Introduction to TIDY

Edited June 2011

It is so easy to make mistakes while working with HTML. For many years millions of HTML users all over the world have been dreaming to find a simple decision how to correct such mistakes automatically without excessive efforts. Today such simple decision actually exists. It is called HTML TIDY and it is absolutely free. The name of its creator is Dave Raggett and he has really done a good job. The greatest thing about HTML TIDY is that it corrects all mistakes even in the most complicated markups which are almost impossible to check in any other ways.

TIDY deals with a wide row of problems and it emphasizes the certain points which require special attention of the user. It uses very simple and easy-to-understand instruments to list the problems and it is always possible to find the location of the problem in the markup. TIDY never generates fixed interpretation unless it is absolutely sure that the problem must be handled in a certain and only way. Such problems are marked as "errors", and the ones which are corrected are "warnings".

HTML TIDY is currently maintained and enhanced by the community of volunteers Source Forge. TIDY is still available as open software and its creators keep gathering all kinds of gaps and bugs in the software with the help of its users. Please, visit for the details.


If you wish to contact W3C on an issue connected with HTML TIDY, please, send an e-mail at: You can subscribe (or unsubscribe) for the news concerning HTML TIDY via e-mail: You simply need to send there a message with a subject “subscribe” (or “unsubscribe”) to do this. To send the report to the developers or to contact them on any issue, please, visit

TIDY also impresses with its abilities to perform on HTML saved from MS Word 2000. It is both comfortable to use it in Word and on the Internet. TIDY supports different versions of Word, so you do not need to be concerned about this issue.

Global use and internationalization

TIDY supports a whole bunch of different character encodings, including UTF-8, ISO Latin-1, the ISO 2022 family, US ASCII, etc. The complete kit of HTML 4.0 entities is identified and whenever it is suitable fixed output puts into service HTML entity names for characters. In other cases the characters are emitted as output as numerical character entities. The default output encoding of TIDY is US ASCII, in fact TIDY still cannot identify the application of the HTML meta element implemented for the character encoding clarification.

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