An acronym for HyperText Markup Language. It is descended from SGML and is used to "markup" or identify which parts of an .html or .htm text file to display in which format. A system of codes (called tags) that control the appearance and function of Web pages. HTML is a universal language that all computers can understand allowing computers from different manufacturers with different operating systems to understand each other. HTML tags format the Web page text, insert links to other Web sites, position pictures and graphics on the Web pages, and draw tables and borders for the page.