One of Enterprise Web Developer's (EWD) most powerful and important features is its Custom Tag functionality. Custom Tags allow you to extend the capabilities of EWD and add new levels of automation that you can define and control.

EWD comes with a set of pre-built custom tags that you can use within your EWD pages. These have various functions such as providing conditional and looping constructs, or representing complex UI widgets. Examples include:

Custom tags look similar to normal HTML tags, but are actually XML tags. The special thing about custom tags is that EWD's compiler converts them into the HTML, Processing Instructions and/or Javascript that make them perform their function at run-time. Custom tags therefore can be considered to be macro-tags that are a simple and convenient short-hand for describing a behaviour that would otherwise involve the laborious chore of adding lots of markup and other logic into your page.

The exciting thing about Custom Tags is that same mechanism that has been used to create EWD's built-in custom tags is available to any developer using EWD, allowing you to design your own custom tags and to extend EWD's functionality. Once you understand how Custom Tags work, you can begin to create anything from very simple tags to complex widgets that can be simply dropped into any page.

What's more, EWD allows custom tags to be exported and imported, allowing you to exchange custom tags or collaborate with others to build ever more complex and functional tags.