As was formalized by W3C, HTML is not used to describe the final rendering of web pages. In particular, unlike the desktop publishing, HTML is not designed to specify the exact visual appearance of documents. HTML is rather designed to make sense of the different parts of the text: title, list, important passage, quote, etc. HTML was developed with the intuition that devices of all kinds should be able to use information on the web: personal computers with variables screens resolution and color depth, mobile phones, devices and synthesis speech recognition, computers with low and high bandwidth, and so on. HTML is designed to improve interoperability between documents.
As HTML does not attach to the final rendering of the document, the same HTML document can be accessed using many different hardware and software. At the hardware level, a particular document can be displayed on a computer monitor in graphical mode, or in a computer terminal in text mode, it can be printed, or it can be delivered by speech synthesis. On the software side, HTML does not guess as to the web browser used to view the document.
A high degree of interoperability lowers costs for content providers because only one version of each document serves a variety of needs. For the web user, interoperability allows the existence of many competing browsers, all able to view the entire web.
Each HTML attempted to reflect greater consensus among industry players so that the investment made by content providers are not wasted and that their documents become unreadable in a short time. The separation of content and the form has not always been respected during the development of language, as evidenced for example by the markup of text style, which can indicate the particular desired font for display, size, or color.
Wiki language interacts with HTML using shortcuts for certain markings.