HTML <pre> Tag

The HTML <pre> tag represents preformatted text in an HTML document.

Browsers normally render <pre> text in a fixed-pitched font, with whitespace in tact, and without word wrap.

The <pre> tag can be useful for displaying ASCII art, for displaying computer code, emails, etc.


The <pre> tag is written as <pre></pre> with the preformatted text inserted between the start and end tags.

Like this:


Basic tag usage


Here's an example of using the <pre> tag to display ASCII art.

Displaying Computer Code

Here are two examples; one with the <pre> tag, and one without the <pre> tag.

With the <pre> Tag

Here, we use the <pre> tag to display computer code. This is important, because, if we didn't use the <pre> tag, none of the line-breaks, or indents would be displayed - making it harder to read.

Without the <pre> Tag

Here's the same computer code, but this time we don't use the <pre> tag.


Attributes can be added to an HTML element to provide more information about how the element should appear or behave.

The <pre> element accepts the following attributes.


Global Attributes

The following attributes are standard across all HTML elements. Therefore, you can use these attributes with the <pre> tag , as well as with all other HTML tags.

For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 global attributes.

Event Handlers

Event handler content attributes enable you to invoke a script from within your HTML. The script is invoked when a certain "event" occurs. Each event handler content attribute deals with a different event.

Most event handler content attributes can be used on all HTML elements, but some event handlers have specific rules around when they can be used and which elements they are applicable to.

For more detail, see HTML event handler content attributes.