HTML::Tidy - (X)HTML validation in a Perl object


Version 1.08


    use HTML::Tidy;

    my $tidy = HTML::Tidy->new( {config_file => 'path/to/config'} );
    $tidy->ignore( type => TIDY_WARNING );
    $tidy->parse( "foo.html", $contents_of_foo );

    for my $message ( $tidy->messages ) {
        print $message->as_string;


HTML::Tidy is an HTML checker in a handy dandy object. It's meant as a replacement for HTML::Lint. If you're currently an HTML::Lint user looking to migrate, see the section "Converting from HTML::Lint".


Message types TIDY_WARNING and TIDY_ERROR.

Everything else is an object method.



Create an HTML::Tidy object.

    my $tidy = HTML::Tidy->new();

Optionally you can give a hashref of configuration parms.

    my $tidy = HTML::Tidy->new( {config_file => 'path/to/tidy.cfg'} );

This configuration file will be read and used when you clean or parse an HTML file.

You can also pass options directly to libtidy.

    my $tidy = HTML::Tidy->new( {
                                    output_xhtml => 1,
                                    tidy_mark => 0,
                                } );

See or tidy -help-config for the list of options supported by libtidy.

The following options are not supported by HTML::Tidy: quiet


Returns the messages accumulated.


Clears the list of messages, in case you want to print and clear, print and clear. If you don't clear the messages, then each time you call parse() you'll be accumulating more in the list.

ignore( parm => value [, parm => value ] )

Specify types of messages to ignore. Note that the ignore flags must be set before calling parse(). You can call ignore() as many times as necessary to set up all your restrictions; the options will stack up.

  • type => TIDY_(WARNING|ERROR)

    Specifies the type of messages you want to ignore, either warnings or errors. If you wanted, you could call ignore on both and get no messages at all.

        $tidy->ignore( type => TIDY_WARNING );
  • text => qr/regex/

  • text => [ qr/regex1/, qr/regex2/, ... ]

    Checks the text of the message against the specified regex or regexes, and ignores the message if there's a match. The value for the text parm may be either a regex, or a reference to a list of regexes.

        $tidy->ignore( text => qr/DOCTYPE/ );
        $tidy->ignore( text => [ qr/unsupported/, qr/proprietary/i ] );

parse( $filename, $str [, $str...] )

Parses a string, or list of strings, that make up a single HTML file.

The $filename parm is only used as an identifier for your use. The file is not actually read and opened.

Returns true if all went OK, or false if there was some problem calling tidy, or parsing tidy's output.

clean( $str [, $str...] )

Cleans a string, or list of strings, that make up a single HTML file.

Returns the cleaned string as a single string.


    $version = HTML::Tidy->libtidy_version();
    # for example -> "1 September 2005"
    $version = HTML::Tidy->libtidy_version( { numeric => 1 } );
    # for example -> 20050901

Returns the version of the underling tidy library.


HTML::Tidy requires that libtidy be installed on your system. You can obtain libtidy through your distribution's package manager (make sure you install the development package with headers), or from the libtidy website at


HTML::Tidy is different from HTML::Lint in a number of crucial ways.

  • It's not pure Perl

    HTML::Tidy is mostly a happy wrapper around libtidy. Tidy's home page is at

  • The real work is done by someone else

    Changes to libtidy may come down the pipe that I don't have control over. That's the price we pay for having it do a darn good job.

  • It's no longer bundled with its Test:: counterpart

    HTML::Lint came bundled with Test::HTML::Lint, but Test::HTML::Tidy is a separate distribution. This saves the people who don't want the Test:: framework from pulling it in, and all its prerequisite modules.


Please report any bugs or feature requests to bug-html-tidy at, or through the web interface at I will be notified, and then you'll automatically be notified of progress on your bug as I make changes.


You can find documentation for this module with the perldoc command.

    perldoc HTML::Tidy

You can also look for information at:


Thanks to Jonathan Rockway and Robert Bachmann for contributions.


Andy Lester, <andy at>


Copyright (C) 2005-2007 by Andy Lester

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself, either Perl version 5.8.1 or, at your option, any later version of Perl 5 you may have available.