The <cite> HTML tag is known as a phrase tag, it is mainly used to style text. By default it displays text as italic which is ideal for showing a quotation or citation. It works equally as well in table based layouts as well as CSS based ones. As with all phrase based HTML tags it can be used in situations where consistency between browsers is difficult to achieve in other ways. When text is put between the opening and closing <cite> tag it is displayed as a citation text.
<cite>Some citation text in here</cite>
Any text between the opening and closing tag will be displayed as citation text.
It is possible to style and add functionality to the <cite> tag, this is done by adding an attribute to after the cite in the opening <cite> tag
Attributes allowed for the <cite>tag include :-class, dir, id, lang, style and title.
In most cases class and id are used and its basic usage is shown below
<cite id=”header”>Some citation text</cite>
With all attributes there is a space after the initial cite then the attribute name, then an equal’s sign and the identifier of the attribute in double quotes.
Both id and class attributes refer to CSS styling of the element and is either stored in the <head> of the webpage on in an external file.
With id this usually refers to a single instance on a page where as class usually refers to a repeating element on a page, it is for this reason for the <cite> tag may use either the id or class as an attribute.
The attribute style allows you to include CSS style information for a single <cite> tag.
The dir attribute allows for left reading and right reading text, lang allows you to specify a language for the tag and title allows you to include extra information for a tag.
<cite>Some citation text</cite> – basic usage example.
<cite id=”header”>Some citation text</cite> – citation text which is styled by the id header.
<cite class=”header”> Some citation text </cite> – citation text which is styled by the class header.
<cite id =”header” class=”header”> Some citation text </cite> – citation text which is styled by the class header and the id header.
<cite style=”color:#F00;”>Some citation text</cite> – citation text which has a custom colour of red.
<cite dir=”rtl”>Some citation text</cite> – citation text where the text reads from right to left.
<cite lang=”uk”>Some citation text</cite> – citation text where the language has been tagged as UK.
<cite title=”title”>Some citation text</cite> – citation text where the tag has been titled title.
Touching on just the surface of the <cite> HTML tag it is easy to see how versatile it is. To take full advantage of it an understanding of CSS is an advantage.