HTML is a markup language for presenting web pages, and elements of HTML are the building blocks of HTML pages. Like any language, HTML consists of a wide range of features, one of which is the ordered list or <ol> tag. This article delves into the concept of the HTML <ol> tag, explaining its fundamental aspects, properties, and utility in HTML.

What is HTML Ordered List?

The ordered list is an important part of HTML where data items are arranged in a precise sequence. It is denoted by the <ol> tag. Each list item starts with the <li> tag (list item). The browser by default uses numbers to mark each list item in an ordered list.

Understanding the Syntax

Creating ordered lists in HTML is straightforward. A list starts with the <ol> tag and ends with </ol>. Each item within the list is denoted using the <li> tag. Here is an example:


<h2>A Simple Ordered List</h2>



In the above example, Coffee, Tea, and Milk are list items in an ordered list.

List Type Property

One essential aspect of the <ol> tag is the “type” attribute. HTML provides several list types that can be used according to the content requirements.

  • Type=”1″ – The list items are marked with numbers (default).
  • Type=”A” – The list items are marked with uppercase letters.
  • Type=”a” – The list items are marked with lowercase letters.
  • Type=”I” – The list items are marked with uppercase roman numbers.
  • Type=”i” – The list items are marked with lowercase roman numbers.

Start Property

Another attribute, “start”, can be used with <ol> to alter the starting point of the list. If the list type is numeric, a start value of 5 would cause the list to begin counting from five instead of one.


In conclusion, the HTML ordered list represented by the <ol> tag is an important feature in HTML. It allows web developers to create organized, well-structured, reliable, and consistent lists on a webpage. Understanding this tag and its attributes, such as type and start, helps deliver more interactive and user-friendly web content.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can an ordered list contain an unordered list in HTML?
    Yes, an ordered list can contain an unordered list and vice versa. It provides added flexibility in presenting data.

  2. What happens if the ‘type’ attribute is not specified in an <ol> tag?
    This results in a default ordered list where each list item is marked with numbers.

  3. Can I start my numeric ordered list from a number other than 1?
    Yes, with the use of the ‘start’ attribute with a value corresponding to your preferred starting point, you can start your order list from any number.

  4. Can the <li> tag be used without a parent <ol> tag?
    While it’s technically possible, it is not recommended as the <li> tag is meant to denote list items. It should ideally be used within order (<ol>) or unordered (<ul>) list tags.

  5. Can I change the colour of the numbers in an ordered list?
    Yes. Changing the colour of the numbers in an ordered list can be achieved using CSS.

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