta> element that has no closing tag, meaning that it cannot have elements inside of it. It uses attributes to set properties, some common attributes are:

  • charset: describes the character encoding used when writing the document
  • name: describes the type of meta tag, may include things like "author", "description", "keywords", and "color-scheme"
  • content: accompanies name to provide the appropriate content specific to the value of name.


<!-- Sets the character set used to create this HTML file -->
<meta charset="utf-8" />
<!-- Details the author of the document -->
<meta name="author" content="Jasmine the Gorilla" />
<!-- Provides a description used to improve discovery in search engines -->
content="A short fable about the origin of bananas, and the joy they provide."
<!-- Sets the color scheme to dark if possible, but lets the browser know that light will render correctly, too -->
<meta name="color-scheme" content="dark light" />


Interested in helping build Docs? Read the Contribution Guide or share your thoughts in this feedback form.

Learn HTML on Codecademy