HTML tags you never knew about

Ya know that DOCTYPE declaration you put at the top of all your webpages? It usually looks something like this: <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "">. Well recently I had to take a close look at the XHTML 1.0 specs so I started with the actual dtd listed in my DOCTYPE declaration. There I discovered a whole bunch of HTML tags that I never knew were there. Admittedly most of them are obscure for a reason but how can you write semantically sound HTML without knowing your options. So here goes:

<wbr /> - Word Break

Use this to indicate where a long word should break in case it is too long. Like this: pneumoultramicroscopic<wbr />silicovalcanoconiousis.

<abbr></abbr> - Abbreviation

This tag makes screen readers happy. Think about it, what does "xword pzl" mean to a screen reader? To be more accessible try this: <abbr title="Crossword Puzzle">xword pzl</abbr>

<acronym></acronym> - Acronym

Like <abbr> this tag gives screen readers some extra info, but more importantly i gives more information period. If you don't know what DUMBO means, just hover over it. (The html I used is <acronym title="Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass">DUMBO</acronym>

<code></code> - Code

Ok, if you're reading this then chances are you know this one but it's worth another look. This is useful for displaying code in a nice monospace font.

<ins></ins> - Newly Inserted

I find the uses for this tag pretty limited, but there are moments. Basically this tag should be used on a page that people often revisit and you need to point out content that has recently been added or changed. The fatel flaw, of course, is remembering to remove this tag when an appropriate amount of time passes.

<bdo></bdo> - Base Direction

Let's say you have an site whose primary language is English but you need to show a sentence or two in Hebrew or Arabic or some other RTL language. This is the tag for you: <bdo dir="rtl">This text is right to left</bdo>

There are several others that I haven't covered yet, but I plan to keep on adding so check back.