Should I Put Quotes Around Attribute Values

Should I Put Quotes Around Attribute Values


  • 22 Feb, 2012

    It is never wrong to quote attribute values, and many people recommend quoting all attribute values even when the quotation marks are technically optional. XHTML 1.0 requires all attribute values to be quoted. Like previous HTML specifications, HTML 4 allows attribute values to remain unquoted in many circumstances (e.g., when the value contains only letters and digits).Be careful when your attribute value includes double quotes, for instance when you want ALT text like "the "King of Comedy" takes a bow" for an image. Humans can parse that to know where the quoted material ends, but browsers can't. You have to code the attribute value specially so that the first interior quote doesn't terminate the value prematurely. There are two main techniques:* Escape any quotes inside the value with " so you don't terminate the value prematurely: ALT="the "King of Comedy" takes a bow".* Use single quotes to enclose the attribute value: ALT='the "King of Comedy" takes a bow'.Both these methods are correct according to the specification and are supported by current browsers, but both were poorly supported in some earlier browsers. The only truly safe advice is to rewrite the text so that the attribute value need not contain quotes, or to change the interior double quotes to single quotes, like this: ALT="the 'King of Comedy' takes a bow".

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