Help:Lint errors/obsolete-tag

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The obsolete-tag error is the result of deprecated HTML elements.[1]

Since it is unclear to us at this time how far we want to push this goal of HTML5 compliance, this category is marked low priority. Some wikis might choose to not address this right away. Other wikis might want to get ahead and want to be HTML5 compliant. It is possible that some wikis might write bots to address this. So, please use your judgement and wiki-specific policies to guide you in how much effort you want to spend on this. If, in the future, there is greater clarity about pursuing this more aggressively, we will reflect that by updating the severity of this linter issue appropriately.

Currently, the deprecated elements with their alternatives are:

Deprecated tag Replacement Example Example display
<center> <div style="text-align: center;">

For use with English Wikipedia templates, see w:Wikipedia:HTML 5#Templates.
For use with parser tags, see w:Wikipedia:HTML 5#Parser tags.
For use with tables and table cells, see w:Wikipedia:HTML 5#Tables.

<div style="text-align: center;">Centered</div>
<font color="x" size="y" face="z"> <span style="color: x; font-size: y; font-family: z;"> <span style="color: red;">Red Alert!</span> Red Alert!
<span style="font-family: Times New Roman;">This is Times New Roman</span> This is Times New Roman
<strike> <del> (for marking an edit) <del>Yes</del> No Yes No
<s> (for anything else) Photon Torpedoes <s>$44.99</s> '''now just $24.99!''' each Photon Torpedoes $44.99 now just $24.99! each
<tt> <code> (preferred for source code) use <code>&nbsp;</code> for nonbreaking space use &nbsp; for nonbreaking space
<kbd> (preferred for user input) <kbd>mypasswd</kbd> mypasswd
<var> (preferred for variables) <var>age</var>=65 age=65
<samp> (preferred for computer output) <samp>Invalid password. Please try again.</samp> Invalid password. Please try again.
Use the template {{mono}} for all other monospaced text on Wikipedia in English and many other languages. If the template is not available, use:

<span style="font-family: monospace, monospace;">

<span style="font-family: monospace, monospace;">Typed text</span> Typed text
Table cell alignment: align=X
where X is "left", "center" or "right" (sometimes without quotes)
Note: As of April 2020, Linter doesn't detect this obsolete HTML.
style="text-align: X;" style="text-align: right;" | right-justified text right-justified text
"monospace, monospace" is a workaround for a bug in some browsers; see en:Wikipedia:Typography#The monospace 'bug' for details.

Font sizesEdit

<font size=...> <span style="font-size: ...;"> <span style="font-size: ...;"> <span style="font-size: ...;">
font size=0 (see note below) font-size: xx-small font-size: 71% font-size: 0.71em
font size=1 font-size: x-small font-size: 79% font-size: 0.79em
font size=2 font-size: small font-size: 102% font-size: 1.02em
font size=3 font-size: medium font-size: 126% font-size: 1.26em
font size=4 font-size: large font-size: 142% font-size: 1.42em
font size=5 font-size: x-large font-size: 189% font-size: 1.89em
font size=6 font-size: xx-large font-size: 252% font-size: 2.52em
size=7 font-size: 378% font-size: 3.78em
  • "font size=0" is not valid HTML, and it is equivalent to "font size=1".
  • Values above 7 are equivalent to 7. Sizes with percent or em are approximate matches and may depend slightly on browser and other variables.
  • Font sizes prefixed by plus or hyphen, e.g. <font size=+2> or <font size=-1>, are equivalent to 3 plus or minus that number.


<big>...</big> <span style="font-size:...">...</span>
1 big font-size:120%
2 big font-size:150%
3 big font-size:175%
4 big font-size:200%
5 big font-size:250%
6 big font-size:300%


MediaWiki currently whitelists these elements, and they tend to be output the same way as input. This means that when browser vendors decide to remove these they will simply display as regular undecorated text. Examples of some "popular" html tags that had visual effects and have been removed from major browsers include <blink>[2] and <basefont>[3]. A further problem is that different browser vendors may remove them independently so editors or readers may have inconsistent views of the same page, leading to confusion.

Such removal of styling or unique treatment of html tags by browser vendors can happen at any time and without prior notice.

Helpful hintsEdit

<font color="x"> accepts numeric font colors without the standard pound sign prefix. However, with <span style="color: x;">, the pound sign before numeric font colors is mandatory:

Markup Display
<font color="#FF0000">Red</font> Red
<font color="FF0000">Red</font> Red
<span style="color: #FF0000;">Red</span> Red
<span style="color: FF0000;">Red</span> Red

<font color="x"> accepts some nonstandard font color names such as burntorange and vermillion, which are not on the list of 16 HTML colors or the list of 124 X11 colors. The replacement <span style="color: ..."> markup recognizes only color names on these lists.

<font color="x"> accepts 4-digit and 5-digit hexadecimal codes, which need 00 and 0, respectively, appended in <span style="color: ..."> markup. Hexadecimal codes with more than 6 digits need to be trimmed to the first 6 digits.

font markup font display span markup span display
<font color="#FF88">Hello</font> Hello <span style="color: #FF8800;">Hello</span> Hello
<font color="#D0208">Hello</font> Hello <span style="color: #D02080;">Hello</span> Hello
<font color="#D020808">Hello</font> Hello <span style="color: #D02080;">Hello</span> Hello
<font color="#D020808F">Hello</font> Hello <span style="color: #D02080;">Hello</span> Hello
<font color="#D020808F0">Hello</font> Hello <span style="color: #D02080;">Hello</span> Hello


The following tools can help fix obsolete HTML tags: