HTML <meta> name Attribute

❮ HTML <meta> tag


Use the name attribute to define a description, keywords, and the author of an HTML document. Also define the viewport to control the page's dimensions and scaling for different devices:

  <meta name="description" content="Free Web tutorials">
  <meta name="keywords" content="HTML,CSS,JavaScript">
  <meta name="author" content="John Doe">
  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
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The name attribute specifies the name for the metadata.

The name attribute specifies a name for the information/value of the content attribute.

Note: If the http-equiv attribute is set, the name attribute should not be set.

HTML5 introduced a method to let web designers take control over the viewport (the user's visible area of a web page), through the <meta> tag (See "Setting The Viewport" example below).

Browser Support

name Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Differences Between HTML 4.01 and HTML5



<meta name="value">

Attribute Values

Value Description
application-name Specifies the name of the Web application that the page represents
author Specifies the name of the author of the document. Example:
<meta name="author" content="John Doe">
description Specifies a description of the page. Search engines can pick up this description to show with the results of searches. Example:
<meta name="description" content="Free web tutorials">
generator Specifies one of the software packages used to generate the document (not used on hand-authored pages). Example:
<meta name="generator" content="FrontPage 4.0">
keywords Specifies a comma-separated list of keywords - relevant to the page (Informs search engines what the page is about).

Tip: Always specify keywords (needed by search engines to catalogize the page). Example:
<meta name="keywords" content="HTML, meta tag, tag reference">
viewport Controls the viewport (the user's visible area of a web page).

The viewport varies with the device, and will be smaller on a mobile phone than on a computer screen.

You should include the following <meta> viewport element in all your web pages:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">

A <meta> viewport element gives the browser instructions on how to control the page's dimensions and scaling.

The width=device-width part sets the width of the page to follow the screen-width of the device (which will vary depending on the device).

The initial-scale=1.0 part sets the initial zoom level when the page is first loaded by the browser.

Here is an example of a web page without the viewport meta tag, and the same web page with the viewport meta tag:

Tip: If you are browsing this page with a phone or a tablet, you can click on the two links below to see the difference.

You can read more about the viewport in our Responsive Web Design - The Viewport Tutorial.

❮ HTML <meta> tag