XHTML Compliance and HTML Simplification in SharePoint Server 2010 (ECM)

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010

Simplified and updated HTML and cascading style sheets (CSS) markup improves usability and reduces end-user perceived latency (EUPL). These changes increase the speed of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010and its conformance to legal standards in countries around the world. HTML simplification affects the markup of master pages, page layouts, Web Parts, field controls, and other controls. You have the option to make your SharePoint Server implementation compliant with a specific standard by adjusting the components and content that are used in order to be compliant.

HTML Simplification

To simplify HTML and CSS markup, many publishing features in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 adhere to the XHTML 1.0 Strict specification. Many new controls introduced in SharePoint Server 2010 avoid using inline styles, using tables for layouts, and relying on custom properties in markup that are not a part of the valid Document Type Definition (DTD). This is true whether the HTML is emitted by the control itself or it is expected to be present to function properly.

Complying with XHTML

For the ECM markup in master pages, page layouts, and controls, code complies with the XHTML 1.0 Strict specification. Complying with the specification means that files:

  • Include the DTD in master pages.

  • Include the <header> tag in XML documents.

  • Validate the markup of each individual component to ensure full compliance.

Table 1. ECM compliance with the XHTML 1.0 Strict specification



Semantic markup

Unlike with XHTML compliance, it is not straightforward to automate the validation of semantic markup. Therefore, SharePoint Server 2010 is validated against semantic markup guidelines for master pages, page layouts, and controls.


Master pages and page layouts do not include tables. Tables without explicitly defined <th> tags in the markup do not appear, and tables that are nested deeper than two levels do not appear.


Lists of items or links are created by using <ul>, <ol>, and <li> tags. These tags appear most commonly in navigation and lists of links, such as in the Content By Query Web Part or the Summary Links Web Part. Lists that are nested deeper than three levels do not appear.


All form elements are explictly associating label tags.


All font sizes are specified by using relative sizing (such as percentages).

See Also


Common SharePoint Web Part and Field Control Customization Tasks (ECM)

Other Resources

Common SharePoint Page and Site Customization Tasks (ECM)