Deprecated Tags in HTML 4.0
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<ISINDEX> allowed a form to contain a simple string search. This action should be replaced by an <INPUT> form element.
The <CENTER>...</CENTER> tag, oddly enough, centered text or graphics. <CENTER> is deprecated in favor of <DIV> tag with the align attribute set to "center."
<FONT>...</FONT> allowed the specification of font sizes, colors, and faces. Style sheets, rather than HTML code, have taken over character formatting duties.
NOTE: Based as it is on SGML, HTML purists have never been happy using markup--the description of a document's structure--to define presentation, or how a document appears. With the formal (pending) adoption of style sheets, character formatting can be taken out of HTML code.
<BASEFONT>...</BASEFONT> set a base font size that could then be referenced for size increases or decreases. Use style sheets instead to set and reference relative font sizes.
<STRIKE>...</STRIKE> and <S>...</S>
Both <STRIKE>...</STRIKE> and <S>...</S> created strikethrough characters. Replace these tags with style sheets.
<U>...</U> created underlined characters. As with the tags above, use style sheets to create underlines.
Moving away from fonts, we have the <DIR>...</DIR> tag. <DIR> describes a directory list. While originally designed to output elements in horizontal columns like UNIX directory listings, browsers formatted <DIR> lists like unordered lists. As there is no difference between the two, use a <UL>...</UL> list instead of a <DIR>...</DIR> list.
<MENU>...</MENU> lists have also fallen by the wayside. The <MENU> tag described single-column menu lists. As with <DIR> lists, browsers made no distinction between <MENU> and <UL> lists. Use <UL>...</UL> lists instead of <MENU> ones.
from Special Edition Using HTML 4: Appendix A
What's New in HTML 4.0
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