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Strictly speaking, TypoScript is a configuration language. We cannot program with it, but can configure a TYPO3 CMS website in a very comprehensive way. With TypoScript, we define the rendering of the website, including navigation, generic content, and how individual content elements are rendered on a page.
TYPO3 CMS is a content management system that clearly separates content and design. TypoScript is the glue that joins these two together again. TypoScript reads content which is stored in the database, prepares it for display and then renders it in the frontend.
To render a website, we only need to define what content to display and how it will be rendered.
The "what" is controlled by the backend - where pages and content are generated.
The "how" is controlled by TypoScript.
With TypoScript, we define how the individual content elements are
rendered in the frontend. For example, we use TypoScript to add a
<div> tag to an element, or the
<h1> tag to a headline.