About the Configuration File

The configuration file (htmlvalV140.cfg) contains the elements, attributes, attribute values, tag name programs, and more that CSE HTML Validator uses to validate a document. This includes many, but not all, of the validator messages that it is capable of generating. Many of the tag name programs use "flags" that let you easily customize the validations. What do the flags do?

Editing and Customizing the Configuration File

CSE HTML Validator should work sufficiently with its default configuration without altering the default active categories and without other changes. However, if you want to "fine-tune" the configuration then you can if you have the professional or enterprise edition.

The configuration file can be edited using the Configuration Editor in the professional and enterprise editions (the Configuration Editor may appear confusing at first, because of its many options). If you do decide that you want to customize the configuration then the following information in this topic and in other documentation topics will help you decide what categories you want active and what other customizations you may wish to make.

hmtoggle_plus1Important Editing Notes (if you edit the configuration file)

Save your changes: If you make any changes to the configuration file, then it is highly recommended that you save your modified configuration file using a filename other than the default. The default file is overwritten during installs and updates. If you do not use a different filename to save your changes, then your changes may be lost at the next install or update.

If you edit the configuration file, then you will be "stuck" using your custom config file even when updated config files come out, or you will have to re-apply your customizations to new updates to the configuration file. Because of this, we recommend using the "user functions" file whenever possible.

New "user functions" files: In v11 and above, you can specify a "user functions" file or two (in the professional and enterprise editions) to customize validations by containing event functions. This is now the recommended way to customize a validation because the same user functions file can be used with newer versions of CSE HTML Validator and with updated configuration files because the customizations are not lost. However, in some cases it is still necessary to edit the configuration file, depending on the customizations you wish to make.

About Categories

NOTE: For typical usage of CSE HTML Validator, you should not have to change the active categories or otherwise use the Configuration Editor.

CSE HTML Validator comes with an included configuration file that supports many different 'categories' of elements. Support for HTML5, HTML 4.01, HTML 4.0, XHTML 1.0, XHTML 1.1, HTML Microdata, Netscape extensions (legacy), Microsoft Internet Explorer extensions, WML, XHTML and more is already included. Note that some categories such as WML are only supported by the standard and higher editions.

An important characteristic of the included configuration file is that the categories are built upon one another. This means that if you want to validate against HTML 3.2, then the HTML 2.0 category, in addition to the HTML 3.2 category must be active. To validate against HTML 4.0 (or XHTML), the HTML 2.0, HTML 3.2, and HTML 4.0 categories must all be active (HTML 4.0 cannot be the only active category). This is because the HTML 4.0 category requires the HTML 3.2 category as its "foundation", and the HTML 3.2 category requires the HTML 2.0 category as its "foundation".

To validate for Microsoft Internet Explorer (Microsoft IE), the HTML 2.0, HTML 3.2, and (for Internet Explorer 4.0+ only) HTML 4.0 categories must be active as well as the categories for the Microsoft IE extensions that you wish to use. If you make the Microsoft IE 4.0 Extensions category active, then you must also make the Microsoft IE 3.0 Extensions category active.

The default is for most categories to be active. If needed, categories that are not active may automatically be made active by a tag name program when a document is checked. Therefore, depending on how a specific category works, a non-active category may still allow syntax checking of that category even if it is inactive.

hmtoggle_plus1Additional Category Notes

The Dynamic HTML and Scripting & Applets categories should normally be made active or inactive together.

The Obsolete category contains elements such as "listing", "note", "plaintext" and "xmp".

The Miscellaneous category contains these elements: "nextid", "spacer". It contains these attributes: "ms_positioning", "msimagelist", "naturalsizeflag", "nof", "nosave", "webbot-action", "xmnls:o", and "xmnls:v".

The General category contains the "cseignore" element. Use the "cseignore" element to surround markup that you want HTML Validator to ignore during a validation. Example: <cseignore>...ignore this...</cseignore>

The XML 1.0 category contains the "xml:lang" attribute.

Lite Edition

CSE HTML Validator Lite does not support messages generated by tag name programs, one of the most powerful features of the standard and above editions. Because it does not support these messages, the following information about the validator flags does not apply to the lite edition. The lite edition will never generate any of the messages that you see below. If you are using the lite edition, consider upgrading to the standard edition or better so that you can see many more messages and benefit from significantly improved syntax checking.


Message ID Feature: If you only want to disable a single message instead of all the messages for a particular flag, then you can do this by choosing to enable or disable a message on an individual basis. This works for most messages but not all. To do this, bring up the context menu for the message in the integrated editor (usually by right-clicking on the message) and choose the desired option from the Message Options sub-menu. This feature may be referred to as the message ID feature because it only works for messages that have message IDs. More information about disabling messages.

If you want to disable all tag name program functionality (not recommended), then you can uncheck the Enable programs validator engine option. This will cause any messages (such as the below messages listed under the flags) generated by a tag name program to not be displayed. It will also speed up the validation engine. However, disabling the tag name programs may significantly reduce the effectiveness of the validation and could even result, in some cases, in incorrect results. NOTE: The tag name program feature is considered to be a powerful feature of CSE HTML Validator Standard and above, and therefore should not be disabled.

If you want to disable a tag name program for a specific element or attribute, then you can use the Programs tab in the Configuration Editor (professional and enterprise editions) to select the tag name with the program you wish to disable and then uncheck the Enable open program for tag or Enable close program for tag option. NOTE: This is not recommended.