HTML and CSS Reference
HTML 4 also defines the id attribute for the <basefont> tag, allowing you
to label the tag uniquely for later access to its contents. [ The id attrib-
Authors typically include the <basefont> tag in the head of an HTML doc-
ument, if at all, to set the base font size for the entire document. Non-
etheless, the tag may appear nearly anywhere in the document, and it
may appear several times throughout the document, each with a new
size attribute. With each occurrence, the <basefont> tag's effects are im-
mediate and hold for all subsequent text.
In an egregious deviation from the HTML and Standard Generalized
Markup Language (SGML) standards, Internet Explorer does not inter-
pret the ending </basefont> tag as terminating the effects of the most
recent <basefont> tag. Instead, the </basefont> end tag resets the base
font size to the default value of 3, which is the same as writing <basefont
The following example source and Figure 4-21 illustrate how Internet
Explorer responds to the <basefont> tag and </basefont> end tag:
Unless the base font size was reset above,
Inernet Explorer renders this part in font size 3.
This text should be rather large (size 7).
<basefont size=6> Oh,
<basefont size=4> no!
<basefont size=2> I'm
<basefont size=1> shrinking!
Ahhhh, back to normal.