Abstract

This document is a strict subset of the full HTML5 specification that omits user-agent (UA) implementation details. It is targeted toward Web authors and others who are not UA implementors and who want a view of the HTML specification that focuses more precisely on details relevant to using the HTML language to create Web documents and Web applications. Because this document does not provide implementation conformance criteria, UA implementors should not rely on it, but should instead refer to the full HTML5 specification.

This document is an automated redaction of the full HTML5 specification. As such, the two documents are supposed to agree on normative matters concerning Web authors. However, if the documents disagree, this is a bug in the redaction process and the unredacted full HTML specification takes precedence. Readers are encouraged to report such discrepancies as bugs in the bug tracking system of the HTML Working Group.

Status of This document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at http://www.w3.org/TR/.

If you wish to make comments regarding this document in a manner that is tracked by the W3C, please submit them via using our public bug database. If you cannot do this then you can also e-mail feedback to public-html-comments@w3.org (subscribe, archives), and arrangements will be made to transpose the comments to our public bug database. All feedback is welcome.

The bulk of the text of this specification is also available in the WHATWG Web Applications 1.0 specification, under a license that permits reuse of the specification text.

The working groups maintains a list of all bug reports that the editors have not yet tried to address and a list of issues for which the chairs have not yet declared a decision. These bugs and issues apply to multiple HTML-related specifications, not just this one.

Implementors should be aware that this specification is not stable. Implementors who are not taking part in the discussions are likely to find the specification changing out from under them in incompatible ways. Vendors interested in implementing this specification before it eventually reaches the Candidate Recommendation stage should join the aforementioned mailing lists and take part in the discussions.

This is a work in progress! For the latest updates from the HTML WG, possibly including important bug fixes, please look at the editor's draft instead.

Publication as a Working Draft does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress.

The latest stable version of the editor's draft of this specification is always available on the W3C CVS server. There are various ways to follow the change history for this specification:

Browsable version-control record of all changes:
Github repository (real-time updates): https://github.com/w3c/html/commits/master
CVSWeb interface (hourly updates): http://dev.w3.org/cvsweb/html5/spec/
E-mail notifications of changes:
HTML-Commits mailing list (commit notifications for dev.w3.org/html5): http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-commits/latest

The W3C HTML Working Group is the W3C working group responsible for this specification's progress along the W3C Recommendation track. This specification is the 11 October 2012 Working Draft.

Work on this specification is also done at the WHATWG. The W3C HTML working group actively pursues convergence with the WHATWG, as required by the W3C HTML working group charter. There are various ways to follow this work at the WHATWG:

This document was produced by a group operating under the 5 February 2004 W3C Patent Policy. W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the group; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) must disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.

Table of Contents

  1. 1 Introduction
    1. 1.1 Background
    2. 1.2 Audience
    3. 1.3 Scope
    4. 1.4 History
    5. 1.5 Design notes
      1. 1.5.1 Serializability of script execution
      2. 1.5.2 Compliance with other specifications
    6. 1.6 HTML vs XHTML
    7. 1.7 Structure of this specification
      1. 1.7.1 How to read this specification
      2. 1.7.2 Typographic conventions
    8. 1.8 Privacy concerns
    9. 1.9 A quick introduction to HTML
      1. 1.9.1 Writing secure applications with HTML
      2. 1.9.2 Common pitfalls to avoid when using the scripting APIs
    10. 1.10 Conformance requirements for authors
      1. 1.10.1 Presentational markup
      2. 1.10.2 Syntax errors
      3. 1.10.3 Restrictions on content models and on attribute values
    11. 1.11 Recommended reading
  2. 2 Common infrastructure
    1. 2.1 Terminology
      1. 2.1.1 Resources
      2. 2.1.2 XML
      3. 2.1.3 DOM trees
      4. 2.1.4 Scripting
      5. 2.1.5 Plugins
      6. 2.1.6 Character encodings
    2. 2.2 Conformance requirements
      1. 2.2.1 Extensibility
    3. 2.3 Case-sensitivity and string comparison
    4. 2.4 Common microsyntaxes
      1. 2.4.1 Boolean attributes
      2. 2.4.2 Keywords and enumerated attributes
      3. 2.4.3 Numbers
        1. 2.4.3.1 Signed integers
        2. 2.4.3.2 Non-negative integers
        3. 2.4.3.3 Floating-point numbers
        4. 2.4.3.4 Lists of integers
      4. 2.4.4 Dates and times
        1. 2.4.4.1 Months
        2. 2.4.4.2 Dates
        3. 2.4.4.3 Yearless dates
        4. 2.4.4.4 Times
        5. 2.4.4.5 Local dates and times
        6. 2.4.4.6 Time zones
        7. 2.4.4.7 Global dates and times
        8. 2.4.4.8 Weeks
        9. 2.4.4.9 Durations
        10. 2.4.4.10 Vaguer moments in time
      5. 2.4.5 Colors
      6. 2.4.6 Space-separated tokens
      7. 2.4.7 Comma-separated tokens
      8. 2.4.8 References
      9. 2.4.9 Media queries
    5. 2.5 URLs
      1. 2.5.1 Terminology
      2. 2.5.2 Base URLs
      3. 2.5.3 Resolving URLs
      4. 2.5.4 Interfaces for URL manipulation
      5. 2.5.5 CORS settings attributes
    6. 2.6 Common DOM interfaces
      1. 2.6.1 Reflecting content attributes in IDL attributes
      2. 2.6.2 Collections
        1. 2.6.2.1 HTMLAllCollection
        2. 2.6.2.2 HTMLFormControlsCollection
        3. 2.6.2.3 HTMLOptionsCollection
      3. 2.6.3 DOMStringMap
      4. 2.6.4 Transferable objects
      5. 2.6.5 DOM feature strings
    7. 2.7 Namespaces
  3. 3 Semantics, structure, and APIs of HTML documents
    1. 3.1 Documents
      1. 3.1.1 The Document object
      2. 3.1.2 Security
      3. 3.1.3 Resource metadata management
      4. 3.1.4 DOM tree accessors
    2. 3.2 Elements
      1. 3.2.1 Semantics
      2. 3.2.2 Elements in the DOM
      3. 3.2.3 Global attributes
        1. 3.2.3.1 The id attribute
        2. 3.2.3.2 The title attribute
        3. 3.2.3.3 The lang and xml:lang attributes
        4. 3.2.3.4 The translate attribute
        5. 3.2.3.5 The xml:base attribute (XML only)
        6. 3.2.3.6 The dir attribute
        7. 3.2.3.7 The class attribute
        8. 3.2.3.8 The style attribute
        9. 3.2.3.9 Embedding custom non-visible data with the data-* attributes
      4. 3.2.4 Element definitions
        1. 3.2.4.1 Attributes
      5. 3.2.5 Content models
        1. 3.2.5.1 Kinds of content
          1. 3.2.5.1.1 Metadata content
          2. 3.2.5.1.2 Flow content
          3. 3.2.5.1.3 Sectioning content
          4. 3.2.5.1.4 Heading content
          5. 3.2.5.1.5 Phrasing content
          6. 3.2.5.1.6 Embedded content
          7. 3.2.5.1.7 Interactive content
          8. 3.2.5.1.8 Palpable content
        2. 3.2.5.2 Transparent content models
        3. 3.2.5.3 Paragraphs
      6. 3.2.6 Requirements relating to bidirectional-algorithm formatting characters
      7. 3.2.7 WAI-ARIA
        1. 3.2.7.1 ARIA Role Attribute
        2. 3.2.7.2 State and Property Attributes
        3. 3.2.7.3 Strong Native Semantics
        4. 3.2.7.4 Implicit ARIA Semantics
    3. 3.3 Dynamic markup insertion
      1. 3.3.1 Opening the input stream
      2. 3.3.2 Closing the input stream
      3. 3.3.3 document.write()
      4. 3.3.4 document.writeln()
  4. 4 The elements of HTML
    1. 4.1 The root element
      1. 4.1.1 The html element
    2. 4.2 Document metadata
      1. 4.2.1 The head element
      2. 4.2.2 The title element
      3. 4.2.3 The base element
      4. 4.2.4 The link element
      5. 4.2.5 The meta element
        1. 4.2.5.1 Standard metadata names
        2. 4.2.5.2 Other metadata names
        3. 4.2.5.3 Pragma directives
        4. 4.2.5.4 Other pragma directives
        5. 4.2.5.5 Specifying the document's character encoding
      6. 4.2.6 The style element
      7. 4.2.7 Styling
    3. 4.3 Scripting
      1. 4.3.1 The script element
        1. 4.3.1.1 Scripting languages
        2. 4.3.1.2 Restrictions for contents of script elements
        3. 4.3.1.3 Inline documentation for external scripts
      2. 4.3.2 The noscript element
    4. 4.4 Sections
      1. 4.4.1 The body element
      2. 4.4.2 The section element
      3. 4.4.3 The nav element
      4. 4.4.4 The article element
      5. 4.4.5 The aside element
      6. 4.4.6 The h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6 elements
      7. 4.4.7 The hgroup element
      8. 4.4.8 The header element
      9. 4.4.9 The footer element
      10. 4.4.10 The address element
      11. 4.4.11 Headings and sections
        1. 4.4.11.1 Creating an outline
    5. 4.5 Grouping content
      1. 4.5.1 The p element
      2. 4.5.2 The hr element
      3. 4.5.3 The pre element
      4. 4.5.4 The blockquote element
      5. 4.5.5 The ol element
      6. 4.5.6 The ul element
      7. 4.5.7 The li element
      8. 4.5.8 The dl element
      9. 4.5.9 The dt element
      10. 4.5.10 The dd element
      11. 4.5.11 The figure element
      12. 4.5.12 The figcaption element
      13. 4.5.13 The div element
    6. 4.6 Text-level semantics
      1. 4.6.1 The a element
      2. 4.6.2 The em element
      3. 4.6.3 The strong element
      4. 4.6.4 The small element
      5. 4.6.5 The s element
      6. 4.6.6 The cite element
      7. 4.6.7 The q element
      8. 4.6.8 The dfn element
      9. 4.6.9 The abbr element
      10. 4.6.10 The time element
      11. 4.6.11 The code element
      12. 4.6.12 The var element
      13. 4.6.13 The samp element
      14. 4.6.14 The kbd element
      15. 4.6.15 The sub and sup elements
      16. 4.6.16 The i element
      17. 4.6.17 The b element
      18. 4.6.18 The u element
      19. 4.6.19 The mark element
      20. 4.6.20 The ruby element
      21. 4.6.21 The rt element
      22. 4.6.22 The rp element
      23. 4.6.23 The bdi element
      24. 4.6.24 The bdo element
      25. 4.6.25 The span element
      26. 4.6.26 The br element
      27. 4.6.27 The wbr element
      28. 4.6.28 Usage summary
    7. 4.7 Edits
      1. 4.7.1 The ins element
      2. 4.7.2 The del element
      3. 4.7.3 Attributes common to ins and del elements
      4. 4.7.4 Edits and paragraphs
      5. 4.7.5 Edits and lists
      6. 4.7.6 Edits and tables
    8. 4.8 Embedded content
      1. 4.8.1 The img element
        1. 4.8.1.1 Requirements for providing text to act as an alternative for images
          1. 4.8.1.1.1 General guidelines
          2. 4.8.1.1.2 A link or button containing nothing but the image
          3. 4.8.1.1.3 A phrase or paragraph with an alternative graphical representation: charts, diagrams, graphs, maps, illustrations
          4. 4.8.1.1.4 A short phrase or label with an alternative graphical representation: icons, logos
          5. 4.8.1.1.5 Text that has been rendered to a graphic for typographical effect
          6. 4.8.1.1.6 A graphical representation of some of the surrounding text
          7. 4.8.1.1.7 A purely decorative image that doesn't add any information
          8. 4.8.1.1.8 A group of images that form a single larger picture with no links
          9. 4.8.1.1.9 A group of images that form a single larger picture with links
          10. 4.8.1.1.10 A key part of the content
          11. 4.8.1.1.11 An image not intended for the user
      2. 4.8.2 The iframe element
      3. 4.8.3 The embed element
      4. 4.8.4 The object element
      5. 4.8.5 The param element
      6. 4.8.6 The video element
      7. 4.8.7 The audio element
      8. 4.8.8 The source element
      9. 4.8.9 The track element
      10. 4.8.10 Media elements
        1. 4.8.10.1 Error codes
        2. 4.8.10.2 Location of the media resource
        3. 4.8.10.3 MIME types
        4. 4.8.10.4 Network states
        5. 4.8.10.5 Loading the media resource
        6. 4.8.10.6 Offsets into the media resource
        7. 4.8.10.7 Ready states
        8. 4.8.10.8 Playing the media resource
        9. 4.8.10.9 Seeking
        10. 4.8.10.10 Media resources with multiple media tracks
          1. 4.8.10.10.1 AudioTrackList and VideoTrackList objects
          2. 4.8.10.10.2 Selecting specific audio and video tracks declaratively
        11. 4.8.10.11 Synchronising multiple media elements
          1. 4.8.10.11.1 Introduction
          2. 4.8.10.11.2 Media controllers
          3. 4.8.10.11.3 Assigning a media controller declaratively
        12. 4.8.10.12 Timed text tracks
          1. 4.8.10.12.1 Text track model
          2. 4.8.10.12.2 Sourcing in-band text tracks
          3. 4.8.10.12.3 Text track API
          4. 4.8.10.12.4 Text tracks describing chapters
        13. 4.8.10.13 User interface
        14. 4.8.10.14 Time ranges
        15. 4.8.10.15 Event definitions
        16. 4.8.10.16 Event summary
        17. 4.8.10.17 Best practices for authors using media elements
      11. 4.8.11 The canvas element
      12. 4.8.12 The map element
      13. 4.8.13 The area element
      14. 4.8.14 Image maps
      15. 4.8.15 MathML
      16. 4.8.16 SVG
      17. 4.8.17 Dimension attributes
    9. 4.9 Tabular data
      1. 4.9.1 The table element
        1. 4.9.1.1 Techniques for describing tables
        2. 4.9.1.2 Techniques for table layout
      2. 4.9.2 The caption element
      3. 4.9.3 The colgroup element
      4. 4.9.4 The col element
      5. 4.9.5 The tbody element
      6. 4.9.6 The thead element
      7. 4.9.7 The tfoot element
      8. 4.9.8 The tr element
      9. 4.9.9 The td element
      10. 4.9.10 The th element
      11. 4.9.11 Attributes common to td and th elements
      12. 4.9.12 Examples
    10. 4.10 Forms
      1. 4.10.1 Introduction
        1. 4.10.1.1 Writing a form's user interface
        2. 4.10.1.2 Implementing the server-side processing for a form
        3. 4.10.1.3 Configuring a form to communicate with a server
        4. 4.10.1.4 Client-side form validation
        5. 4.10.1.5 Date, time, and number formats
      2. 4.10.2 Categories
      3. 4.10.3 The form element
      4. 4.10.4 The fieldset element
      5. 4.10.5 The legend element
      6. 4.10.6 The label element
      7. 4.10.7 The input element
        1. 4.10.7.1 States of the type attribute
          1. 4.10.7.1.1 Hidden state (type=hidden)
          2. 4.10.7.1.2 Text (type=text) state and Search state (type=search)
          3. 4.10.7.1.3 Telephone state (type=tel)
          4. 4.10.7.1.4 URL state (type=url)
          5. 4.10.7.1.5 E-mail state (type=email)
          6. 4.10.7.1.6 Password state (type=password)
          7. 4.10.7.1.7 Date and Time state (type=datetime)
          8. 4.10.7.1.8 Date state (type=date)
          9. 4.10.7.1.9 Month state (type=month)
          10. 4.10.7.1.10 Week state (type=week)
          11. 4.10.7.1.11 Time state (type=time)
          12. 4.10.7.1.12 Local Date and Time state (type=datetime-local)
          13. 4.10.7.1.13 Number state (type=number)
          14. 4.10.7.1.14 Range state (type=range)
          15. 4.10.7.1.15 Color state (type=color)
          16. 4.10.7.1.16 Checkbox state (type=checkbox)
          17. 4.10.7.1.17 Radio Button state (type=radio)
          18. 4.10.7.1.18 File Upload state (type=file)
          19. 4.10.7.1.19 Submit Button state (type=submit)
          20. 4.10.7.1.20 Image Button state (type=image)
          21. 4.10.7.1.21 Reset Button state (type=reset)
          22. 4.10.7.1.22 Button state (type=button)
        2. 4.10.7.2 Common input element attributes
          1. 4.10.7.2.1 The autocomplete attribute
          2. 4.10.7.2.2 The dirname attribute
          3. 4.10.7.2.3 The list attribute
          4. 4.10.7.2.4 The readonly attribute
          5. 4.10.7.2.5 The size attribute
          6. 4.10.7.2.6 The required attribute
          7. 4.10.7.2.7 The multiple attribute
          8. 4.10.7.2.8 The maxlength attribute
          9. 4.10.7.2.9 The pattern attribute
          10. 4.10.7.2.10 The min and max attributes
          11. 4.10.7.2.11 The step attribute
          12. 4.10.7.2.12 The placeholder attribute
        3. 4.10.7.3 Common input element APIs
      8. 4.10.8 The button element
      9. 4.10.9 The select element
      10. 4.10.10 The datalist element
      11. 4.10.11 The optgroup element
      12. 4.10.12 The option element
      13. 4.10.13 The textarea element
      14. 4.10.14 The keygen element
      15. 4.10.15 The output element
      16. 4.10.16 The progress element
      17. 4.10.17 The meter element
      18. 4.10.18 Association of controls and forms
      19. 4.10.19 Attributes common to form controls
        1. 4.10.19.1 Naming form controls
        2. 4.10.19.2 Enabling and disabling form controls
        3. 4.10.19.3 Autofocusing a form control
        4. 4.10.19.4 Limiting user input length
        5. 4.10.19.5 Form submission
        6. 4.10.19.6 Submitting element directionality
      20. 4.10.20 APIs for the text field selections
      21. 4.10.21 Constraints
        1. 4.10.21.1 Definitions
        2. 4.10.21.2 The constraint validation API
        3. 4.10.21.3 Security
      22. 4.10.22 Form submission
        1. 4.10.22.1 URL-encoded form data
        2. 4.10.22.2 Plain text form data
    11. 4.11 Interactive elements
      1. 4.11.1 The details element
      2. 4.11.2 The summary element
      3. 4.11.3 The command element
      4. 4.11.4 The menu element
        1. 4.11.4.1 Introduction
        2. 4.11.4.2 Context menus
      5. 4.11.5 Commands
      6. 4.11.6 The dialog element
        1. 4.11.6.1 Anchor points
    12. 4.12 Links
      1. 4.12.1 Introduction
      2. 4.12.2 Links created by a and area elements
      3. 4.12.3 Downloading resources
      4. 4.12.4 Link types
        1. 4.12.4.1 Link type "alternate"
        2. 4.12.4.2 Link type "author"
        3. 4.12.4.3 Link type "bookmark"
        4. 4.12.4.4 Link type "help"
        5. 4.12.4.5 Link type "icon"
        6. 4.12.4.6 Link type "license"
        7. 4.12.4.7 Link type "nofollow"
        8. 4.12.4.8 Link type "noreferrer"
        9. 4.12.4.9 Link type "prefetch"
        10. 4.12.4.10 Link type "search"
        11. 4.12.4.11 Link type "stylesheet"
        12. 4.12.4.12 Link type "tag"
        13. 4.12.4.13 Sequential link types
          1. 4.12.4.13.1 Link type "next"
          2. 4.12.4.13.2 Link type "prev"
        14. 4.12.4.14 Other link types
    13. 4.13 Common idioms without dedicated elements
      1. 4.13.1 The main part of the content
      2. 4.13.2 Bread crumb navigation
      3. 4.13.3 Tag clouds
      4. 4.13.4 Conversations
      5. 4.13.5 Footnotes
  5. 5 Loading Web pages
    1. 5.1 Browsing contexts
      1. 5.1.1 Nested browsing contexts
        1. 5.1.1.1 Navigating nested browsing contexts in the DOM
      2. 5.1.2 Auxiliary browsing contexts
        1. 5.1.2.1 Navigating auxiliary browsing contexts in the DOM
      3. 5.1.3 Secondary browsing contexts
      4. 5.1.4 Browsing context names
    2. 5.2 The Window object
      1. 5.2.1 APIs for creating and navigating browsing contexts by name
      2. 5.2.2 Accessing other browsing contexts
      3. 5.2.3 Named access on the Window object
      4. 5.2.4 Browser interface elements
    3. 5.3 Origin
      1. 5.3.1 Relaxing the same-origin restriction
    4. 5.4 Sandboxing
    5. 5.5 Session history and navigation
      1. 5.5.1 The session history of browsing contexts
      2. 5.5.2 The History interface
      3. 5.5.3 The Location interface
    6. 5.6 Browsing the Web
      1. 5.6.1 History traversal
      2. 5.6.2 Unloading documents
    7. 5.7 Offline Web applications
      1. 5.7.1 Introduction
        1. 5.7.1.1 Event summary
      2. 5.7.2 The cache manifest syntax
        1. 5.7.2.1 Some sample manifests
        2. 5.7.2.2 Writing cache manifests
      3. 5.7.3 Application cache API
      4. 5.7.4 Browser state
  6. 6 Web application APIs
    1. 6.1 Scripting
      1. 6.1.1 Introduction
      2. 6.1.2 Events
        1. 6.1.2.1 Event handlers on elements, Document objects, and Window objects
    2. 6.2 Base64 utility methods
    3. 6.3 Timers
    4. 6.4 User prompts
      1. 6.4.1 Simple dialogs
      2. 6.4.2 Printing
      3. 6.4.3 Dialogs implemented using separate documents
    5. 6.5 System state and capabilities
      1. 6.5.1 The Navigator object
        1. 6.5.1.1 Client identification
        2. 6.5.1.2 Custom scheme and content handlers
        3. 6.5.1.3 Manually releasing the storage mutex
      2. 6.5.2 The External interface
  7. 7 User interaction
    1. 7.1 The hidden attribute
    2. 7.2 Inert subtrees
    3. 7.3 Activation
    4. 7.4 Focus
      1. 7.4.1 Sequential focus navigation and the tabindex attribute
      2. 7.4.2 Document-level focus APIs
      3. 7.4.3 Element-level focus APIs
    5. 7.5 Assigning keyboard shortcuts
      1. 7.5.1 Introduction
      2. 7.5.2 The accesskey attribute
    6. 7.6 Editing
      1. 7.6.1 Making document regions editable: The contenteditable content attribute
      2. 7.6.2 Making entire documents editable: The designMode IDL attribute
      3. 7.6.3 Best practices for in-page editors
      4. 7.6.4 Editing APIs
      5. 7.6.5 Spelling and grammar checking
    7. 7.7 Drag and drop
      1. 7.7.1 Introduction
      2. 7.7.2 The drag data store
      3. 7.7.3 The DataTransfer interface
        1. 7.7.3.1 The DataTransferItemList interface
        2. 7.7.3.2 The DataTransferItem interface
      4. 7.7.4 The DragEvent interface
      5. 7.7.5 Events summary
      6. 7.7.6 The draggable attribute
      7. 7.7.7 The dropzone attribute
  8. 8 The HTML syntax
    1. 8.1 Writing HTML documents
      1. 8.1.1 The DOCTYPE
      2. 8.1.2 Elements
        1. 8.1.2.1 Start tags
        2. 8.1.2.2 End tags
        3. 8.1.2.3 Attributes
        4. 8.1.2.4 Optional tags
        5. 8.1.2.5 Restrictions on content models
        6. 8.1.2.6 Restrictions on the contents of raw text and RCDATA elements
      3. 8.1.3 Text
        1. 8.1.3.1 Newlines
      4. 8.1.4 Character references
      5. 8.1.5 CDATA sections
      6. 8.1.6 Comments
    2. 8.2 Named character references
  9. 9 The XHTML syntax
  10. 10 Obsolete features
    1. 10.1 Obsolete but conforming features
    2. 10.2 Non-conforming features
  11. 11 IANA considerations
    1. 11.1 text/html
    2. 11.2 multipart/x-mixed-replace
    3. 11.3 application/xhtml+xml
    4. 11.4 application/x-www-form-urlencoded
    5. 11.5 text/cache-manifest
    6. 11.6 web+ scheme prefix
  12. Index
    1. Elements
    2. Element content categories
    3. Attributes
    4. Element Interfaces
    5. All Interfaces
    6. Events
  13. Index of terms
  14. References
  15. Acknowledgements

1 Introduction

1.1 Background

This section is non-normative.

The World Wide Web's markup language has always been HTML. HTML was primarily designed as a language for semantically describing scientific documents, although its general design and adaptations over the years have enabled it to be used to describe a number of other types of documents.

The main area that has not been adequately addressed by HTML is a vague subject referred to as Web Applications. This specification attempts to rectify this, while at the same time updating the HTML specifications to address issues raised in the past few years.

1.2 Audience

This section is non-normative.

This specification is intended for authors of documents and scripts that use the features defined in this specification.

This document is probably not suited to readers who do not already have at least a passing familiarity with Web technologies, as in places it sacrifices clarity for precision, and brevity for completeness. More approachable tutorials and authoring guides can provide a gentler introduction to the topic.

In particular, familiarity with the basics of DOM Core and DOM Events is necessary for a complete understanding of some of the more technical parts of this specification. An understanding of Web IDL, HTTP, XML, Unicode, character encodings, JavaScript, and CSS will also be helpful in places but is not essential.

1.3 Scope

This section is non-normative.

This specification is limited to providing a semantic-level markup language and associated semantic-level scripting APIs for authoring accessible pages on the Web ranging from static documents to dynamic applications.

The scope of this specification does not include providing mechanisms for media-specific customization of presentation (although default rendering rules for Web browsers are included at the end of this specification, and several mechanisms for hooking into CSS are provided as part of the language).

The scope of this specification is not to describe an entire operating system. In particular, hardware configuration software, image manipulation tools, and applications that users would be expected to use with high-end workstations on a daily basis are out of scope. In terms of applications, this specification is targeted specifically at applications that would be expected to be used by users on an occasional basis, or regularly but from disparate locations, with low CPU requirements. For instance online purchasing systems, searching systems, games (especially multiplayer online games), public telephone books or address books, communications software (e-mail clients, instant messaging clients, discussion software), document editing software, etc.

1.4 History

This section is non-normative.

For its first five years (1990-1995), HTML went through a number of revisions and experienced a number of extensions, primarily hosted first at CERN, and then at the IETF.

With the creation of the W3C, HTML's development changed venue again. A first abortive attempt at extending HTML in 1995 known as HTML 3.0 then made way to a more pragmatic approach known as HTML 3.2, which was completed in 1997. HTML4 quickly followed later that same year.

The following year, the W3C membership decided to stop evolving HTML and instead begin work on an XML-based equivalent, called XHTML. This effort started with a reformulation of HTML4 in XML, known as XHTML 1.0, which added no new features except the new serialization, and which was completed in 2000. After XHTML 1.0, the W3C's focus turned to making it easier for other working groups to extend XHTML, under the banner of XHTML Modularization. In parallel with this, the W3C also worked on a new language that was not compatible with the earlier HTML and XHTML languages, calling it XHTML2.

Around the time that HTML's evolution was stopped in 1998, parts of the API for HTML developed by browser vendors were specified and published under the name DOM Level 1 (in 1998) and DOM Level 2 Core and DOM Level 2 HTML (starting in 2000 and culminating in 2003). These efforts then petered out, with some DOM Level 3 specifications published in 2004 but the working group being closed before all the Level 3 drafts were completed.

In 2003, the publication of XForms, a technology which was positioned as the next generation of Web forms, sparked a renewed interest in evolving HTML itself, rather than finding replacements for it. This interest was borne from the realization that XML's deployment as a Web technology was limited to entirely new technologies (like RSS and later Atom), rather than as a replacement for existing deployed technologies (like HTML).

A proof of concept to show that it was possible to extend HTML4's forms to provide many of the features that XForms 1.0 introduced, without requiring browsers to implement rendering engines that were incompatible with existing HTML Web pages, was the first result of this renewed interest. At this early stage, while the draft was already publicly available, and input was already being solicited from all sources, the specification was only under Opera Software's copyright.

The idea that HTML's evolution should be reopened was tested at a W3C workshop in 2004, where some of the principles that underlie the HTML5 work (described below), as well as the aforementioned early draft proposal covering just forms-related features, were presented to the W3C jointly by Mozilla and Opera. The proposal was rejected on the grounds that the proposal conflicted with the previously chosen direction for the Web's evolution; the W3C staff and membership voted to continue developing XML-based replacements instead.

Shortly thereafter, Apple, Mozilla, and Opera jointly announced their intent to continue working on the effort under the umbrella of a new venue called the WHATWG. A public mailing list was created, and the draft was moved to the WHATWG site. The copyright was subsequently amended to be jointly owned by all three vendors, and to allow reuse of the specification.

The WHATWG was based on several core principles, in particular that technologies need to be backwards compatible, that specifications and implementations need to match even if this means changing the specification rather than the implementations, and that specifications need to be detailed enough that implementations can achieve complete interoperability without reverse-engineering each other.

The latter requirement in particular required that the scope of the HTML5 specification include what had previously been specified in three separate documents: HTML4, XHTML1, and DOM2 HTML. It also meant including significantly more detail than had previously been considered the norm.

In 2006, the W3C indicated an interest to participate in the development of HTML5 after all, and in 2007 formed a working group chartered to work with the WHATWG on the development of the HTML5 specification. Apple, Mozilla, and Opera allowed the W3C to publish the specification under the W3C copyright, while keeping a version with the less restrictive license on the WHATWG site.

Since then, both groups have been working together.

The HTML specification published by the WHATWG is not identical to this specification. At the time of this publication, the main differences were that the WHATWG version included features not included in this W3C version: some features have been omitted, but may be considered for future revisions of HTML beyond HTML5; and other features were omitted because at the W3C they are published as separate specifications. At time of publication of this document, patches from the WHATWG spec have been merged until revision 7389 inclusive.

A separate document has been published by the W3C HTML working group to document the differences between the HTML specified in this document and the language described in the HTML4 specification. [HTMLDIFF]

1.5 Design notes

This section is non-normative.

It must be admitted that many aspects of HTML appear at first glance to be nonsensical and inconsistent.

HTML, its supporting DOM APIs, as well as many of its supporting technologies, have been developed over a period of several decades by a wide array of people with different priorities who, in many cases, did not know of each other's existence.

Features have thus arisen from many sources, and have not always been designed in especially consistent ways. Furthermore, because of the unique characteristics of the Web, implementation bugs have often become de-facto, and now de-jure, standards, as content is often unintentionally written in ways that rely on them before they can be fixed.

Despite all this, efforts have been made to adhere to certain design goals. These are described in the next few subsections.

1.5.1 Serializability of script execution

This section is non-normative.

To avoid exposing Web authors to the complexities of multithreading, the HTML and DOM APIs are designed such that no script can ever detect the simultaneous execution of other scripts. Even with workers, the intent is that the behavior of implementations can be thought of as completely serializing the execution of all scripts in all browsing contexts.

The navigator.yieldForStorageUpdates() method, in this model, is equivalent to allowing other scripts to run while the calling script is blocked.

1.5.2 Compliance with other specifications

This section is non-normative.

This specification interacts with and relies on a wide variety of other specifications. In certain circumstances, unfortunately, conflicting needs have led to this specification violating the requirements of these other specifications. Whenever this has occurred, the transgressions have each been noted as a "willful violation", and the reason for the violation has been noted.

1.6 HTML vs XHTML

This section is non-normative.

This specification defines an abstract language for describing documents and applications, and some APIs for interacting with in-memory representations of resources that use this language.

The in-memory representation is known as "DOM HTML", or "the DOM" for short.

There are various concrete syntaxes that can be used to transmit resources that use this abstract language, two of which are defined in this specification.

The first such concrete syntax is the HTML syntax. This is the format suggested for most authors. It is compatible with most legacy Web browsers. If a document is transmitted with the text/html MIME type, then it will be processed as an HTML document by Web browsers. This specification defines version 5 of the HTML syntax, known as "HTML5".

The second concrete syntax is the XHTML syntax, which is an application of XML. When a document is transmitted with an XML MIME type, such as application/xhtml+xml, then it is treated as an XML document by Web browsers, to be parsed by an XML processor. Authors are reminded that the processing for XML and HTML differs; in particular, even minor syntax errors will prevent a document labeled as XML from being rendered fully, whereas they would be ignored in the HTML syntax. This specification defines version 5 of the XHTML syntax, known as "XHTML5".

The DOM, the HTML syntax, and the XHTML syntax cannot all represent the same content. For example, namespaces cannot be represented using the HTML syntax, but they are supported in the DOM and in the XHTML syntax. Similarly, documents that use the noscript feature can be represented using the HTML syntax, but cannot be represented with the DOM or in the XHTML syntax. Comments that contain the string "-->" can only be represented in the DOM, not in the HTML and XHTML syntaxes.

1.7 Structure of this specification

This section is non-normative.

This specification is divided into the following major sections:

Common infrastructure
The conformance classes, algorithms, definitions, and the common underpinnings of the rest of the specification.
Semantics, structure, and APIs of HTML documents
Documents are built from elements. These elements form a tree using the DOM. This section defines the features of this DOM, as well as introducing the features common to all elements, and the concepts used in defining elements.
The elements of HTML
Each element has a predefined meaning, which is explained in this section. Rules for authors on how to use the element are also given.
Loading Web pages
HTML documents do not exist in a vacuum — this section defines many of the features that affect environments that deal with multiple pages.
Web application APIs
This section introduces basic features for scripting of applications in HTML.
User interaction
HTML documents can provide a number of mechanisms for users to interact with and modify content, which are described in this section.
The HTML syntax
The XHTML syntax
All of these features would be for naught if they couldn't be represented in a serialized form and sent to other people, and so these sections define the syntaxes of HTML and XHTML, along with rules for how to parse content using those syntaxes.

There are also some appendices, defining rendering rules for Web browsers and listing obsolete features and IANA considerations.

1.7.1 How to read this specification

This specification should be read like all other specifications. First, it should be read cover-to-cover, multiple times. Then, it should be read backwards at least once. Then it should be read by picking random sections from the contents list and following all the cross-references.

As described in the conformance requirements section below, this specification describes conformance criteria for a variety of conformance classes. In particular, there are conformance requirements that apply to producers, for example authors and the documents they create, and there are conformance requirements that apply to consumers, for example Web browsers. They can be distinguished by what they are requiring: a requirement on a producer states what is allowed, while a requirement on a consumer states how software is to act.

For example, "the foo attribute's value must be a valid integer" is a requirement on producers, as it lays out the allowed values; in contrast, the requirement "the foo attribute's value must be parsed using the rules for parsing integers" is a requirement on consumers, as it describes how to process the content.

Requirements on producers have no bearing whatsoever on consumers.

Continuing the above example, a requirement stating that a particular attribute's value is constrained to being a valid integer emphatically does not imply anything about the requirements on consumers. It might be that the consumers are in fact required to treat the attribute as an opaque string, completely unaffected by whether the value conforms to the requirements or not. It might be (as in the previous example) that the consumers are required to parse the value using specific rules that define how invalid (non-numeric in this case) values are to be processed.

1.7.2 Typographic conventions

This is a definition, requirement, or explanation.

This is a note.

This is an example.

This is an open issue.

This is a warning.

interface Example {
  // this is an IDL definition
};
variable = object . method( [ optionalArgument ] )

This is a note to authors describing the usage of an interface.

/* this is a CSS fragment */

The defining instance of a term is marked up like this. Uses of that term are marked up like this or like this.

The defining instance of an element, attribute, or API is marked up like this. References to that element, attribute, or API are marked up like this.

Other code fragments are marked up like this.

Variables are marked up like this.

1.8 Privacy concerns

This section is non-normative.

Some features of HTML trade user convenience for a measure of user privacy.

In general, due to the Internet's architecture, a user can be distinguished from another by the user's IP address. IP addresses do not perfectly match to a user; as a user moves from device to device, or from network to network, their IP address will change; similarly, NAT routing, proxy servers, and shared computers enable packets that appear to all come from a single IP address to actually map to multiple users. Technologies such as onion routing can be used to further anonymize requests so that requests from a single user at one node on the Internet appear to come from many disparate parts of the network.

However, the IP address used for a user's requests is not the only mechanism by which a user's requests could be related to each other. Cookies, for example, are designed specifically to enable this, and are the basis of most of the Web's session features that enable you to log into a site with which you have an account.

There are other mechanisms that are more subtle. Certain characteristics of a user's system can be used to distinguish groups of users from each other; by collecting enough such information, an individual user's browser's "digital fingerprint" can be computed, which can be as good, if not better, as an IP address in ascertaining which requests are from the same user.

Grouping requests in this manner, especially across multiple sites, can be used for both benign (and even arguably positive) purposes, as well as for malevolent purposes. An example of a reasonably benign purpose would be determining whether a particular person seems to prefer sites with dog illustrations as opposed to sites with cat illstrations (based on how often they visit the sites in question) and then automatically using the preferred illustrations on subsequent visits to participating sites. Malevolent purposes, however, could include governments combining information such as the person's home address (determined from the addresses they use when getting driving directions on one site) with their apparent political affiliations (determined by examining the forum sites that they participate in) to determine whether the person should be prevented from voting in an election.

Since the malevolent purposes can be remarkably evil, user agent implementors are encouraged to consider how to provide their users with tools to minimise leaking information that could be used to fingerprint a user.

Unfortunately, as the first paragraph in this section implies, sometimes there is great benefit to be derived from exposing the very information that can also be used for fingerprinting purposes, so it's not as easy as simply blocking all possible leaks. For instance, the ability to log into a site to post under a specific identity requires that the user's requests be identifiable as all being from the same user, more or less by definition. More subtly, though, information such as how wide text is, which is necessary for many effects that involve drawing text onto a canvas (e.g. any effect that involves drawing a border around the text) also leaks information that can be used to group a user's requests. (In this case, by potentially exposing, via a brute force search, which fonts a user has installed, information which can vary considerably from user to user.)

Features in this specification which can be used to fingerprint the user are marked as this paragraph is.

Other features in the platform can be used for the same purpose, though, including, though not limited to:

1.9 A quick introduction to HTML

This section is non-normative.

A basic HTML document looks like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
 <head>
  <title>Sample page</title>
 </head>
 <body>
  <h1>Sample page</h1>
  <p>This is a <a href="demo.html">simple</a> sample.</p>
  <!-- this is a comment -->
 </body>
</html>

HTML documents consist of a tree of elements and text. Each element is denoted in the source by a start tag, such as "<body>", and an end tag, such as "</body>". (Certain start tags and end tags can in certain cases be omitted and are implied by other tags.)

Tags have to be nested such that elements are all completely within each other, without overlapping:

<p>This is <em>very <strong>wrong</em>!</strong></p>
<p>This <em>is <strong>correct</strong>.</em></p>

This specification defines a set of elements that can be used in HTML, along with rules about the ways in which the elements can be nested.

Elements can have attributes, which control how the elements work. In the example below, there is a hyperlink, formed using the a element and its href attribute:

<a href="demo.html">simple</a>

Attributes are placed inside the start tag, and consist of a name and a value, separated by an "=" character. The attribute value can remain unquoted if it doesn't contain space characters or any of " ' ` = < or >. Otherwise, it has to be quoted using either single or double quotes. The value, along with the "=" character, can be omitted altogether if the value is the empty string.

<!-- empty attributes -->
<input name=address disabled>
<input name=address disabled="">

<!-- attributes with a value -->
<input name=address maxlength=200>
<input name=address maxlength='200'>
<input name=address maxlength="200">

HTML user agents (e.g. Web browsers) then parse this markup, turning it into a DOM (Document Object Model) tree. A DOM tree is an in-memory representation of a document.

DOM trees contain several kinds of nodes, in particular a DocumentType node, Element nodes, Text nodes, Comment nodes, and in some cases ProcessingInstruction nodes.

The markup snippet at the top of this section would be turned into the following DOM tree:

The root element of this tree is the html element, which is the element always found at the root of HTML documents. It contains two elements, head and body, as well as a Text node between them.

There are many more Text nodes in the DOM tree than one would initially expect, because the source contains a number of spaces (represented here by "&blank;") and line breaks ("⏎") that all end up as Text nodes in the DOM. However, for historical reasons not all of the spaces and line breaks in the original markup appear in the DOM. In particular, all the whitespace before head start tag ends up being dropped silently, and all the whitespace after the body end tag ends up placed at the end of the body.

The head element contains a title element, which itself contains a Text node with the text "Sample page". Similarly, the body element contains an h1 element, a p element, and a comment.


This DOM tree can be manipulated from scripts in the page. Scripts (typically in JavaScript) are small programs that can be embedded using the script element or using event handler content attributes. For example, here is a form with a script that sets the value of the form's output element to say "Hello World":

<form name="main">
 Result: <output name="result"></output>
 <script>
  document.forms.main.elements.result.value = 'Hello World';
 </script>
</form>

Each element in the DOM tree is represented by an object, and these objects have APIs so that they can be manipulated. For instance, a link (e.g. the a element in the tree above) can have its "href" attribute changed in several ways:

var a = document.links[0]; // obtain the first link in the document
a.href = 'sample.html'; // change the destination URL of the link
a.protocol = 'https'; // change just the scheme part of the URL
a.setAttribute('href', 'http://example.com/'); // change the content attribute directly

Since DOM trees are used as the way to represent HTML documents when they are processed and presented by implementations (especially interactive implementations like Web browsers), this specification is mostly phrased in terms of DOM trees, instead of the markup described above.


HTML documents represent a media-independent description of interactive content. HTML documents might be rendered to a screen, or through a speech synthesizer, or on a braille display. To influence exactly how such rendering takes place, authors can use a styling language such as CSS.

In the following example, the page has been made yellow-on-blue using CSS.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
 <head>
  <title>Sample styled page</title>
  <style>
   body { background: navy; color: yellow; }
  </style>
 </head>
 <body>
  <h1>Sample styled page</h1>
  <p>This page is just a demo.</p>
 </body>
</html>

For more details on how to use HTML, authors are encouraged to consult tutorials and guides. Some of the examples included in this specification might also be of use, but the novice author is cautioned that this specification, by necessity, defines the language with a level of detail that might be difficult to understand at first.

1.9.1 Writing secure applications with HTML

This section is non-normative.

When HTML is used to create interactive sites, care needs to be taken to avoid introducing vulnerabilities through which attackers can compromise the integrity of the site itself or of the site's users.

A comprehensive study of this matter is beyond the scope of this document, and authors are strongly encouraged to study the matter in more detail. However, this section attempts to provide a quick introduction to some common pitfalls in HTML application development.

The security model of the Web is based on the concept of "origins", and correspondingly many of the potential attacks on the Web involve cross-origin actions. [ORIGIN]

Not validating user input
Cross-site scripting (XSS)
SQL injection

When accepting untrusted input, e.g. user-generated content such as text comments, values in URL parameters, messages from third-party sites, etc, it is imperative that the data be validated before use, and properly escaped when displayed. Failing to do this can allow a hostile user to perform a variety of attacks, ranging from the potentially benign, such as providing bogus user information like a negative age, to the serious, such as running scripts every time a user looks at a page that includes the information, potentially propagating the attack in the process, to the catastrophic, such as deleting all data in the server.

When writing filters to validate user input, it is imperative that filters always be whitelist-based, allowing known-safe constructs and disallowing all other input. Blacklist-based filters that disallow known-bad inputs and allow everything else are not secure, as not everything that is bad is yet known (for example, because it might be invented in the future).

For example, suppose a page looked at its URL's query string to determine what to display, and the site then redirected the user to that page to display a message, as in:

<ul>
 <li><a href="message.cgi?say=Hello">Say Hello</a>
 <li><a href="message.cgi?say=Welcome">Say Welcome</a>
 <li><a href="message.cgi?say=Kittens">Say Kittens</a>
</ul>

If the message was just displayed to the user without escaping, a hostile attacker could then craft a URL that contained a script element:

http://example.com/message.cgi?say=%3Cscript%3Ealert%28%27Oh%20no%21%27%29%3C/script%3E

If the attacker then convinced a victim user to visit this page, a script of the attacker's choosing would run on the page. Such a script could do any number of hostile actions, limited only by what the site offers: if the site is an e-commerce shop, for instance, such a script could cause the user to unknowingly make arbitrarily many unwanted purchases.

This is called a cross-site scripting attack.

There are many constructs that can be used to try to trick a site into executing code. Here are some that authors are encouraged to consider when writing whitelist filters:

Cross-site request forgery (CSRF)

If a site allows a user to make form submissions with user-specific side-effects, for example posting messages on a forum under the user's name, making purchases, or applying for a passport, it is important to verify that the request was made by the user intentionally, rather than by another site tricking the user into making the request unknowingly.

This problem exists because HTML forms can be submitted to other origins.

Sites can prevent such attacks by populating forms with user-specific hidden tokens, or by checking Origin headers on all requests.

Clickjacking

A page that provides users with an interface to perform actions that the user might not wish to perform needs to be designed so as to avoid the possibility that users can be tricked into activating the interface.

One way that a user could be so tricked is if a hostile site places the victim site in a small iframe and then convinces the user to click, for instance by having the user play a reaction game. Once the user is playing the game, the hostile site can quickly position the iframe under the mouse cursor just as the user is about to click, thus tricking the user into clicking the victim site's interface.

To avoid this, sites that do not expect to be used in frames are encouraged to only enable their interface if they detect that they are not in a frame (e.g. by comparing the window object to the value of the top attribute).

1.9.2 Common pitfalls to avoid when using the scripting APIs

This section is non-normative.

Scripts in HTML have "run-to-completion" semantics, meaning that the browser will generally run the script uninterrupted before doing anything else, such as firing further events or continuing to parse the document.

On the other hand, parsing of HTML files happens asynchronously and incrementally, meaning that the parser can pause at any point to let scripts run. This is generally a good thing, but it does mean that authors need to be careful to avoid hooking event handlers after the events could have possibly fired.

There are two techniques for doing this reliably: use event handler content attributes, or create the element and add the event handlers in the same script. The latter is safe because, as mentioned earlier, scripts are run to completion before further events can fire.

One way this could manifest itself is with img elements and the load event. The event could fire as soon as the element has been parsed, especially if the image has already been cached (which is common).

Here, the author uses the onload handler on an img element to catch the load event:

<img src="games.png" alt="Games" onload="gamesLogoHasLoaded(event)">

If the element is being added by script, then so long as the event handlers are added in the same script, the event will still not be missed:

<script>
 var img = new Image();
 img.src = 'games.png';
 img.alt = 'Games';
 img.onload = gamesLogoHasLoaded;
 // img.addEventListener('load', gamesLogoHasLoaded, false); // would work also
</script>

However, if the author first created the img element and then in a separate script added the event listeners, there's a chance that the load event would be fired in between, leading it to be missed:

<!-- Do not use this style, it has a race condition! -->
 <img id="games" src="games.png" alt="Games">
 <!-- the 'load' event might fire here while the parser is taking a
      break, in which case you will not see it! -->
 <script>
  var img = document.getElementById('games');
  img.onload = gamesLogoHasLoaded; // might never fire!
 </script>

1.10 Conformance requirements for authors

This section is non-normative.

Unlike previous versions of the HTML specification, this specification defines in some detail the required processing for invalid documents as well as valid documents.

However, even though the processing of invalid content is in most cases well-defined, conformance requirements for documents are still important: in practice, interoperability (the situation in which all implementations process particular content in a reliable and identical or equivalent way) is not the only goal of document conformance requirements. This section details some of the more common reasons for still distinguishing between a conforming document and one with errors.

1.10.1 Presentational markup

This section is non-normative.

The majority of presentational features from previous versions of HTML are no longer allowed. Presentational markup in general has been found to have a number of problems:

The use of presentational elements leads to poorer accessibility

While it is possible to use presentational markup in a way that provides users of assistive technologies (ATs) with an acceptable experience (e.g. using ARIA), doing so is significantly more difficult than doing so when using semantically-appropriate markup. Furthermore, even using such techniques doesn't help make pages accessible for non-AT non-graphical users, such as users of text-mode browsers.

Using media-independent markup, on the other hand, provides an easy way for documents to be authored in such a way that they work for more users (e.g. text browsers).

Higher cost of maintenance

It is significantly easier to maintain a site written in such a way that the markup is style-independent. For example, changing the color of a site that uses <font color=""> throughout requires changes across the entire site, whereas a similar change to a site based on CSS can be done by changing a single file.

Larger document sizes

Presentational markup tends to be much more redundant, and thus results in larger document sizes.

For those reasons, presentational markup has been removed from HTML in this version. This change should not come as a surprise; HTML4 deprecated presentational markup many years ago and provided a mode (HTML4 Transitional) to help authors move away from presentational markup; later, XHTML 1.1 went further and obsoleted those features altogether.

The only remaining presentational markup features in HTML are the style attribute and the style element. Use of the style attribute is somewhat discouraged in production environments, but it can be useful for rapid prototyping (where its rules can be directly moved into a separate style sheet later) and for providing specific styles in unusual cases where a separate style sheet would be inconvenient. Similarly, the style element can be useful in syndication or for page-specific styles, but in general an external style sheet is likely to be more convenient when the styles apply to multiple pages.

It is also worth noting that some elements that were previously presentational have been redefined in this specification to be media-independent: b, i, hr, s, small, and u.

1.10.2 Syntax errors

This section is non-normative.

The syntax of HTML is constrained to avoid a wide variety of problems.

Unintuitive error-handling behavior

Certain invalid syntax constructs, when parsed, result in DOM trees that are highly unintuitive.

For example, the following markup fragment results in a DOM with an hr element that is an earlier sibling of the corresponding table element:

<table><hr>...
Errors with optional error recovery

To allow user agents to be used in controlled environments without having to implement the more bizarre and convoluted error handling rules, user agents are permitted to fail whenever encountering a parse error.

Errors where the error-handling behavior is not compatible with streaming user agents

Some error-handling behavior, such as the behavior for the <table><hr>... example mentioned above, are incompatible with streaming user agents (user agents that process HTML files in one pass, without storing state). To avoid interoperability problems with such user agents, any syntax resulting in such behavior is considered invalid.

Errors that can result in infoset coercion

When a user agent based on XML is connected to an HTML parser, it is possible that certain invariants that XML enforces, such as comments never containing two consecutive hyphens, will be violated by an HTML file. Handling this can require that the parser coerce the HTML DOM into an XML-compatible infoset. Most syntax constructs that require such handling are considered invalid.

Errors that result in disproportionally poor performance

Certain syntax constructs can result in disproportionally poor performance. To discourage the use of such constructs, they are typically made non-conforming.

For example, the following markup results in poor performance, since all the unclosed i elements have to be reconstructed in each paragraph, resulting in progressively more elements in each paragraph:

<p><i>He dreamt.
<p><i>He dreamt that he ate breakfast.
<p><i>Then lunch.
<p><i>And finally dinner.

The resulting DOM for this fragment would be:

Errors involving fragile syntax constructs

There are syntax constructs that, for historical reasons, are relatively fragile. To help reduce the number of users who accidentally run into such problems, they are made non-conforming.

For example, the parsing of certain named character references in attributes happens even with the closing semicolon being omitted. It is safe to include an ampersand followed by letters that do not form a named character reference, but if the letters are changed to a string that does form a named character reference, they will be interpreted as that character instead.

In this fragment, the attribute's value is "?bill&ted":

<a href="?bill&ted">Bill and Ted</a>

In the following fragment, however, the attribute's value is actually "?art©", not the intended "?art&copy", because even without the final semicolon, "&copy" is handled the same as "&copy;" and thus gets interpreted as "©":

<a href="?art&copy">Art and Copy</a>

To avoid this problem, all named character references are required to end with a semicolon, and uses of named character references without a semicolon are flagged as errors.

Thus, the correct way to express the above cases is as follows:

<a href="?bill&ted">Bill and Ted</a> <!-- &ted is ok, since it's not a named character reference -->
<a href="?art&amp;copy">Art and Copy</a> <!-- the & has to be escaped, since &copy is a named character reference -->
Errors involving known interoperability problems in legacy user agents

Certain syntax constructs are known to cause especially subtle or serious problems in legacy user agents, and are therefore marked as non-conforming to help authors avoid them.

For example, this is why the "`" (U+0060) character is not allowed in unquoted attributes. In certain legacy user agents, it is sometimes treated as a quote character.

Another example of this is the DOCTYPE, which is required to trigger no-quirks mode, because the behavior of legacy user agents in quirks mode is often largely undocumented.

Errors that risk exposing authors to security attacks

Certain restrictions exist purely to avoid known security problems.

For example, the restriction on using UTF-7 exists purely to avoid authors falling prey to a known cross-site-scripting attack using UTF-7.

Cases where the author's intent is unclear

Markup where the author's intent is very unclear is often made non-conforming. Correcting these errors early makes later maintenance easier.

For example, it is unclear whether the author intended the following to be an h1 heading or an h2 heading:

<h1>Contact details</h2>
Cases that are likely to be typos

When a user makes a simple typo, it is helpful if the error can be caught early, as this can save the author a lot of debugging time. This specification therefore usually considers it an error to use element names, attribute names, and so forth, that do not match the names defined in this specification.

For example, if the author typed <capton> instead of <caption>, this would be flagged as an error and the author could correct the typo immediately.

Errors that could interfere with new syntax in the future

In order to allow the language syntax to be extended in the future, certain otherwise harmless features are disallowed.

For example, "attributes" in end tags are ignored currently, but they are invalid, in case a future change to the language makes use of that syntax feature without conflicting with already-deployed (and valid!) content.

Some authors find it helpful to be in the practice of always quoting all attributes and always including all optional tags, preferring the consistency derived from such custom over the minor benefits of terseness afforded by making use of the flexibility of the HTML syntax. To aid such authors, conformance checkers can provide modes of operation wherein such conventions are enforced.

1.10.3 Restrictions on content models and on attribute values

This section is non-normative.

Beyond the syntax of the language, this specification also places restrictions on how elements and attributes can be specified. These restrictions are present for similar reasons:

Errors involving content with dubious semantics

To avoid misuse of elements with defined meanings, content models are defined that restrict how elements can be nested when such nestings would be of dubious value.

For example, this specification disallows nesting a section element inside a kbd element, since it is highly unlikely for an author to indicate that an entire section should be keyed in.

Errors that involve a conflict in expressed semantics

Similarly, to draw the author's attention to mistakes in the use of elements, clear contradictions in the semantics expressed are also considered conformance errors.

In the fragments below, for example, the semantics are nonsensical: a separator cannot simultaneously be a cell, nor can a radio button be a progress bar.

<hr role="cell">
<input type=radio role=progressbar>

Another example is the restrictions on the content models of the ul element, which only allows li element children. Lists by definition consist just of zero or more list items, so if a ul element contains something other than an li element, it's not clear what was meant.

Cases where the default styles are likely to lead to confusion

Certain elements have default styles or behaviors that make certain combinations likely to lead to confusion. Where these have equivalent alternatives without this problem, the confusing combinations are disallowed.

For example, div elements are rendered as block boxes, and span elements as inline boxes. Putting a block box in an inline box is unnecessarily confusing; since either nesting just div elements, or nesting just span elements, or nesting span elements inside div elements all serve the same purpose as nesting a div element in a span element, but only the latter involves a block box in an inline box, the latter combination is disallowed.

Another example would be the way interactive content cannot be nested. For example, a button element cannot contain a textarea element. This is because the default behavior of such nesting interactive elements would be highly confusing to users. Instead of nesting these elements, they can be placed side by side.

Errors that indicate a likely misunderstanding of the specification

Sometimes, something is disallowed because allowing it would likely cause author confusion.

For example, setting the disabled attribute to the value "false" is disallowed, because despite the appearance of meaning that the element is enabled, it in fact means that the element is disabled (what matters for implementations is the presence of the attribute, not its value).

Errors involving limits that have been imposed merely to simplify the language

Some conformance errors simplify the language that authors need to learn.

For example, the area element's shape attribute, despite accepting both circ and circle values in practice as synonyms, disallows the use of the circ value, so as to simplify tutorials and other learning aids. There would be no benefit to allowing both, but it would cause extra confusion when teaching the language.

Errors that involve peculiarities of the parser

Certain elements are parsed in somewhat eccentric ways (typically for historical reasons), and their content model restrictions are intended to avoid exposing the author to these issues.

For example, a form element isn't allowed inside phrasing content, because when parsed as HTML, a form element's start tag will imply a p element's end tag. Thus, the following markup results in two paragraphs, not one:

<p>Welcome. <form><label>Name:</label> <input></form>

It is parsed exactly like the following:

<p>Welcome. </p><form><label>Name:</label> <input></form>
Errors that would likely result in scripts failing in hard-to-debug ways

Some errors are intended to help prevent script problems that would be hard to debug.

This is why, for instance, it is non-conforming to have two id attributes with the same value. Duplicate IDs lead to the wrong element being selected, with sometimes disastrous effects whose cause is hard to determine.

Errors that waste authoring time

Some constructs are disallowed because historically they have been the cause of a lot of wasted authoring time, and by encouraging authors to avoid making them, authors can save time in future efforts.

For example, a script element's src attribute causes the element's contents to be ignored. However, this isn't obvious, especially if the element's contents appear to be executable script — which can lead to authors spending a lot of time trying to debug the inline script without realizing that it is not executing. To reduce this problem, this specification makes it non-conforming to have executable script in a script element when the src attribute is present. This means that authors who are validating their documents are less likely to waste time with this kind of mistake.

Errors that involve areas that affect authors migrating to and from XHTML

Some authors like to write files that can be interpreted as both XML and HTML with similar results. Though this practice is discouraged in general due to the myriad of subtle complications involved (especially when involving scripting, styling, or any kind of automated serialization), this specification has a few restrictions intended to at least somewhat mitigate the difficulties. This makes it easier for authors to use this as a transitionary step when migrating between HTML and XHTML.

For example, there are somewhat complicated rules surrounding the lang and xml:lang attributes intended to keep the two synchronized.

Another example would be the restrictions on the values of xmlns attributes in the HTML serialization, which are intended to ensure that elements in conforming documents end up in the same namespaces whether processed as HTML or XML.

Errors that involve areas reserved for future expansion

As with the restrictions on the syntax intended to allow for new syntax in future revisions of the language, some restrictions on the content models of elements and values of attributes are intended to allow for future expansion of the HTML vocabulary.

For example, limiting the values of the target attribute that start with an "_" (U+005F) character to only specific predefined values allows new predefined values to be introduced at a future time without conflicting with author-defined values.

Errors that indicate a mis-use of other specifications

Certain restrictions are intended to support the restrictions made by other specifications.

For example, requiring that attributes that take media queries use only valid media queries reinforces the importance of following the conformance rules of that specification.

This section is non-normative.

The following documents might be of interest to readers of this specification.

Character Model for the World Wide Web 1.0: Fundamentals [CHARMOD]

This Architectural Specification provides authors of specifications, software developers, and content developers with a common reference for interoperable text manipulation on the World Wide Web, building on the Universal Character Set, defined jointly by the Unicode Standard and ISO/IEC 10646. Topics addressed include use of the terms 'character', 'encoding' and 'string', a reference processing model, choice and identification of character encodings, character escaping, and string indexing.

Unicode Security Considerations [UTR36]

Because Unicode contains such a large number of characters and incorporates the varied writing systems of the world, incorrect usage can expose programs or systems to possible security attacks. This is especially important as more and more products are internationalized. This document describes some of the security considerations that programmers, system analysts, standards developers, and users should take into account, and provides specific recommendations to reduce the risk of problems.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 [WCAG]

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general.

Polyglot Markup: HTML-Compatible XHTML Documents [POLYGLOT]

A document that uses polyglot markup is a document that is a stream of bytes that parses into identical document trees (with the exception of the xmlns attribute on the root element) when processed as HTML and when processed as XML. Polyglot markup that meets a well defined set of constraints is interpreted as compatible, regardless of whether they are processed as HTML or as XHTML, per the HTML5 specification. Polyglot markup uses a specific DOCTYPE, namespace declarations, and a specific case — normally lower case but occasionally camel case — for element and attribute names. Polyglot markup uses lower case for certain attribute values. Further constraints include those on empty elements, named entity references, and the use of scripts and style.

HTML to Platform Accessibility APIs Implementation Guide [HPAAIG]

This is draft documentation mapping HTML elements and attributes to accessibility API Roles, States and Properties on a variety of platforms. It provides recommendations on deriving the accessible names and descriptions for HTML elements. It also provides accessible feature implementation examples.

2 Common infrastructure

2.1 Terminology

This specification refers to both HTML and XML attributes and IDL attributes, often in the same context. When it is not clear which is being referred to, they are referred to as content attributes for HTML and XML attributes, and IDL attributes for those defined on IDL interfaces. Similarly, the term "properties" is used for both JavaScript object properties and CSS properties. When these are ambiguous they are qualified as object properties and CSS properties respectively.

Generally, when the specification states that a feature applies to the HTML syntax or the XHTML syntax, it also includes the other. When a feature specifically only applies to one of the two languages, it is called out by explicitly stating that it does not apply to the other format, as in "for HTML, ... (this does not apply to XHTML)".

This specification uses the term document to refer to any use of HTML, ranging from short static documents to long essays or reports with rich multimedia, as well as to fully-fledged interactive applications. The term is used to refer both to Document objects and their descendant DOM trees, and to serialized byte streams using the HTML syntax or XHTML syntax, depending on context.

In the context of the DOM structures, the terms HTML document and XML document are used as defined in the DOM Core specification, and refer specifically to two different modes that Document objects can find themselves in. [DOMCORE] (Such uses are always hyperlinked to their definition.)

In the context of byte streams, the term HTML document refers to resources labeled as text/html, and the term XML document refers to resources labeled with an XML MIME type.

The term XHTML document is used to refer to both Documents in the XML document mode that contains element nodes in the HTML namespace, and byte streams labeled with an XML MIME type that contain elements from the HTML namespace, depending on context.


For simplicity, terms such as shown, displayed, and visible might sometimes be used when referring to the way a document is rendered to the user. These terms are not meant to imply a visual medium; they must be considered to apply to other media in equivalent ways.

The term "transparent black" refers to the color with red, green, blue, and alpha channels all set to zero.

2.1.1 Resources

The specification uses the term supported when referring to whether a user agent has an implementation capable of decoding the semantics of an external resource. A format or type is said to be supported if the implementation can process an external resource of that format or type without critical aspects of the resource being ignored. Whether a specific resource is supported can depend on what features of the resource's format are in use.

For example, a PNG image would be considered to be in a supported format if its pixel data could be decoded and rendered, even if, unbeknownst to the implementation, the image also contained animation data.

An MPEG-4 video file would not be considered to be in a supported format if the compression format used was not supported, even if the implementation could determine the dimensions of the movie from the file's metadata.

What some specifications, in particular the HTTP and URI specifications, refer to as a representation is referred to in this specification as a resource. [HTTP] [RFC3986]

The term MIME type is used to refer to what is sometimes called an Internet media type in protocol literature. The term media type in this specification is used to refer to the type of media intended for presentation, as used by the CSS specifications. [RFC2046] [MQ]

A string is a valid MIME type if it matches the media-type rule defined in section 3.7 "Media Types" of RFC 2616. In particular, a valid MIME type may include MIME type parameters. [HTTP]

A string is a valid MIME type with no parameters if it matches the media-type rule defined in section 3.7 "Media Types" of RFC 2616, but does not contain any ";" (U+003B) characters. In other words, if it consists only of a type and subtype, with no MIME Type parameters. [HTTP]

The term HTML MIME type is used to refer to the MIME type text/html.

A resource's critical subresources are those that the resource needs to have available to be correctly processed. Which resources are considered critical or not is defined by the specification that defines the resource's format.

The term data: URL refers to URLs that use the data: scheme. [RFC2397]

2.1.2 XML

To ease migration from HTML to XHTML, UAs conforming to this specification will place elements in HTML in the http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml namespace, at least for the purposes of the DOM and CSS. The term "HTML elements", when used in this specification, refers to any element in that namespace, and thus refers to both HTML and XHTML elements.

Except where otherwise stated, all elements defined or mentioned in this specification are in the HTML namespace ("http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"), and all attributes defined or mentioned in this specification have no namespace.

The term element type is used to refer to the set of elements that have a given local name and namespace. For example, button elements are elements with the element type button, meaning they have the local name "button" and (implicitly as defined above) the HTML namespace.

Attribute names are said to be XML-compatible if they match the Name production defined in XML, they contain no ":" (U+003A) characters, and their first three characters are not an ASCII case-insensitive match for the string "xml". [XML]

The term XML MIME type is used to refer to the MIME types text/xml, application/xml, and any MIME type whose subtype ends with the four characters "+xml". [RFC3023]

2.1.3 DOM trees

The root element of a Document object is that Document's first element child, if any. If it does not have one then the Document has no root element.

The term root element, when not referring to a Document object's root element, means the furthest ancestor element node of whatever node is being discussed, or the node itself if it has no ancestors. When the node is a part of the document, then the node's root element is indeed the document's root element; however, if the node is not currently part of the document tree, the root element will be an orphaned node.

When an element's root element is the root element of a Document object, it is said to be in a Document. An element is said to have been inserted into a document when its root element changes and is now the document's root element. Analogously, an element is said to have been removed from a document when its root element changes from being the document's root element to being another element.

A node's home subtree is the subtree rooted at that node's root element. When a node is in a Document, its home subtree is that Document's tree.

The Document of a Node (such as an element) is the Document that the Node's ownerDocument IDL attribute returns. When a Node is in a Document then that Document is always the Node's Document, and the Node's ownerDocument IDL attribute thus always returns that Document.

The Document of a content attribute is the Document of the attribute's element.

The term tree order means a pre-order, depth-first traversal of DOM nodes involved (through the parentNode/childNodes relationship).

When it is stated that some element or attribute is ignored, or treated as some other value, or handled as if it was something else, this refers only to the processing of the node after it is in the DOM.

A content attribute is said to change value only if its new value is different than its previous value; setting an attribute to a value it already has does not change it.

The term empty, when used of an attribute value, Text node, or string, means that the length of the text is zero (i.e. not even containing spaces or control characters).

2.1.4 Scripting

The construction "a Foo object", where Foo is actually an interface, is sometimes used instead of the more accurate "an object implementing the interface Foo".

An IDL attribute is said to be getting when its value is being retrieved (e.g. by author script), and is said to be setting when a new value is assigned to it.

If a DOM object is said to be live, then the attributes and methods on that object operate on the actual underlying data, not a snapshot of the data.

In the contexts of events, the terms fire and dispatch are used as defined in the DOM Core specification: firing an event means to create and dispatch it, and dispatching an event means to follow the steps that propagate the event through the tree. The term trusted event is used to refer to events whose isTrusted attribute is initialized to true. [DOMCORE]

2.1.5 Plugins

The term plugin refers to a user-agent defined set of content handlers used by the user agent that can take part in the user agent's rendering of a Document object, but that neither act as child browsing contexts of the Document nor introduce any Node objects to the Document's DOM.

Typically such content handlers are provided by third parties, though a user agent can also designate built-in content handlers as plugins.

One example of a plugin would be a PDF viewer that is instantiated in a browsing context when the user navigates to a PDF file. This would count as a plugin regardless of whether the party that implemented the PDF viewer component was the same as that which implemented the user agent itself. However, a PDF viewer application that launches separate from the user agent (as opposed to using the same interface) is not a plugin by this definition.

This specification does not define a mechanism for interacting with plugins, as it is expected to be user-agent- and platform-specific. Some UAs might opt to support a plugin mechanism such as the Netscape Plugin API; others might use remote content converters or have built-in support for certain types. Indeed, this specification doesn't require user agents to support plugins at all. [NPAPI]

A plugin can be secured if it honors the semantics of the sandbox attribute.

For example, a secured plugin would prevent its contents from creating pop-up windows when the plugin is instantiated inside a sandboxed iframe.

2.1.6 Character encodings

The preferred MIME name of a character encoding is the name or alias labeled as "preferred MIME name" in the IANA Character Sets registry, if there is one, or the encoding's name, if none of the aliases are so labeled. [IANACHARSET]

An ASCII-compatible character encoding is a single-byte or variable-length encoding in which the bytes 0x09, 0x0A, 0x0C, 0x0D, 0x20 - 0x22, 0x26, 0x27, 0x2C - 0x3F, 0x41 - 0x5A, and 0x61 - 0x7A , ignoring bytes that are the second and later bytes of multibyte sequences, all correspond to single-byte sequences that map to the same Unicode characters as those bytes in ANSI_X3.4-1968 (US-ASCII). [RFC1345]

This includes such encodings as Shift_JIS, HZ-GB-2312, and variants of ISO-2022, even though it is possible in these encodings for bytes like 0x70 to be part of longer sequences that are unrelated to their interpretation as ASCII. It excludes such encodings as UTF-7, UTF-16, GSM03.38, and EBCDIC variants.

The term a UTF-16 encoding refers to any variant of UTF-16: self-describing UTF-16 with a BOM, ambiguous UTF-16 without a BOM, raw UTF-16LE, and raw UTF-16BE. [RFC2781]

The term code unit is used as defined in the Web IDL specification: a 16 bit unsigned integer, the smallest atomic component of a DOMString. (This is a narrower definition than the one used in Unicode.) [WEBIDL]

The term Unicode code point means a Unicode scalar value where possible, and an isolated surrogate code point when not. When a conformance requirement is defined in terms of characters or Unicode code points, a pair of code units consisting of a high surrogate followed by a low surrogate must be treated as the single code point represented by the surrogate pair, but isolated surrogates must each be treated as the single code point with the value of the surrogate. [UNICODE]

In this specification, the term character, when not qualified as Unicode character, is synonymous with the term Unicode code point.

The term Unicode character is used to mean a Unicode scalar value (i.e. any Unicode code point that is not a surrogate code point). [UNICODE]

The code-unit length of a string is the number of code units in that string.

This complexity results from the historical decision to define the DOM API in terms of 16 bit (UTF-16) code units, rather than in terms of Unicode characters.

2.2 Conformance requirements

All diagrams, examples, and notes in this specification are non-normative, as are all sections explicitly marked non-normative. Everything else in this specification is normative.

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in the normative parts of this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC2119. The key word "OPTIONALLY" in the normative parts of this document is to be interpreted with the same normative meaning as "MAY" and "OPTIONAL". For readability, these words do not appear in all uppercase letters in this specification. [RFC2119]

2.2.1 Extensibility

HTML has a wide number of extensibility mechanisms that can be used for adding semantics in a safe manner:


Vendor-specific proprietary user agent extensions to this specification are strongly discouraged. Documents must not use such extensions, as doing so reduces interoperability and fragments the user base, allowing only users of specific user agents to access the content in question.


When vendor-neutral extensions to this specification are needed, either this specification can be updated accordingly, or an extension specification can be written that overrides the requirements in this specification. When someone applying this specification to their activities decides that they will recognize the requirements of such an extension specification, it becomes an applicable specification.

The conformance terminology for documents depends on the nature of the changes introduced by such applicable specifications, and on the content and intended interpretation of the document. Applicable specifications MAY define new document content (e.g. a foobar element), MAY prohibit certain otherwise conforming content (e.g. prohibit use of <table>s), or MAY change the semantics, DOM mappings, or other processing rules for content defined in this specification. Whether a document is or is not a conforming HTML5 document does not depend on the use of applicable specifications: if the syntax and semantics of a given conforming HTML5 document is unchanged by the use of applicable specification(s), then that document remains a conforming HTML5 document. If the semantics or processing of a given (otherwise conforming) document is changed by use of applicable specification(s), then it is not a conforming HTML5 document. For such cases, the applicable specifications SHOULD define conformance terminology.

As a suggested but not required convention, such specifications might define conformance terminology such as: "Conforming HTML5+XXX document", where XXX is a short name for the applicable specification. (Example: "Conforming HTML5+AutomotiveExtensions document").

a consequence of the rule given above is that certain syntactically correct HTML5 documents may not be conforming HTML5 documents in the presence of applicable specifications. (Example: the applicable specification defines <table> to be a piece of furniture — a document written to that specification and containing a <table> element is NOT a conforming HTML5 document, even if the element happens to be syntactically correct HTML5.)

2.3 Case-sensitivity and string comparison

Comparing two strings in a case-sensitive manner means comparing them exactly, code point for code point.

Comparing two strings in an ASCII case-insensitive manner means comparing them exactly, code point for code point, except that the characters in the range U+0041 to U+005A (i.e. LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A to LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Z) and the corresponding characters in the range U+0061 to U+007A (i.e. LATIN SMALL LETTER A to LATIN SMALL LETTER Z) are considered to also match.

Comparing two strings in a compatibility caseless manner means using the Unicode compatibility caseless match operation to compare the two strings. [UNICODE]

Except where otherwise stated, string comparisons must be performed in a case-sensitive manner.

A string pattern is a prefix match for a string s when pattern is not longer than s and truncating s to pattern's length leaves the two strings as matches of each other.

2.4 Common microsyntaxes

There are various places in HTML that accept particular data types, such as dates or numbers. This section describes what the conformance criteria for content in those formats is, and how to parse them.

The space characters, for the purposes of this specification, are U+0020 SPACE, "tab" (U+0009), "LF" (U+000A), "FF" (U+000C), and "CR" (U+000D).

The White_Space characters are those that have the Unicode property "White_Space" in the Unicode PropList.txt data file. [UNICODE]

This should not be confused with the "White_Space" value (abbreviated "WS") of the "Bidi_Class" property in the Unicode.txt data file.

2.4.1 Boolean attributes

A number of attributes are boolean attributes. The presence of a boolean attribute on an element represents the true value, and the absence of the attribute represents the false value.

If the attribute is present, its value must either be the empty string or a value that is an ASCII case-insensitive match for the attribute's canonical name, with no leading or trailing whitespace.

The values "true" and "false" are not allowed on boolean attributes. To represent a false value, the attribute has to be omitted altogether.

Here is an example of a checkbox that is checked and disabled. The checked and disabled attributes are the boolean attributes.

<label><input type=checkbox checked name=cheese disabled> Cheese</label>

This could be equivalently written as this:

<label><input type=checkbox checked=checked name=cheese disabled=disabled> Cheese</label>

You can also mix styles; the following is still equivalent:

<label><input type='checkbox' checked name=cheese disabled=""> Cheese</label>

2.4.2 Keywords and enumerated attributes

Some attributes are defined as taking one of a finite set of keywords. Such attributes are called enumerated attributes. The keywords are each defined to map to a particular state (several keywords might map to the same state, in which case some of the keywords are synonyms of each other; additionally, some of the keywords can be said to be non-conforming, and are only in the specification for historical reasons). In addition, two default states can be given. The first is the invalid value default, the second is the missing value default.

If an enumerated attribute is specified, the attribute's value must be an ASCII case-insensitive match for one of the given keywords that are not said to be non-conforming, with no leading or trailing whitespace.

When the attribute is specified, if its value is an ASCII case-insensitive match for one of the given keywords then that keyword's state is the state that the attribute represents. If the attribute value matches none of the given keywords, but the attribute has an invalid value default, then the attribute represents that state. Otherwise, if the attribute value matches none of the keywords but there is a missing value default state defined, then that is the state represented by the attribute. Otherwise, there is no default, and invalid values mean that there is no state represented.

When the attribute is not specified, if there is a missing value default state defined, then that is the state represented by the (missing) attribute. Otherwise, the absence of the attribute means that there is no state represented.

The empty string can be a valid keyword.

2.4.3 Numbers

2.4.3.1 Signed integers

A string is a valid integer if it consists of one or more characters in the range ASCII digits, optionally prefixed with a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS character (-).

A valid integer without a "-" (U+002D) prefix represents the number that is represented in base ten by that string of digits. A valid integer with a "-" (U+002D) prefix represents the number represented in base ten by the string of digits that follows the U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS, subtracted from zero.

2.4.3.2 Non-negative integers

A string is a valid non-negative integer if it consists of one or more characters in the range ASCII digits.

A valid non-negative integer represents the number that is represented in base ten by that string of digits.

2.4.3.3 Floating-point numbers

A string is a valid floating-point number if it consists of:

  1. Optionally, a "-" (U+002D) character.
  2. One or both of the following, in the given order:
    1. A series of one or more characters in the range ASCII digits.
      1. A single "." (U+002E) character.
      2. A series of one or more characters in the range ASCII digits.
  3. Optionally:
    1. Either a "e" (U+0065) character or a "E" (U+0045) character.
    2. Optionally, a "-" (U+002D) character or "+" (U+002B) character.
    3. A series of one or more characters in the range ASCII digits.

A valid floating-point number represents the number obtained by multiplying the significand by ten raised to the power of the exponent, where the significand is the first number, interpreted as base ten (including the decimal point and the number after the decimal point, if any, and interpreting the significand as a negative number if the whole string starts with a "-" (U+002D) character and the number is not zero), and where the exponent is the number after the E, if any (interpreted as a negative number if there is a "-" (U+002D) character between the E and the number and the number is not zero, or else ignoring a "+" (U+002B) character between the E and the number if there is one). If there is no E, then the exponent is treated as zero.

The Infinity and Not-a-Number (NaN) values are not valid floating-point numbers.

2.4.3.4 Lists of integers

A valid list of integers is a number of valid integers separated by U+002C COMMA characters, with no other characters (e.g. no space characters). In addition, there might be restrictions on the number of integers that can be given, or on the range of values allowed.

2.4.4 Dates and times

In the algorithms below, the number of days in month month of year year is: 31 if month is 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, or 12; 30 if month is 4, 6, 9, or 11; 29 if month is 2 and year is a number divisible by 400, or if year is a number divisible by 4 but not by 100; and 28 otherwise. This takes into account leap years in the Gregorian calendar. [GREGORIAN]

The digits in the date and time syntaxes defined in this section must be characters in the range ASCII digits, used to express numbers in base ten.

2.4.4.1 Months

A month consists of a specific proleptic Gregorian date with no time-zone information and no date information beyond a year and a month. [GREGORIAN]

A string is a valid month string representing a year year and month month if it consists of the following components in the given order:

  1. Four or more digits, representing year, where year > 0
  2. A "-" (U+002D) character
  3. Two digits, representing the month month, in the range 1 ≤ month ≤ 12
2.4.4.2 Dates

A date consists of a specific proleptic Gregorian date with no time-zone information, consisting of a year, a month, and a day. [GREGORIAN]

A string is a valid date string representing a year year, month month, and day day if it consists of the following components in the given order:

  1. A valid month string, representing year and month
  2. A "-" (U+002D) character
  3. Two digits, representing day, in the range 1 ≤ day ≤ maxday where maxday is the number of days in the month month and year year
2.4.4.3 Yearless dates

A yearless date consists of a Gregorian month and a day within that month, but with no associated year. [GREGORIAN]

A string is a valid yearless date string representing a month month and a day day if it consists of the following components in the given order:

  1. Optionally, two "-" (U+002D) characters
  2. Two digits, representing the month month, in the range 1 ≤ month ≤ 12
  3. A "-" (U+002D) character
  4. Two digits, representing day, in the range 1 ≤ day ≤ maxday where maxday is the number of days in the month month and any arbitrary leap year (e.g. 4 or 2000)

In other words, if the month is "02", meaning February, then the day can be 29, as if the year was a leap year.

2.4.4.4 Times

A time consists of a specific time with no time-zone information, consisting of an hour, a minute, a second, and a fraction of a second.

A string is a valid time string representing an hour hour, a minute minute, and a second second if it consists of the following components in the given order:

  1. Two digits, representing hour, in the range 0 ≤ hour ≤ 23
  2. A ":" (U+003A) character
  3. Two digits, representing minute, in the range 0 ≤ minute ≤ 59
  4. Optionally (required if second is non-zero):
    1. A ":" (U+003A) character
    2. Two digits, representing the integer part of second, in the range 0 ≤ s ≤ 59
    3. Optionally (required if second is not an integer):
      1. A 002E FULL STOP character (.)
      2. One, two, or three digits, representing the fractional part of second

The second component cannot be 60 or 61; leap seconds cannot be represented.

2.4.4.5 Local dates and times

A local date and time consists of a specific proleptic Gregorian date, consisting of a year, a month, and a day, and a time, consisting of an hour, a minute, a second, and a fraction of a second, but expressed without a time zone. [GREGORIAN]

A string is a valid local date and time string representing a date and time if it consists of the following components in the given order:

  1. A valid date string representing the date
  2. A "T" (U+0054) character or a U+0020 SPACE character
  3. A valid time string representing the time

A string is a valid normalized local date and time string representing a date and time if it consists of the following components in the given order:

  1. A valid date string representing the date
  2. A "T" (U+0054) character
  3. A valid time string representing the time, expressed as the shortest possible string for the given time (e.g. omitting the seconds component entirely if the given time is zero seconds past the minute)
2.4.4.6 Time zones

A time-zone offset consists of a signed number of hours and minutes.

A string is a valid time-zone offset string representing a time-zone offset if it consists of either:

This format allows for time-zone offsets from -23:59 to +23:59. In practice, however, right now the range of offsets of actual time zones is -12:00 to +14:00, and the minutes component of offsets of actual time zones is always either 00, 30, or 45. There is no guarantee that this will remain so forever, however; time zones are changed by countries at will and do not follow a standard.

See also the usage notes and examples in the global date and time section below for details on using time-zone offsets with historical times that predate the formation of formal time zones.

2.4.4.7 Global dates and times

A global date and time consists of a specific proleptic Gregorian date, consisting of a year, a month, and a day, and a time, consisting of an hour, a minute, a second, and a fraction of a second, expressed with a time-zone offset, consisting of a signed number of hours and minutes. [GREGORIAN]

A string is a valid global date and time string representing a date, time, and a time-zone offset if it consists of the following components in the given order:

  1. A valid date string representing the date
  2. A "T" (U+0054) character or a U+0020 SPACE character
  3. A valid time string representing the time
  4. A valid time-zone offset string representing the time-zone offset

Times in dates before the formation of UTC in the mid twentieth century must be expressed and interpreted in terms of UT1 (contemporary Earth solar time at the 0° longitude), not UTC (the approximation of UT1 that ticks in SI seconds). Time before the formation of time zones must be expressed and interpeted as UT1 times with explicit time zones that approximate the contemporary difference between the appropriate local time and the time observed at the location of Greenwich, London.

The following are some examples of dates written as valid global date and time strings.

"0037-12-13 00:00Z"
Midnight in areas using London time on the birthday of Nero (the Roman Emperor). See below for further discussion on which date this actually corresponds to.
"1979-10-14T12:00:00.001-04:00"
One millisecond after noon on October 14th 1979, in the time zone in use on the east coast of the USA during daylight saving time.
"8592-01-01T02:09+02:09"
Midnight UTC on the 1st of January, 8592. The time zone associated with that time is two hours and nine minutes ahead of UTC, which is not currently a real time zone, but is nonetheless allowed.

Several things are notable about these dates:

The zone offset is not a complete time zone specification. When working with real date and time values, consider using a separate field for time zone, perhaps using IANA time zone IDs. [TIMEZONES]

A string is a valid normalized forced-UTC global date and time string representing a date, time, and a time-zone offset if it consists of the following components in the given order:

  1. A valid date string representing the date converted to the UTC time zone
  2. A "T" (U+0054) character
  3. A valid time string representing the time converted to the UTC time zone and expressed as the shortest possible string for the given time (e.g. omitting the seconds component entirely if the given time is zero seconds past the minute)
  4. A "Z" (U+005A) character
2.4.4.8 Weeks

A week consists of a week-year number and a week number representing a seven-day period starting on a Monday. Each week-year in this calendaring system has either 52 or 53 such seven-day periods, as defined below. The seven-day period starting on the Gregorian date Monday December 29th 1969 (1969-12-29) is defined as week number 1 in week-year 1970. Consecutive weeks are numbered sequentially. The week before the number 1 week in a week-year is the last week in the previous week-year, and vice versa. [GREGORIAN]

A week-year with a number year has 53 weeks if it corresponds to either a year year in the proleptic Gregorian calendar that has a Thursday as its first day (January 1st), or a year year in the proleptic Gregorian calendar that has a Wednesday as its first day (January 1st) and where year is a number divisible by 400, or a number divisible by 4 but not by 100. All other week-years have 52 weeks.

The week number of the last day of a week-year with 53 weeks is 53; the week number of the last day of a week-year with 52 weeks is 52.

The week-year number of a particular day can be different than the number of the year that contains that day in the proleptic Gregorian calendar. The first week in a week-year y is the week that contains the first Thursday of the Gregorian year y.

For modern purposes, a week as defined here is equivalent to ISO weeks as defined in ISO 8601. [ISO8601]

A string is a valid week string representing a week-year year and week week if it consists of the following components in the given order:

  1. Four or more digits, representing year, where year > 0
  2. A "-" (U+002D) character
  3. A "W" (U+0057) character
  4. Two digits, representing the week week, in the range 1 ≤ week ≤ maxweek, where maxweek is the week number of the last day of week-year year
2.4.4.9 Durations

A duration consists of a number of seconds.

Since months and seconds are not comparable (a month is not a precise number of seconds, but is instead a period whose exact length depends on the precise day from which it is measured) a duration as defined in this specification cannot include months (or years, which are equivalent to twelve months). Only durations that describe a specific number of seconds can be described.

A string is a valid duration string representing a duration t if it consists of either of the following:

2.4.4.10 Vaguer moments in time

A string is a valid date string with optional time if it is also one of the following:

2.4.5 Colors

A simple color consists of three 8-bit numbers in the range 0..255, representing the red, green, and blue components of the color respectively, in the sRGB color space. [SRGB]

A string is a valid simple color if it is exactly seven characters long, and the first character is a "http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/single-page.html#" (U+0023) character, and the remaining six characters are all in the range ASCII digits, U+0041 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A to U+0046 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER F, U+0061 LATIN SMALL LETTER A to U+0066 LATIN SMALL LETTER F, with the first two digits representing the red component, the middle two digits representing the green component, and the last two digits representing the blue component, in hexadecimal.

A string is a valid lowercase simple color if it is a valid simple color and doesn't use any characters in the range U+0041 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A to U+0046 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER F.


2.4.6 Space-separated tokens

A set of space-separated tokens is a string containing zero or more words (known as tokens) separated by one or more space characters, where words consist of any string of one or more characters, none of which are space characters.

A string containing a set of space-separated tokens may have leading or trailing space characters.

An unordered set of unique space-separated tokens is a set of space-separated tokens where none of the tokens are duplicated.

An ordered set of unique space-separated tokens is a set of space-separated tokens where none of the tokens are duplicated but where the order of the tokens is meaningful.

Sets of space-separated tokens sometimes have a defined set of allowed values. When a set of allowed values is defined, the tokens must all be from that list of allowed values; other values are non-conforming. If no such set of allowed values is provided, then all values are conforming.

How tokens in a set of space-separated tokens are to be compared (e.g. case-sensitively or not) is defined on a per-set basis.

2.4.7 Comma-separated tokens

A set of comma-separated tokens is a string containing zero or more tokens each separated from the next by a single "," (U+002C) character, where tokens consist of any string of zero or more characters, neither beginning nor ending with space characters, nor containing any "," (U+002C) characters, and optionally surrounded by space characters.

For instance, the string " a ,b,,d d " consists of four tokens: "a", "b", the empty string, and "d d". Leading and trailing whitespace around each token doesn't count as part of the token, and the empty string can be a token.

Sets of comma-separated tokens sometimes have further restrictions on what consists a valid token. When such restrictions are defined, the tokens must all fit within those restrictions; other values are non-conforming. If no such restrictions are specified, then all values are conforming.

2.4.8 References

A valid hash-name reference to an element of type type is a string consisting of a "http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/single-page.html#" (U+0023) character followed by a string which exactly matches the value of the name attribute of an element with type type in the document.

2.4.9 Media queries

A string is a valid media query if it matches the media_query_list production of the Media Queries specification. [MQ]

A string matches the environment of the user if it is the empty string, a string consisting of only space characters, or is a media query that matches the user's environment according to the definitions given in the Media Queries specification. [MQ]

2.5 URLs

This specification defines the term URL, and defines various algorithms for dealing with URLs, because for historical reasons the rules defined by the URI and IRI specifications are not a complete description of what HTML user agents need to implement to be compatible with Web content.

The term "URL" in this specification is used in a manner distinct from the precise technical meaning it is given in RFC 3986. Readers familiar with that RFC will find it easier to read this specification if they pretend the term "URL" as used herein is really called something else altogether. This is a willful violation of RFC 3986. [RFC3986]

2.5.1 Terminology

A URL is a string used to identify a resource.

A URL is a valid URL if at least one of the following conditions holds:

A string is a valid non-empty URL if it is a valid URL but it is not the empty string.

A string is a valid URL potentially surrounded by spaces if, after stripping leading and trailing whitespace from it, it is a valid URL.

A string is a valid non-empty URL potentially surrounded by spaces if, after stripping leading and trailing whitespace from it, it is a valid non-empty URL.

This specification defines the URL about:legacy-compat as a reserved, though unresolvable, about: URI, for use in DOCTYPEs in HTML documents when needed for compatibility with XML tools. [ABOUT]

This specification defines the URL about:srcdoc as a reserved, though unresolvable, about: URI, that is used as the document's address of iframe srcdoc documents. [ABOUT]

2.5.2 Base URLs

The fallback base URL of a Document object is the absolute URL obtained by running these substeps:

  1. If the Document is an iframe srcdoc document, then return the document base URL of the Document's browsing context's browsing context container's Document and abort these steps.

  2. If the document's address is about:blank, and the Document's browsing context has a creator browsing context, then return the document base URL of the creator Document, and abort these steps.

  3. Return the document's address.

The document base URL of a Document object is the absolute URL obtained by running these substeps:

  1. Let fallback base url be the Document's fallback base URL.

  2. If there is no base element that has an href attribute, then the document base URL is fallback base url; abort these steps. Otherwise, let url be the value of the href attribute of the first such element.

  3. Resolve url relative to fallback base url (thus, the base href attribute isn't affected by xml:base attributes).

  4. The document base URL is the result of the previous step if it was successful; otherwise it is fallback base url.

2.5.3 Resolving URLs

Resolving a URL is the process of taking a relative URL and obtaining the absolute URL that it implies.

A URL is an absolute URL if resolving it results in the same output regardless of what it is resolved relative to, and that output is not a failure.

An absolute URL is a hierarchical URL if, when resolved and then parsed, there is a character immediately after the <scheme> component and it is a "/" (U+002F) character.

An absolute URL is an authority-based URL if, when resolved and then parsed, there are two characters immediately after the <scheme> component and they are both "//" (U+002F) characters.

2.5.4 Interfaces for URL manipulation

An interface that has a complement of URL decomposition IDL attributes has seven attributes with the following definitions:

           attribute DOMString protocol;
           attribute DOMString host;
           attribute DOMString hostname;
           attribute DOMString port;
           attribute DOMString pathname;
           attribute DOMString search;
           attribute DOMString hash;
o . protocol [ = value ]

Returns the current scheme of the underlying URL.

Can be set, to change the underlying URL's scheme.

o . host [ = value ]

Returns the current host and port (if it's not the default port) in the underlying URL.

Can be set, to change the underlying URL's host and port.

The host and the port are separated by a colon. The port part, if omitted, will be assumed to be the current scheme's default port.

o . hostname [ = value ]

Returns the current host in the underlying URL.

Can be set, to change the underlying URL's host.

o . port [ = value ]

Returns the current port in the underlying URL.

Can be set, to change the underlying URL's port.

o . pathname [ = value ]

Returns the current path in the underlying URL.

Can be set, to change the underlying URL's path.

o . search [ = value ]

Returns the current query component in the underlying URL.

Can be set, to change the underlying URL's query component.

o . hash [ = value ]

Returns the current fragment identifier in the underlying URL.

Can be set, to change the underlying URL's fragment identifier.

The table below demonstrates how the getter for search results in different results depending on the exact original syntax of the URL:

Input URL search value Explanation
http://example.com/ empty string No <query> component in input URL.
http://example.com/? ? There is a <query> component, but it is empty.
http://example.com/?test ?test The <query> component has the value "test".
http://example.com/?test# ?test The (empty) <fragment> component is not part of the <query> component.

The following table is similar; it provides a list of what each of the URL decomposition IDL attributes returns for a given input URL.

Input protocol host hostname port pathname search hash
http://example.com/carrot#question%3f http: example.com example.com (empty string) /carrot (empty string) #question%3f
https://www.example.com:4443? https: www.example.com:4443 www.example.com 4443 / ? (empty string)

2.5.5 CORS settings attributes

A CORS settings attribute is an enumerated attribute. The following table lists the keywords and states for the attribute — the keywords in the left column map to the states in the cell in the second column on the same row as the keyword.

Keyword State Brief description
anonymous Anonymous Cross-origin CORS requests for the element will have the omit credentials flag set.
use-credentials Use Credentials Cross-origin CORS requests for the element will not have the omit credentials flag set.

The empty string is also a valid keyword, and maps to the Anonymous state. The attribute's invalid value default is the Anonymous state. The missing value default, used when the attribute is omitted, is the No CORS state.

2.6 Common DOM interfaces

2.6.1 Reflecting content attributes in IDL attributes

Some IDL attributes are defined to reflect a particular content attribute. This means that on getting, the IDL attribute returns the current value of the content attribute, and on setting, the IDL attribute changes the value of the content attribute to the given value.

2.6.2 Collections

The HTMLAllCollection, HTMLFormControlsCollection, HTMLOptionsCollection, interfaces are collections derived from the HTMLCollection interface.

2.6.2.1 HTMLAllCollection

The HTMLAllCollection interface is used for generic collections of elements just like HTMLCollection, with the exception that its namedItem() method returns an HTMLAllCollection object when there are multiple matching elements, and that its item() method can be used as a synonym for its namedItem() method. It is intended only for the legacy document.all attribute.

interface HTMLAllCollection : HTMLCollection {
  // inherits length and item()
  legacycaller getter object? namedItem(DOMString name); // overrides inherited namedItem()
  HTMLAllCollection tags(DOMString tagName);
};
collection . length

Returns the number of elements in the collection.

element = collection . item(index)
collection[index]
collection(index)

Returns the item with index index from the collection. The items are sorted in tree order.

element = collection . item(name)
collection = collection . item(name)
element = collection . namedItem(name)
collection = collection . namedItem(name)
collection[name]
collection(name)

Returns the item with ID or name name from the collection.

If there are multiple matching items, then an HTMLAllCollection object containing all those elements is returned.

Only a, applet, area, embed, form, frame, frameset, iframe, img, and object elements can have a name for the purpose of this method; their name is given by the value of their name attribute.

collection = collection . tags(tagName)

Returns a collection that is a filtered view of the current collection, containing only elements with the given tag name.

2.6.2.2 HTMLFormControlsCollection

The HTMLFormControlsCollection interface is used for collections of listed elements in form and fieldset elements.

interface HTMLFormControlsCollection : HTMLCollection {
  // inherits length and item()
  legacycaller getter object? namedItem(DOMString name); // overrides inherited namedItem()
};

interface RadioNodeList : NodeList {
          attribute DOMString value;
};
collection . length

Returns the number of elements in the collection.

element = collection . item(index)
collection[index]
collection(index)

Returns the item with index index from the collection. The items are sorted in tree order.

element = collection . namedItem(name)
radioNodeList = collection . namedItem(name)
element = collection . item(name)
collection[name]
collection(name)

Returns the item with ID or name name from the collection.

If there are multiple matching items, then a RadioNodeList object containing all those elements is returned.

radioNodeList . value [ = value ]

Returns the value of the first checked radio button represented by the object.

Can be set, to check the first radio button with the given value represented by the object.

2.6.2.3 HTMLOptionsCollection

The HTMLOptionsCollection interface is used for collections of option elements. It is always rooted on a select element and has attributes and methods that manipulate that element's descendants.

interface HTMLOptionsCollection : HTMLCollection {
  // inherits item()
           attribute unsigned long length; // overrides inherited length
  legacycaller getter object? namedItem(DOMString name); // overrides inherited namedItem()
  setter creator void (unsigned long index, HTMLOptionElement? option);
  void add((HTMLOptionElement or HTMLOptGroupElement) element, optional (HTMLElement or long)? before = null);
  void remove(long index);
           attribute long selectedIndex;
};
collection . length [ = value ]

Returns the number of elements in the collection.

When set to a smaller number, truncates the number of option elements in the corresponding container.

When set to a greater number, adds new blank option elements to that container.

element = collection . item(index)
collection[index]
collection(index)

Returns the item with index index from the collection. The items are sorted in tree order.

element = collection . namedItem(name)
nodeList = collection . namedItem(name)
element = collection . item(name)
collection[name]
collection(name)

Returns the item with ID or name name from the collection.

If there are multiple matching items, then a NodeList object containing all those elements is returned.

collection . add(element [, before ] )

Inserts element before the node given by before.

The before argument can be a number, in which case element is inserted before the item with that number, or an element from the collection, in which case element is inserted before that element.

If before is omitted, null, or a number out of range, then element will be added at the end of the list.

This method will throw a HierarchyRequestError exception if element is an ancestor of the element into which it is to be inserted.

collection . selectedIndex [ = value ]

Returns the index of the first selected item, if any, or −1 if there is no selected item.

Can be set, to change the selection.

2.6.3 DOMStringMap

The DOMStringMap interface represents a set of name-value pairs. It exposes these using the scripting language's native mechanisms for property access.

The dataset attribute on elements exposes the data-* attributes on the element.

Given the following fragment and elements with similar constructions:

<img class="tower" id="tower5" data-x="12" data-y="5"
     data-ai="robotarget" data-hp="46" data-ability="flames"
     src="towers/rocket.png alt="Rocket Tower">

...one could imagine a function splashDamage() that takes some arguments, the first of which is the element to process:

function splashDamage(node, x, y, damage) {
  if (node.classList.contains('tower') && // checking the 'class' attribute
      node.dataset.x == x && // reading the 'data-x' attribute
      node.dataset.y == y) { // reading the 'data-y' attribute
    var hp = parseInt(node.dataset.hp); // reading the 'data-hp' attribute
    hp = hp - damage;
    if (hp < 0) {
      hp = 0;
      node.dataset.ai = 'dead'; // setting the 'data-ai' attribute
      delete node.dataset.ability; // removing the 'data-ability' attribute
    }
    node.dataset.hp = hp; // setting the 'data-hp' attribute
  }
}

2.6.4 Transferable objects

Some objects support being copied and closed in one operation. This is called transferring the object, and is used in particular to transfer ownership of unsharable or expensive resources across worker boundaries.

[NoInterfaceObject]
interface Transferable { };

The following Transferable types exist:

2.6.5 DOM feature strings

DOM3 Core defines mechanisms for checking for interface support, and for obtaining implementations of interfaces, using feature strings. [DOMCORE]

Authors are strongly discouraged from using these, as they are notoriously unreliable and imprecise. Authors are encouraged to rely on explicit feature testing or the graceful degradation behavior intrinsic to some of the features in this specification.

2.7 Namespaces

The HTML namespace is: http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml

The MathML namespace is: http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML

The SVG namespace is: http://www.w3.org/2000/svg

The XLink namespace is: http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink

The XML namespace is: http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/namespace

The XMLNS namespace is: http://www.w3.org/2000/xmlns/


Data mining tools and other user agents that perform operations on content without running scripts, evaluating CSS or XPath expressions, or otherwise exposing the resulting DOM to arbitrary content, may "support namespaces" by just asserting that their DOM node analogues are in certain namespaces, without actually exposing the above strings.


In the HTML syntax, namespace prefixes and namespace declarations do not have the same effect as in XML. For instance, the colon has no special meaning in HTML element names.

3 Semantics, structure, and APIs of HTML documents

3.1 Documents

Every XML and HTML document in an HTML UA is represented by a Document object. [DOMCORE]

The document's address is an absolute URL that is initially set when the Document is created but that can change during the lifetime of the Document, for example when the user navigates to a fragment identifier on the page or when the pushState() method is called with a new URL.

Interactive user agents typically expose the document's address in their user interface. This is the primary mechanism by which a user can tell if a site is attempting to impersonate another.

When a Document is created by a script using the createDocument() or createHTMLDocument() APIs, the document's address is the same as the document's address of the script's document, and the Document is both ready for post-load tasks and completely loaded immediately.

Each Document object has a reload override flag that is originally unset. The flag is set by the document.open() and document.write() methods in certain situations. When the flag is set, the Document also has a reload override buffer which is a Unicode string that is used as the source of the document when it is reloaded.

When the user agent is to perform an overridden reload, it must act as follows:

  1. Let source be the value of the browsing context's active document's reload override buffer.

  2. Navigate the browsing context to a resource whose source is source, with replacement enabled. When the navigate algorithm creates a Document object for this purpose, set that Document's reload override flag and set its reload override buffer to source.

3.1.1 The Document object

The DOM Core specification defines a Document interface, which this specification extends significantly:

[OverrideBuiltins]
partial interface Document {
  // resource metadata management
  [PutForwards=href] readonly attribute Location? location;
           attribute DOMString domain;
  readonly attribute DOMString referrer;
           attribute DOMString cookie;
  readonly attribute DOMString lastModified;
  readonly attribute DOMString readyState;

  // DOM tree accessors
  getter object (DOMString name);
           attribute DOMString title;
           attribute DOMString dir;
           attribute HTMLElement? body;
  readonly attribute HTMLHeadElement? head;
  readonly attribute HTMLCollection images;
  readonly attribute HTMLCollection embeds;
  readonly attribute HTMLCollection plugins;
  readonly attribute HTMLCollection links;
  readonly attribute HTMLCollection forms;
  readonly attribute HTMLCollection scripts;
  NodeList getElementsByName(DOMString elementName);



  // dynamic markup insertion
  Document open(optional DOMString type, optional DOMString replace);
  WindowProxy open(DOMString url, DOMString name, DOMString features, optional boolean replace);
  void close();
  void write(DOMString... text);
  void writeln(DOMString... text);

  // user interaction
  readonly attribute WindowProxy? defaultView;
  readonly attribute Element? activeElement;
  boolean hasFocus();
           attribute DOMString designMode;
  boolean execCommand(DOMString commandId);
  boolean execCommand(DOMString commandId, boolean showUI);
  boolean execCommand(DOMString commandId, boolean showUI, DOMString value);
  boolean queryCommandEnabled(DOMString commandId);
  boolean queryCommandIndeterm(DOMString commandId);
  boolean queryCommandState(DOMString commandId);
  boolean queryCommandSupported(DOMString commandId);
  DOMString queryCommandValue(DOMString commandId);
  readonly attribute HTMLCollection commands;

  // event handler IDL attributes
           attribute EventHandler onabort;
           attribute EventHandler onblur;
           attribute EventHandler oncancel;
           attribute EventHandler oncanplay;
           attribute EventHandler oncanplaythrough;
           attribute EventHandler onchange;
           attribute EventHandler onclick;
           attribute EventHandler onclose;
           attribute EventHandler oncontextmenu;
           attribute EventHandler oncuechange;
           attribute EventHandler ondblclick;
           attribute EventHandler ondrag;
           attribute EventHandler ondragend;
           attribute EventHandler ondragenter;
           attribute EventHandler ondragleave;
           attribute EventHandler ondragover;
           attribute EventHandler ondragstart;
           attribute EventHandler ondrop;
           attribute EventHandler ondurationchange;
           attribute EventHandler onemptied;
           attribute EventHandler onended;
           attribute OnErrorEventHandler onerror;
           attribute EventHandler onfocus;
           attribute EventHandler oninput;
           attribute EventHandler oninvalid;
           attribute EventHandler onkeydown;
           attribute EventHandler onkeypress;
           attribute EventHandler onkeyup;
           attribute EventHandler onload;
           attribute EventHandler onloadeddata;
           attribute EventHandler onloadedmetadata;
           attribute EventHandler onloadstart;
           attribute EventHandler onmousedown;
           attribute EventHandler onmousemove;
           attribute EventHandler onmouseout;
           attribute EventHandler onmouseover;
           attribute EventHandler onmouseup;
           attribute EventHandler onmousewheel;
           attribute EventHandler onpause;
           attribute EventHandler onplay;
           attribute EventHandler onplaying;
           attribute EventHandler onprogress;
           attribute EventHandler onratechange;
           attribute EventHandler onreset;
           attribute EventHandler onscroll;
           attribute EventHandler onseeked;
           attribute EventHandler onseeking;
           attribute EventHandler onselect;
           attribute EventHandler onshow;
           attribute EventHandler onstalled;
           attribute EventHandler onsubmit;
           attribute EventHandler onsuspend;
           attribute EventHandler ontimeupdate;
           attribute EventHandler onvolumechange;
           attribute EventHandler onwaiting;

  // special event handler IDL attributes that only apply to Document objects
  [LenientThis] attribute EventHandler onreadystatechange;
};

3.1.2 Security

User agents throw a SecurityError exception whenever any properties of a Document object are accessed by scripts whose effective script origin is not the same as the Document's effective script origin.

3.1.3 Resource metadata management

document . referrer

Returns the address of the Document from which the user navigated to this one, unless it was blocked or there was no such document, in which case it returns the empty string.

The noreferrer link type can be used to block the referrer.

In the case of HTTP, the referrer IDL attribute will match the Referer (sic) header that was sent when fetching the current page.

Typically user agents are configured to not report referrers in the case where the referrer uses an encrypted protocol and the current page does not (e.g. when navigating from an https: page to an http: page).


document . cookie [ = value ]

Returns the HTTP cookies that apply to the Document. If there are no cookies or cookies can't be applied to this resource, the empty string will be returned.

Can be set, to add a new cookie to the element's set of HTTP cookies.

If the contents are sandboxed into a unique origin (e.g. in an iframe with the sandbox attribute), a SecurityError exception will be thrown on getting and setting.

document . lastModified

Returns the date of the last modification to the document, as reported by the server, in the form "MM/DD/YYYY hh:mm:ss", in the user's local time zone.

If the last modification date is not known, the current time is returned instead.

document . readyState

Returns "loading" while the Document is loading, "interactive" once it is finished parsing but still loading sub-resources, and "complete" once it has loaded.

The readystatechange event fires on the Document object when this value changes.

3.1.4 DOM tree accessors

The html element of a document is the document's root element, if there is one and it's an html element, or null otherwise.


document . head

Returns the head element.

The head element of a document is the first head element that is a child of the html element, if there is one, or null otherwise.


document . title [ = value ]

Returns the document's title, as given by the title element.

Can be set, to update the document's title. If there is no head element, the new value is ignored.

In SVG documents, the SVGDocument interface's title attribute takes precedence.

The title element of a document is the first title element in the document (in tree order), if there is one, or null otherwise.


document . body [ = value ]

Returns the body element.

Can be set, to replace the body element.

If the new value is not a body or frameset element, this will throw a HierarchyRequestError exception.

The body element of a document is the first child of the html element that is either a body element or a frameset element. If there is no such element, it is null.


document . images

Returns an HTMLCollection of the img elements in the Document.

document . embeds
document . plugins

Return an HTMLCollection of the embed elements in the Document.

document . links

Returns an HTMLCollection of the a and area elements in the Document that have href attributes.

document . forms

Return an HTMLCollection of the form elements in the Document.

document . scripts

Return an HTMLCollection of the script elements in the Document.

collection = document . getElementsByName(name)

Returns a NodeList of elements in the Document that have a name attribute with the value name.


The dir attribute on the Document interface is defined along with the dir content attribute.

3.2 Elements

3.2.1 Semantics

Elements, attributes, and attribute values in HTML are defined (by this specification) to have certain meanings (semantics). For example, the ol element represents an ordered list, and the lang attribute represents the language of the content.

These definitions allow HTML processors, such as Web browsers or search engines, to present and use documents and applications in a wide variety of contexts that the author might not have considered.

As a simple example, consider a Web page written by an author who only considered desktop computer Web browsers. Because HTML conveys meaning, rather than presentation, the same page can also be used by a small browser on a mobile phone, without any change to the page. Instead of headings being in large letters as on the desktop, for example, the browser on the mobile phone might use the same size text for the whole the page, but with the headings in bold.

But it goes further than just differences in screen size: the same page could equally be used by a blind user using a browser based around speech synthesis, which instead of displaying the page on a screen, reads the page to the user, e.g. using headphones. Instead of large text for the headings, the speech browser might use a different volume or a slower voice.

That's not all, either. Since the browsers know which parts of the page are the headings, they can create a document outline that the user can use to quickly navigate around the document, using keys for "jump to next heading" or "jump to previous heading". Such features are especially common with speech browsers, where users would otherwise find quickly navigating a page quite difficult.

Even beyond browsers, software can make use of this information. Search engines can use the headings to more effectively index a page, or to provide quick links to subsections of the page from their results. Tools can use the headings to create a table of contents (that is in fact how this very specification's table of contents is generated).

This example has focused on headings, but the same principle applies to all of the semantics in HTML.

Authors must not use elements, attributes, or attribute values for purposes other than their appropriate intended semantic purpose, as doing so prevents software from correctly processing the page.

For example, the following document is non-conforming, despite being syntactically correct:

<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html lang="en-GB">
 <head> <title> Demonstration </title> </head>
 <body>
  <table>
   <tr> <td> My favourite animal is the cat. </td> </tr>
   <tr>
    <td>
     —<a href="http://example.org/~ernest/"><cite>Ernest</cite></a>,
     in an essay from 1992
    </td>
   </tr>
  </table>
 </body>
</html>

...because the data placed in the cells is clearly not tabular data (and the cite element mis-used). This would make software that relies on these semantics fail: for example, a speech browser that allowed a blind user to navigate tables in the document would report the quote above as a table, confusing the user; similarly, a tool that extracted titles of works from pages would extract "Ernest" as the title of a work, even though it's actually a person's name, not a title.

A corrected version of this document might be:

<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html lang="en-GB">
 <head> <title> Demonstration </title> </head>
 <body>
  <blockquote>
   <p> My favourite animal is the cat. </p>
  </blockquote>
  <p>
   —<a href="http://example.org/~ernest/">Ernest</a>,
   in an essay from 1992
  </p>
 </body>
</html>

This next document fragment, intended to represent the heading of a corporate site, is similarly non-conforming because the second line is not intended to be a heading of a subsection, but merely a subheading or subtitle (a subordinate heading for the same section).

<body>
 <h1>ABC Company</h1>
 <h2>Leading the way in widget design since 1432</h2>
 ...

The hgroup element is intended for these kinds of situations:

<body>
 <hgroup>
  <h1>ABC Company</h1>
  <h2>Leading the way in widget design since 1432</h2>
 </hgroup>
 ...

Authors must not use elements, attributes, or attribute values that are not permitted by this specification or other applicable specifications, as doing so makes it significantly harder for the language to be extended in the future.

In the next example, there is a non-conforming attribute value ("carpet") and a non-conforming attribute ("texture"), which is not permitted by this specification:

<label>Carpet: <input type="carpet" name="c" texture="deep pile"></label>

Here would be an alternative and correct way to mark this up:

<label>Carpet: <input type="text" class="carpet" name="c" data-texture="deep pile"></label>

Through scripting and using other mechanisms, the values of attributes, text, and indeed the entire structure of the document may change dynamically while a user agent is processing it. The semantics of a document at an instant in time are those represented by the state of the document at that instant in time, and the semantics of a document can therefore change over time. User agents update their presentation of the document as this occurs.

HTML has a progress element that describes a progress bar. If its "value" attribute is dynamically updated by a script, the UA would update the rendering to show the progress changing.

3.2.2 Elements in the DOM

The nodes representing HTML elements in the DOM implement, and expose to scripts, the interfaces listed for them in the relevant sections of this specification. This includes HTML elements in XML documents, even when those documents are in another context (e.g. inside an XSLT transform).

Elements in the DOM represent things; that is, they have intrinsic meaning, also known as semantics.

For example, an ol element represents an ordered list.

The basic interface, from which all the HTML elements' interfaces inherit, is the HTMLElement interface.

interface HTMLElement : Element {
  // metadata attributes
           attribute DOMString title;
           attribute DOMString lang;
           attribute boolean translate;
           attribute DOMString dir;
  readonly attribute DOMStringMap dataset;


  // user interaction
           attribute boolean hidden;
  void click();
           attribute long tabIndex;
  void focus();
  void blur();
           attribute DOMString accessKey;
  readonly attribute DOMString accessKeyLabel;
           attribute boolean draggable;
  [PutForwards=value] readonly attribute DOMSettableTokenList dropzone;
           attribute DOMString contentEditable;
  readonly attribute boolean isContentEditable;
           attribute HTMLMenuElement? contextMenu;
           attribute boolean spellcheck;

  // command API
  readonly attribute DOMString? commandType;
  readonly attribute DOMString? commandLabel;
  readonly attribute DOMString? commandIcon;
  readonly attribute boolean? commandHidden;
  readonly attribute boolean? commandDisabled;
  readonly attribute boolean? commandChecked;


  // styling
  readonly attribute CSSStyleDeclaration style;

  // event handler IDL attributes
           attribute EventHandler onabort;
           attribute EventHandler onblur;
           attribute EventHandler oncancel;
           attribute EventHandler oncanplay;
           attribute EventHandler oncanplaythrough;
           attribute EventHandler onchange;
           attribute EventHandler onclick;
           attribute EventHandler onclose;
           attribute EventHandler oncontextmenu;
           attribute EventHandler oncuechange;
           attribute EventHandler ondblclick;
           attribute EventHandler ondrag;
           attribute EventHandler ondragend;
           attribute EventHandler ondragenter;
           attribute EventHandler ondragleave;
           attribute EventHandler ondragover;
           attribute EventHandler ondragstart;
           attribute EventHandler ondrop;
           attribute EventHandler ondurationchange;
           attribute EventHandler onemptied;
           attribute EventHandler onended;
           attribute OnErrorEventHandler onerror;
           attribute EventHandler onfocus;
           attribute EventHandler oninput;
           attribute EventHandler oninvalid;
           attribute EventHandler onkeydown;
           attribute EventHandler onkeypress;
           attribute EventHandler onkeyup;
           attribute EventHandler onload;
           attribute EventHandler onloadeddata;
           attribute EventHandler onloadedmetadata;
           attribute EventHandler onloadstart;
           attribute EventHandler onmousedown;
           attribute EventHandler onmousemove;
           attribute EventHandler onmouseout;
           attribute EventHandler onmouseover;
           attribute EventHandler onmouseup;
           attribute EventHandler onmousewheel;
           attribute EventHandler onpause;
           attribute EventHandler onplay;
           attribute EventHandler onplaying;
           attribute EventHandler onprogress;
           attribute EventHandler onratechange;
           attribute EventHandler onreset;
           attribute EventHandler onscroll;
           attribute EventHandler onseeked;
           attribute EventHandler onseeking;
           attribute EventHandler onselect;
           attribute EventHandler onshow;
           attribute EventHandler onstalled;
           attribute EventHandler onsubmit;
           attribute EventHandler onsuspend;
           attribute EventHandler ontimeupdate;
           attribute EventHandler onvolumechange;
           attribute EventHandler onwaiting;
};

interface HTMLUnknownElement : HTMLElement { };

The HTMLElement interface holds methods and attributes related to a number of disparate features, and the members of this interface are therefore described in various different sections of this specification.

3.2.3 Global attributes

The following attributes are common to and may be specified on all HTML elements :


The following event handler content attributes may be specified on any HTML element:

The attributes marked with an asterisk have a different meaning when specified on body elements as those elements expose event handlers of the Window object with the same names.

While these attributes apply to all elements, they are not useful on all elements. For example, only media elements will ever receive a volumechange event fired by the user agent.


Custom data attributes (e.g. data-foldername or data-msgid) can be specified on any HTML element, to store custom data specific to the page.


In HTML documents, elements in the HTML namespace may have an xmlns attribute specified, if, and only if, it has the exact value "http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml". This does not apply to XML documents.

In HTML, the xmlns attribute has absolutely no effect. It is basically a talisman. It is allowed merely to make migration to and from XHTML mildly easier. When parsed by an HTML parser, the attribute ends up in no namespace, not the "http://www.w3.org/2000/xmlns/" namespace like namespace declaration attributes in XML do.

In XML, an xmlns attribute is part of the namespace declaration mechanism, and an element cannot actually have an xmlns attribute in no namespace specified.


The XML specification also allows the use of the xml:space attribute in the XML namespace on any element in an XML document. This attribute has no effect on HTML elements, as the default behavior in HTML is to preserve whitespace. [XML]

There is no way to serialize the xml:space attribute on HTML elements in the text/html syntax.


To enable assistive technology products to expose a more fine-grained interface than is otherwise possible with HTML elements and attributes, a set of annotations for assistive technology products can be specified (the ARIA role and aria-* attributes).

3.2.3.1 The id attribute

The id attribute specifies its element's unique identifier (ID). [DOMCORE]

The value must be unique amongst all the IDs in the element's home subtree and must contain at least one character. The value must not contain any space characters.

An element's unique identifier can be used for a variety of purposes, most notably as a way to link to specific parts of a document using fragment identifiers, as a way to target an element when scripting, and as a way to style a specific element from CSS.

3.2.3.2 The title attribute

The title attribute represents advisory information for the element, such as would be appropriate for a tooltip. On a link, this could be the title or a description of the target resource; on an image, it could be the image credit or a description of the image; on a paragraph, it could be a footnote or commentary on the text; on a citation, it could be further information about the source; on interactive content, it could be a label for, or instructions for, use of the element; and so forth. The value is text.

Relying on the title attribute is currently discouraged as many user agents do not expose the attribute in an accessible manner as required by this specification (e.g. requiring a pointing device such as a mouse to cause a tooltip to apear, which excludes keyboard-only users and touch-only users, such as anyone with a modern phone or tablet).

If this attribute is omitted from an element, then it implies that the title attribute of the nearest ancestor HTML element with a title attribute set is also relevant to this element. Setting the attribute overrides this, explicitly stating that the advisory information of any ancestors is not relevant to this element. Setting the attribute to the empty string indicates that the element has no advisory information.

If the title attribute's value contains "LF" (U+000A) characters, the content is split into multiple lines. Each "LF" (U+000A) character represents a line break.

Caution is advised with respect to the use of newlines in title attributes.

For instance, the following snippet actually defines an abbreviation's expansion with a line break in it:

<p>My logs show that there was some interest in <abbr title="Hypertext
Transport Protocol">HTTP</abbr> today.</p>

Some elements, such as link, abbr, and input, define additional semantics for the title attribute beyond the semantics described above.

3.2.3.3 The lang and xml:lang attributes

The lang attribute (in no namespace) specifies the primary language for the element's contents and for any of the element's attributes that contain text. Its value must be a valid BCP 47 language tag, or the empty string. Setting the attribute to the empty string indicates that the primary language is unknown. [BCP47]

The lang attribute in the XML namespace is defined in XML. [XML]

If these attributes are omitted from an element, then the language of this element is the same as the language of its parent element, if any.

The lang attribute in no namespace may be used on any HTML element.

The lang attribute in the XML namespace may be used on HTML elements in XML documents, as well as elements in other namespaces if the relevant specifications allow it (in particular, MathML and SVG allow lang attributes in the XML namespace to be specified on their elements). If both the lang attribute in no namespace and the lang attribute in the XML namespace are specified on the same element, they must have exactly the same value when compared in an ASCII case-insensitive manner.

Authors must not use the lang attribute in the XML namespace on HTML elements in HTML documents. To ease migration to and from XHTML, authors may specify an attribute in no namespace with no prefix and with the literal localname "xml:lang" on HTML elements in HTML documents, but such attributes must only be specified if a lang attribute in no namespace is also specified, and both attributes must have the same value when compared in an ASCII case-insensitive manner.

The attribute in no namespace with no prefix and with the literal localname "xml:lang" has no effect on language processing.

3.2.3.4 The translate attribute

The translate attribute is an enumerated attribute that is used to specify whether an element's attribute values and the values of its Text node children are to be translated when the page is localized, or whether to leave them unchanged.

The attribute's keywords are the empty string, yes, and no. The empty string and the yes keyword map to the yes state. The no keyword maps to the no state. In addition, there is a third state, the inherit state, which is the missing value default (and the invalid value default).

Each element has a translation mode, which is in either the translate-enabled state or the no-translate state. If the element's translate attribute is in the yes state, then the element's translation mode is in the translate-enabled state. Otherwise, if the element's translate attribute is in the no state, then the element's translation mode is in the no-translate state. Otherwise, the element's translate attribute is in the inherit state; in that case, the element's translation mode is in the same state as its parent element, if any, or in the translate-enabled state, if the element is a root element.

When an element is in the translate-enabled state, the element's attribute values and the values of its Text node children are to be translated when the page is localized.

When an element is in the no-translate state, the element's attribute values and the values of its Text node children are to be left as-is when the page is localized, e.g. because the element contains a person's name or a the name of a computer program.

In this example, everything in the document is to be translated when the page is localised, except the sample keyboard input and sample program output:

<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html> <!-- default on the root element is translate=yes -->
 <head>
  <title>The Bee Game</title> <!-- implied translate=yes inherited from ancestors -->
 </head>
 <body>
  <p>The Bee Game is a text adventure game in English.</p>
  <p>When the game launches, the first thing you should do is type
  <kbd translate=no>eat honey</kbd>. The game will respond with:</p>
  <pre><samp translate=no>Yum yum! That was some good honey!</samp></pre>
 </body>
</html>
3.2.3.5 The xml:base attribute (XML only)

The xml:base attribute is defined in XML Base. [XMLBASE]

The xml:base attribute may be used on HTML elements of XML documents. Authors must not use the xml:base attribute on HTML elements in HTML documents.

3.2.3.6 The dir attribute

The dir attribute specifies the element's text directionality. The attribute is an enumerated attribute with the following keywords and states:

The ltr keyword, which maps to the ltr state

Indicates that the contents of the element are explicitly directionally embedded left-to-right text.

The rtl keyword, which maps to the rtl state

Indicates that the contents of the element are explicitly directionally embedded right-to-left text.

The auto keyword, which maps to the auto state

Indicates that the contents of the element are explicitly embedded text, but that the direction is to be determined programmatically using the contents of the element (as described below).

The heuristic used by this state is very crude (it just looks at the first character with a strong directionality, in a manner analogous to the Paragraph Level determination in the bidirectional algorithm). Authors are urged to only use this value as a last resort when the direction of the text is truly unknown and no better server-side heuristic can be applied. [BIDI]

For textarea and pre elements, the heuristic is applied on a per-paragraph level.

The attribute has no invalid value default and no missing value default.

The directionality of an element is either 'ltr' or 'rtl', and is determined as per the first appropriate set of steps from the following list:

If the element's dir attribute is in the ltr state

The directionality of the element is 'ltr'.

If the element's dir attribute is in the rtl state

The directionality of the element is 'rtl'.

If the element is an input element whose type attribute is in the Text, Search, Telephone, URL, or E-mail state, and the dir attribute is in the auto state
If the element is a textarea element and the dir attribute is in the auto state

If the element's value contains a character of bidirectional character type AL or R, and there is no character of bidirectional character type L anywhere before it in the element's value, then the directionality of the element is 'rtl'. Otherwise, the directionality of the element is 'ltr'. [BIDI]

If the element's dir attribute is in the auto state
If the element is a bdi element and the dir attribute is not in a defined state (i.e. it is not present or has an invalid value)

Find the first character in tree order that matches the following criteria:

If such a character is found and it is of bidirectional character type AL or R, the directionality of the element is 'rtl'.

Otherwise, the directionality of the element is 'ltr'.

If the element is a root element and the dir attribute is not in a defined state (i.e. it is not present or has an invalid value)

The directionality of the element is 'ltr'.

If the element has a parent element and the dir attribute is not in a defined state (i.e. it is not present or has an invalid value)

The directionality of the element is the same as the element's parent element's directionality.

The effect of this attribute is primarily on the presentation layer. For example, the rendering section in this specification defines a mapping from this attribute to the CSS 'direction' and 'unicode-bidi' properties, and CSS defines rendering in terms of those properties.


document . dir [ = value ]

Returns the html element's dir attribute's value, if any.

Can be set, to either "ltr", "rtl", or "auto" to replace the html element's dir attribute's value.

If there is no html element, returns the empty string and ignores new values.

Authors are strongly encouraged to use the dir attribute to indicate text direction rather than using CSS, since that way their documents will continue to render correctly even in the absence of CSS (e.g. as interpreted by search engines).

This markup fragment is of an IM conversation.

<p dir=auto class="u1"><b><bdi>Student</bdi>:</b> How do you write "What's your name?" in Arabic?</p>
<p dir=auto class="u2"><b><bdi>Teacher</bdi>:</b> ما اسمك؟</p>
<p dir=auto class="u1"><b><bdi>Student</bdi>:</b> Thanks.</p>
<p dir=auto class="u2"><b><bdi>Teacher</bdi>:</b> That's written "شكرًا".</p>
<p dir=auto class="u2"><b><bdi>Teacher</bdi>:</b> Do you know how to write "Please"?</p>
<p dir=auto class="u1"><b><bdi>Student</bdi>:</b> "من فضلك", right?</p>

Given a suitable style sheet and the default alignment styles for the p element, namely to align the text to the start edge of the paragraph, the resulting rendering could be as follows:

Each paragraph rendered as a separate block, with the paragraphs left-aligned except the second paragraph and the last one, which would be right aligned, with the usernames ('Student' and 'Teacher' in this example) flush right, with a colon to their left, and the text first to the left of that.

As noted earlier, the auto value is not a panacea. The final paragraph in this example is misinterpreted as being right-to-left text, since it begins with an Arabic character, which causes the "right?" to be to the left of the Arabic text.

3.2.3.7 The class attribute

Every HTML element may have a class attribute specified.

The attribute, if specified, must have a value that is a set of space-separated tokens representing the various classes that the element belongs to.

Assigning classes to an element affects class matching in selectors in CSS, the getElementsByClassName() method in the DOM, and other such features.

There are no additional restrictions on the tokens authors can use in the class attribute, but authors are encouraged to use values that describe the nature of the content, rather than values that describe the desired presentation of the content.

3.2.3.8 The style attribute

All HTML elements may have the style content attribute set. This is a CSS styling attribute as defined by the CSS Styling Attribute Syntax specification. [CSSATTR]

Documents that use style attributes on any of their elements must still be comprehensible and usable if those attributes were removed.

In particular, using the style attribute to hide and show content, or to convey meaning that is otherwise not included in the document, is non-conforming. (To hide and show content, use the hidden attribute.)


element . style

Returns a CSSStyleDeclaration object for the element's style attribute.

In the following example, the words that refer to colors are marked up using the span element and the style attribute to make those words show up in the relevant colors in visual media.

<p>My sweat suit is <span style="color: green; background:
transparent">green</span> and my eyes are <span style="color: blue;
background: transparent">blue</span>.</p>
3.2.3.9 Embedding custom non-visible data with the data-* attributes

A custom data attribute is an attribute in no namespace whose name starts with the string "data-", has at least one character after the hyphen, is XML-compatible, and contains no characters in the range U+0041 to U+005A (LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A to LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Z).

All attributes on HTML elements in HTML documents get ASCII-lowercased automatically, so the restriction on ASCII uppercase letters doesn't affect such documents.

Custom data attributes are intended to store custom data private to the page or application, for which there are no more appropriate attributes or elements.

These attributes are not intended for use by software that is independent of the site that uses the attributes.

For instance, a site about music could annotate list items representing tracks in an album with custom data attributes containing the length of each track. This information could then be used by the site itself to allow the user to sort the list by track length, or to filter the list for tracks of certain lengths.

<ol>
 <li data-length="2m11s">Beyond The Sea</li>
 ...
</ol>

It would be inappropriate, however, for the user to use generic software not associated with that music site to search for tracks of a certain length by looking at this data.

This is because these attributes are intended for use by the site's own scripts, and are not a generic extension mechanism for publicly-usable metadata.

Every HTML element may have any number of custom data attributes specified, with any value.


element . dataset

Returns a DOMStringMap object for the element's data-* attributes.

Hyphenated names become camel-cased. For example, data-foo-bar="" becomes element.dataset.fooBar.

If a Web page wanted an element to represent a space ship, e.g. as part of a game, it would have to use the class attribute along with data-* attributes:

<div class="spaceship" data-ship-id="92432"
     data-weapons="laser 2" data-shields="50%"
     data-x="30" data-y="10" data-z="90">
 <button class="fire"
         onclick="spaceships[this.parentNode.dataset.shipId].fire()">
  Fire
 </button>
</div>

Notice how the hyphenated attribute name becomes camel-cased in the API.

Authors should carefully design such extensions so that when the attributes are ignored and any associated CSS dropped, the page is still usable.

JavaScript libraries may use the custom data attributes, as they are considered to be part of the page on which they are used. Authors of libraries that are reused by many authors are encouraged to include their name in the attribute names, to reduce the risk of clashes. Where it makes sense, library authors are also encouraged to make the exact name used in the attribute names customizable, so that libraries whose authors unknowingly picked the same name can be used on the same page, and so that multiple versions of a particular library can be used on the same page even when those versions are not mutually compatible.

For example, a library called "DoQuery" could use attribute names like data-doquery-range, and a library called "jJo" could use attributes names like data-jjo-range. The jJo library could also provide an API to set which prefix to use (e.g. J.setDataPrefix('j2'), making the attributes have names like data-j2-range).

3.2.4 Element definitions

Each element in this specification has a definition that includes the following information:

Categories

A list of categories to which the element belongs. These are used when defining the content models for each element.

Contexts in which this element can be used

A non-normative description of where the element can be used. This information is redundant with the content models of elements that allow this one as a child, and is provided only as a convenience.

For simplicity, only the most specific expectations are listed. For example, an element that is both flow content and phrasing content can be used anywhere that either flow content or phrasing content is expected, but since anywhere that flow content is expected, phrasing content is also expected (since all phrasing content is flow content), only "where phrasing content is expected" will be listed.

Content model

A normative description of what content must be included as children and descendants of the element.

Content attributes

A normative list of attributes that may be specified on the element (except where otherwise disallowed).

DOM interface

A normative definition of a DOM interface that such elements must implement.

This is then followed by a description of what the element represents, along with any additional normative conformance criteria that may apply to authors . Examples are sometimes also included.

3.2.4.1 Attributes

Except where otherwise specified, attributes on HTML elements may have any string value, including the empty string. Except where explicitly stated, there is no restriction on what text can be specified in such attributes.

3.2.5 Content models

Each element defined in this specification has a content model: a description of the element's expected contents. An HTML element must have contents that match the requirements described in the element's content model.

The space characters are always allowed between elements. User agents represent these characters between elements in the source markup as Text nodes in the DOM. Empty Text nodes and Text nodes consisting of just sequences of those characters are considered inter-element whitespace.

Inter-element whitespace, comment nodes, and processing instruction nodes must be ignored when establishing whether an element's contents match the element's content model or not, and must be ignored when following algorithms that define document and element semantics.

Thus, an element A is said to be preceded or followed by a second element B if A and B have the same parent node and there are no other element nodes or Text nodes (other than inter-element whitespace) between them. Similarly, a node is the only child of an element if that element contains no other nodes other than inter-element whitespace, comment nodes, and processing instruction nodes.

Authors must not use HTML elements anywhere except where they are explicitly allowed, as defined for each element, or as explicitly required by other specifications. For XML compound documents, these contexts could be inside elements from other namespaces, if those elements are defined as providing the relevant contexts.

For example, the Atom specification defines a content element. When its type attribute has the value xhtml, the Atom specification requires that it contain a single HTML div element. Thus, a div element is allowed in that context, even though this is not explicitly normatively stated by this specification. [ATOM]

In addition, HTML elements may be orphan nodes (i.e. without a parent node).

For example, creating a td element and storing it in a global variable in a script is conforming, even though td elements are otherwise only supposed to be used inside tr elements.

var data = {
  name: "Banana",
  cell: document.createElement('td'),
};
3.2.5.1 Kinds of content

Each element in HTML falls into zero or more categories that group elements with similar characteristics together. The following broad categories are used in this specification:

Some elements also fall into other categories, which are defined in other parts of this specification.

These categories are related as follows:

Sectioning content, heading content, phrasing content, embedded content, and interactive content are all types of flow content. Metadata is sometimes flow content. Metadata and interactive content are sometimes phrasing content. Embedded content is also a type of phrasing content, and sometimes is interactive content.

Other categories are also used for specific purposes, e.g. form controls are specified using a number of categories to define common requirements. Some elements have unique requirements and do not fit into any particular category.

3.2.5.1.1 Metadata content

Metadata content is content that sets up the presentation or behavior of the rest of the content, or that sets up the relationship of the document with other documents, or that conveys other "out of band" information.

Elements from other namespaces whose semantics are primarily metadata-related (e.g. RDF) are also metadata content.

Thus, in the XML serialization, one can use RDF, like this:

<html 
      xmlns:r="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#">
 <head>
  <title>Hedral's Home Page</title>
  <r:RDF>
   <Person xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/10/swap/pim/contact#"
           r:about="http://hedral.example.com/#">
    <fullName>Cat Hedral</fullName>
    <mailbox r:resource="mailto:hedral@damowmow.com"/>
    <personalTitle>Sir</personalTitle>
   </Person>
  </r:RDF>
 </head>
 <body>
  <h1>My home page</h1>
  <p>I like playing with string, I guess. Sister says squirrels are fun
  too so sometimes I follow her to play with them.</p>
 </body>
</html>

This isn't possible in the HTML serialization, however.

3.2.5.1.2 Flow content

Most elements that are used in the body of documents and applications are categorized as flow content.

3.2.5.1.3 Sectioning content

Sectioning content is content that defines the scope of headings and footers.

Each sectioning content element potentially has a heading and an outline. See the section on headings and sections for further details.

There are also certain elements that are sectioning roots. These are distinct from sectioning content, but they can also have an outline.

3.2.5.1.4 Heading content

Heading content defines the header of a section (whether explicitly marked up using sectioning content elements, or implied by the heading content itself).

3.2.5.1.5 Phrasing content

Phrasing content is the text of the document, as well as elements that mark up that text at the intra-paragraph level. Runs of phrasing content form paragraphs.

As a general rule, elements whose content model allows any phrasing content should have either at least one descendant Text node that is not inter-element whitespace, or at least one descendant element node that is embedded content. For the purposes of this requirement, nodes that are descendants of del elements must not be counted as contributing to the ancestors of the del element.

Most elements that are categorized as phrasing content can only contain elements that are themselves categorized as phrasing content, not any flow content.

Text, in the context of content models, means Text nodes. Text is sometimes used as a content model on its own, but is also phrasing content, and can be inter-element whitespace (if the Text nodes are empty or contain just space characters).

Text nodes and attribute values must consist of Unicode characters, must not contain U+0000 characters, must not contain permanently undefined Unicode characters (noncharacters), and must not contain control characters other than space characters. This specification includes extra constraints on the exact value of Text nodes and attribute values depending on their precise context.

3.2.5.1.6 Embedded content

Embedded content is content that imports another resource into the document, or content from another vocabulary that is inserted into the document.

Elements that are from namespaces other than the HTML namespace and that convey content but not metadata, are embedded content for the purposes of the content models defined in this specification. (For example, MathML, or SVG.)

Some embedded content elements can have fallback content: content that is to be used when the external resource cannot be used (e.g. because it is of an unsupported format). The element definitions state what the fallback is, if any.

3.2.5.1.7 Interactive content

Interactive content is content that is specifically intended for user interaction.

Certain elements in HTML have an activation behavior, which means that the user can activate them. This triggers a sequence of events dependent on the activation mechanism, and normally culminating in a click event.

3.2.5.1.8 Palpable content

As a general rule, elements whose content model allows any flow content or phrasing content should have at least one child node that is palpable content and that does not have the hidden attribute specified.

This requirement is not a hard requirement, however, as there are many cases where an element can be empty legitimately, for example when it is used as a placeholder which will later be filled in by a script, or when the element is part of a template and would on most pages be filled in but on some pages is not relevant.

Conformance checkers are encouraged to provide a mechanism for authors to find elements that fail to fulfill this requirement, as an authoring aid.

The following elements are palpable content:

3.2.5.2 Transparent content models

Some elements are described as transparent; they have "transparent" in the description of their content model. The content model of a transparent element is derived from the content model of its parent element: the elements required in the part of the content model that is "transparent" are the same elements as required in the part of the content model of the parent of the transparent element in which the transparent element finds itself.

For instance, an ins element inside a ruby element cannot contain an rt element, because the part of the ruby element's content model that allows ins elements is the part that allows phrasing content, and the rt element is not phrasing content.

In some cases, where transparent elements are nested in each other, the process has to be applied iteratively.

Consider the following markup fragment:

<p><ins><map><a href="/">Apples</a></map></ins></p>

To check whether "Apples" is allowed inside the a element, the content models are examined. The a element's content model is transparent, as is the map element's, as is the ins element's. The ins element is found in the p element, whose content model is phrasing content. Thus, "Apples" is allowed, as text is phrasing content.

When a transparent element has no parent, then the part of its content model that is "transparent" must instead be treated as accepting any flow content.

3.2.5.3 Paragraphs

The term paragraph as defined in this section is used for more than just the definition of the p element. The paragraph concept defined here is used to describe how to interpret documents. The p element is merely one of several ways of marking up a paragraph.

A paragraph is typically a run of phrasing content that forms a block of text with one or more sentences that discuss a particular topic, as in typography, but can also be used for more general thematic grouping. For instance, an address is also a paragraph, as is a part of a form, a byline, or a stanza in a poem.

In the following example, there are two paragraphs in a section. There is also a heading, which contains phrasing content that is not a paragraph. Note how the comments and inter-element whitespace do not form paragraphs.

<section>
  <h1>Example of paragraphs</h1>
  This is the <em>first</em> paragraph in this example.
  <p>This is the second.</p>
  <!-- This is not a paragraph. -->
</section>

Paragraphs in flow content are defined relative to what the document looks like without the a, ins, del, and map elements complicating matters, since those elements, with their hybrid content models, can straddle paragraph boundaries, as shown in the first two examples below.

Generally, having elements straddle paragraph boundaries is best avoided. Maintaining such markup can be difficult.

The following example takes the markup from the earlier example and puts ins and del elements around some of the markup to show that the text was changed (though in this case, the changes admittedly don't make much sense). Notice how this example has exactly the same paragraphs as the previous one, despite the ins and del elements — the ins element straddles the heading and the first paragraph, and the del element straddles the boundary between the two paragraphs.

<section>
  <ins><h1>Example of paragraphs</h1>
  This is the <em>first</em> paragraph in</ins> this example<del>.
  <p>This is the second.</p></del>
  <!-- This is not a paragraph. -->
</section>

A paragraph is also formed explicitly by p elements.

The p element can be used to wrap individual paragraphs when there would otherwise not be any content other than phrasing content to separate the paragraphs from each other.

In the following example, the link spans half of the first paragraph, all of the heading separating the two paragraphs, and half of the second paragraph. It straddles the paragraphs and the heading.

<header>
 Welcome!
 <a href="about.html">
  This is home of...
  <h1>The Falcons!</h1>
  The Lockheed Martin multirole jet fighter aircraft!
 </a>
 This page discusses the F-16 Fighting Falcon's innermost secrets.
</header>

Here is another way of marking this up, this time showing the paragraphs explicitly, and splitting the one link element into three:

<header>
 <p>Welcome! <a href="about.html">This is home of...</a></p>
 <h1><a href="about.html">The Falcons!</a></h1>
 <p><a href="about.html">The Lockheed Martin multirole jet
 fighter aircraft!</a> This page discusses the F-16 Fighting
 Falcon's innermost secrets.</p>
</header>

It is possible for paragraphs to overlap when using certain elements that define fallback content. For example, in the following section:

<section>
 <h1>My Cats</h1>
 You can play with my cat simulator.
 <object data="cats.sim">
  To see the cat simulator, use one of the following links:
  <ul>
   <li><a href="cats.sim">Download simulator file</a>
   <li><a href="http://sims.example.com/watch?v=LYds5xY4INU">Use online simulator</a>
  </ul>
  Alternatively, upgrade to the Mellblom Browser.
 </object>
 I'm quite proud of it.
</section>

There are five paragraphs:

  1. The paragraph that says "You can play with my cat simulator. object I'm quite proud of it.", where object is the object element.
  2. The paragraph that says "To see the cat simulator, use one of the following links:".
  3. The paragraph that says "Download simulator file".
  4. The paragraph that says "Use online simulator".
  5. The paragraph that says "Alternatively, upgrade to the Mellblom Browser.".

The first paragraph is overlapped by the other four. A user agent that supports the "cats.sim" resource will only show the first one, but a user agent that shows the fallback will confusingly show the first sentence of the first paragraph as if it was in the same paragraph as the second one, and will show the last paragraph as if it was at the start of the second sentence of the first paragraph.

To avoid this confusion, explicit p elements can be used. For example:

<section>
 <h1>My Fish</h1>
 You can play with my fish simulator.
 <object data="fish.sim">
  <p>To see the fish simulator, use one of the following links:</p>
  <ul>
   <li><a href="fish.sim">Download simulator file</a>
   <li><a href="http://sims.example.com/watch?v=LYds5xY4INU">Use online simulator</a>
  </ul>
  <p>Alternatively, upgrade to the Mellblom Browser.</p>
 </object>
 I'm quite proud of it.
</section>

3.2.6 Requirements relating to bidirectional-algorithm formatting characters

Text content in HTML elements with child Text nodes, and text in attributes of HTML elements that allow free-form text, may contain characters in the range U+202A to U+202E (the bidirectional-algorithm formatting characters). However, the use of these characters is restricted so that any embedding or overrides generated by these characters do not start and end with different parent elements, and so that all such embeddings and overrides are explicitly terminated by a U+202C POP DIRECTIONAL FORMATTING character. This helps reduce incidences of text being reused in a manner that has unforeseen effects on the bidirectional algorithm. [BIDI]

The aforementioned restrictions are defined by specifying that certain parts of documents form bidirectional-algorithm formatting character ranges, and then imposing a requirement on such ranges.

The strings resulting from applying the following algorithm to an HTML element element are bidirectional-algorithm formatting character ranges:

  1. Let output be an empty list of strings.

  2. Let string be an empty string.

  3. Let node be the first child node of element, if any, or null otherwise.

  4. Loop: If node is null, jump to the step labeled end.

  5. Process node according to the first matching step from the following list:

    If node is a Text node

    Append the text data of node to string.

    If node is a br element
    If node is an HTML element that is flow content but that is not also phrasing content

    If string is not the empty string, push string onto output, and let string be empty string.

    Otherwise
    Do nothing.
  6. Let node be node's next sibling, if any, or null otherwise.

  7. Jump to the step labeled loop.

  8. End: If string is not the empty string, push string onto output.

  9. Return output as the bidirectional-algorithm formatting character ranges.

The value of a namespace-less attribute of an HTML element is a bidirectional-algorithm formatting character range.

Any strings that, as described above, are bidirectional-algorithm formatting character ranges must match the string production in the following ABNF, the character set for which is Unicode. [ABNF]

string        = *( plaintext ( embedding / override ) ) plaintext
embedding     = ( lre / rle ) string pdf
override      = ( lro / rlo ) string pdf
lre           = %x202A ; U+202A LEFT-TO-RIGHT EMBEDDING
rle           = %x202B ; U+202B RIGHT-TO-LEFT EMBEDDING
lro           = %x202D ; U+202D LEFT-TO-RIGHT OVERRIDE
rlo           = %x202E ; U+202E RIGHT-TO-LEFT OVERRIDE
pdf           = %x202C ; U+202C POP DIRECTIONAL FORMATTING
plaintext     = *( %x0000-2029 / %x202F-10FFFF )
                ; any string with no bidirectional-algorithm formatting characters

Authors are encouraged to use the dir attribute, the bdo element, and the bdi element, rather than maintaining the bidirectional-algorithm formatting characters manually. The bidirectional-algorithm formatting characters interact poorly with CSS.

3.2.7 WAI-ARIA

Authors may use the ARIA role and aria-* attributes on HTML elements, in accordance with the requirements described in the ARIA specifications, except where these conflict with the strong native semantics described below. These exceptions are intended to prevent authors from making assistive technology products report nonsensical states that do not represent the actual state of the document. [ARIA]

3.2.7.1 ARIA Role Attribute

Every HTML element may have an ARIA role attribute specified. This is an ARIA Role attribute as defined by [ARIA] Section 5.4 Definition of Roles.

The attribute, if specified, must have a value that is a set of space-separated tokens representing the various WAI-ARIA roles that the element belongs to.

3.2.7.2 State and Property Attributes

Every HTML element may have ARIA state and property attributes specified. These attributes are defined by [ARIA] in Section 6.6, Definitions of States and Properties (all aria-* attributes).

These attributes, if specified, must have a value that is the ARIA value type in the "Value" field of the definition for the state or property, mapped to the appropriate HTML value type according to [ARIA] Section 10.2 Mapping WAI-ARIA Value types to languages using the HTML 5 mapping.

ARIA State and Property attributes can be used on any element. They are not always meaningful, however, and in such cases user agents might not perform any processing aside from including them in the DOM. State and property attributes are processed according to the requirements of the sections Strong Native Semantics and Implicit ARIA semantics, as well as [ARIA] and [ARIAIMPL].

3.2.7.3 Strong Native Semantics

The following table defines the strong native semantics and corresponding default implicit ARIA semantics that apply to HTML elements. Each language feature (element or attribute) in a cell in the first column implies the ARIA semantics (role, states, and/or properties) given in the cell in the second column of the same row.

Language feature Strong native semantics and default implied ARIA semantics
area element that creates a hyperlink link role
base element No role
datalist element listbox role, with the aria-multiselectable property set to "false"
details element aria-expanded state set to "true" if the element's open attribute is present, and set to "false" otherwise
dialog element without an open attribute The aria-hidden state set to "true"
head element No role
hgroup element heading role, with the aria-level property set to the element's outline depth
hr element separator role
html element No role
img element whose alt attribute's value is empty presentation role
input element with a type attribute in the Checkbox state aria-checked state set to "mixed" if the element's indeterminate IDL attribute is true, or "true" if the element's checkedness is true, or "false" otherwise
input element with a type attribute in the Color state No role
input element with a type attribute in the Date state No role, with the aria-readonly property set to "true" if the element has a readonly attribute
input element with a type attribute in the Date and Time state No role, with the aria-readonly property set to "true" if the element has a readonly attribute
input element with a type attribute in the Local Date and Time state No role, with the aria-readonly property set to "true" if the element has a readonly attribute
input element with a type attribute in the E-mail state with no suggestions source element textbox role, with the aria-readonly property set to "true" if the element has a readonly attribute
input element with a type attribute in the File Upload state No role
input element with a type attribute in the Hidden state No role
input element with a type attribute in the Month state No role, with the aria-readonly property set to "true" if the element has a readonly attribute
input element with a type attribute in the Number state spinbutton role, with the aria-readonly property set to "true" if the element has a readonly attribute, the aria-valuemax property set to the element's maximum, the aria-valuemin property set to the element's minimum, and, if the result of applying the rules for parsing floating-point number values to the element's value is a number, with the aria-valuenow property set to that number
input element with a type attribute in the Password state textbox role, with the aria-readonly property set to "true" if the element has a readonly attribute
input element with a type attribute in the Radio Button state aria-checked state set to "true" if the element's checkedness is true, or "false" otherwise
input element with a type attribute in the Range state slider role, with the aria-valuemax property set to the element's maximum, the aria-valuemin property set to the element's minimum, and the aria-valuenow property set to the result of applying the rules for parsing floating-point number values to the element's value, if that results in a number, or the default value otherwise
input element with a type attribute in the Reset Button state button role
input element with a type attribute in the Search state with no suggestions source element textbox role, with the aria-readonly property set to "true" if the element has a readonly attribute
input element with a type attribute in the Submit Button state button role
input element with a type attribute in the Telephone state with no suggestions source element textbox role, with the aria-readonly property set to "true" if the element has a readonly attribute
input element with a type attribute in the Text state with no suggestions source element textbox role, with the aria-readonly property set to "true" if the element has a readonly attribute
input element with a type attribute in the Text, Search, Telephone, URL, or E-mail states with a suggestions source element combobox role, with the aria-owns property set to the same value as the list attribute, and the aria-readonly property set to "true" if the element has a readonly attribute
input element with a type attribute in the Time state No role, with the aria-readonly property set to "true" if the element has a readonly attribute
input element with a type attribute in the URL state with no suggestions source element textbox role, with the aria-readonly property set to "true" if the element has a readonly attribute
input element with a type attribute in the Week state No role, with the aria-readonly property set to "true" if the element has a readonly attribute
input element that is required The aria-required state set to "true"
keygen element No role
label element No role
link element that creates a hyperlink link role
menu element with a type attribute in the context menu state No role
menu element with a type attribute in the list state menu role
menu element with a type attribute in the toolbar state toolbar role
meta element No role
meter element No role
nav element navigation role
noscript element No role
optgroup element No role
option element that is in a list of options or that represents a suggestion in a datalist element option role, with the aria-selected state set to "true" if the element's selectedness is true, or "false" otherwise.
param element No role
progress element progressbar role, with, if the progress bar is determinate, the aria-valuemax property set to the maximum value of the progress bar, the aria-valuemin property set to zero, and the aria-valuenow property set to the current value of the progress bar
script element No role
select element with a multiple attribute listbox role, with the aria-multiselectable property set to "true"
select element with no multiple attribute listbox role, with the aria-multiselectable property set to "false"
select element with a required attribute The aria-required state set to "true"
source element No role
style element No role
summary element No role
textarea element textbox role, with the aria-multiline property set to "true", and the aria-readonly property set to "true" if the element has a readonly attribute
textarea element with a required attribute The aria-required state set to "true"
title element No role
An element that defines a command, whose Type facet is "checkbox", and that is a descendant of a menu element whose type attribute in the list state menuitemcheckbox role, with the aria-checked state set to "true" if the command's Checked State facet is true, and "false" otherwise
An element that defines a command, whose Type facet is "command", and that is a descendant of a menu element whose type attribute in the list state menuitem role
An element that defines a command, whose Type facet is "radio", and that is a descendant of a menu element whose type attribute in the list state menuitemradio role, with the aria-checked state set to "true" if the command's Checked State facet is true, and "false" otherwise
Element that is disabled The aria-disabled state set to "true"
Element that is inert The aria-disabled state set to "true"
Element with a hidden attribute The aria-hidden state set to "true"
Element that is a candidate for constraint validation but that does not satisfy its constraints The aria-invalid state set to "true"
3.2.7.4 Implicit ARIA Semantics

Some HTML elements have native semantics that can be overridden. The following table lists these elements and their default implicit ARIA semantics, along with the restrictions that apply to those elements. Each language feature (element or attribute) in a cell in the first column implies, unless otherwise overridden, the ARIA semantic (role, state, or property) given in the cell in the second column of the same row, but this semantic may be overridden under the conditions listed in the cell in the third column of that row. In addition, any element may be given the presentation role, regardless of the restrictions below.

Language feature Default implied ARIA semantic Restrictions
a element that creates a hyperlink link role Role must be either link, button, checkbox, menuitem, menuitemcheckbox, menuitemradio , tab, or treeitem
address element No role If specified, role must be contentinfo
article element article role Role must be either article, document, application, or main
aside element note role Role must be either note, complementary, or search
audio element No role If specified, role must be application
button element button role Role must be either button, link, menuitem, menuitemcheckbox, menuitemradio , radio
details element group role Role must be a role that supports aria-expanded
dialog element dialog role Role must be either alert, alertdialog, application, contentinfo, dialog, document, log, main, marquee, region, search, or status
embed element No role If specified, role must be either application, document, or img
footer element No role If specified, role must be contentinfo
h1 element that does not have an hgroup ancestor heading role, with the aria-level property set to the element's outline depth Role must be either heading or tab
h2 element that does not have an hgroup ancestor heading role, with the aria-level property set to the element's outline depth Role must be either heading or tab
h3 element that does not have an hgroup ancestor heading role, with the aria-level property set to the element's outline depth Role must be either heading or tab
h4 element that does not have an hgroup ancestor heading role, with the aria-level property set to the element's outline depth Role must be either heading or tab
h5 element that does not have an hgroup ancestor heading role, with the aria-level property set to the element's outline depth Role must be either heading or tab
h6 element that does not have an hgroup ancestor heading role, with the aria-level property set to the element's outline depth Role must be either heading or tab
header element No role If specified, role must be banner
iframe element No role If specified, role must be either application, document, or img
img element whose alt attribute's value is absent img role No restrictions
img element whose alt attribute's value is present and not empty img role No restrictions
input element with a type attribute in the Button state button role Role must be either button, link, menuitem, menuitemcheckbox, menuitemradio , radio
input element with a type attribute in the Checkbox state checkbox role Role must be either checkbox or menuitemcheckbox
input element with a type attribute in the Image Button state button role Role must be either button, link, menuitem, menuitemcheckbox, menuitemradio , radio
input element with a type attribute in the Radio Button state radio role Role must be either radio or menuitemradio
li element whose parent is an ol or ul element listitem role Role must be either listitem, menuitemcheckbox, menuitemradio, option, tab, or treeitem
object element No role If specified, role must be either application, document, or img
ol element list role Role must be either directory, list, listbox, menu, menubar, tablist, toolbar, tree
output element status role No restrictions
section element region role Role must be either alert, alertdialog, application, contentinfo, dialog, document, log, main, marquee, region, search, or status
ul element list role Role must be either directory, list, listbox, menu, menubar, tablist, toolbar, tree
video element No role If specified, role must be application
The body element document role Role must be either document or application

The entry "no role", when used as a strong native semantic, means that no role other than presentation can be used. When used as a default implied ARIA semantic, it means the user agent has no default mapping to ARIA roles. (However, it probably will have its own mappings to the accessibility layer.)

These features can be used to make accessibility tools render content to their users in more useful ways. For example, ASCII art, which is really an image, appears to be text, and in the absence of appropriate annotations would end up being rendered by screen readers as a very painful reading of lots of punctuation. Using the features described in this section, one can instead make the ATs skip the ASCII art and just read the caption:

<figure role="img" aria-labelledby="fish-caption"> 
 <pre>
 o           .'`/
     '      /  (
   O    .-'` ` `'-._      .')
      _/ (o)        '.  .' /
      )       )))     ><  <
      `\  |_\      _.'  '. \
        '-._  _ .-'       '.)
    jgs     `\__\
 </pre>
 <figcaption id="fish-caption">
  Joan G. Stark, "<cite>fish</cite>".
  October 1997. ASCII on electrons. 28×8.
 </figcaption> 
</figure> 
   

3.3 Dynamic markup insertion

APIs for dynamically inserting markup into the document interact with the parser, and thus their behavior varies depending on whether they are used with HTML documents (and the HTML parser) or XHTML in XML documents (and the XML parser).

3.3.1 Opening the input stream

The open() method comes in several variants with different numbers of arguments.

document = document . open( [ type [, replace ] ] )

Causes the Document to be replaced in-place, as if it was a new Document object, but reusing the previous object, which is then returned.

If the type argument is omitted or has the value "text/html", then the resulting Document has an HTML parser associated with it, which can be given data to parse using document.write(). Otherwise, all content passed to document.write() will be parsed as plain text.

If the replace argument is present and has the value "replace", the existing entries in the session history for the Document object are removed.

The method has no effect if the Document is still being parsed.

Throws an InvalidStateError exception if the Document is an XML document.

window = document . open( url, name, features [, replace ] )

Works like the window.open() method.

3.3.2 Closing the input stream

document . close()

Closes the input stream that was opened by the document.open() method.

Throws an InvalidStateError exception if the Document is an XML document.

3.3.3 document.write()

document . write(text...)

In general, adds the given string(s) to the Document's input stream.

This method has very idiosyncratic behavior. In some cases, this method can affect the state of the HTML parser while the parser is running, resulting in a DOM that does not correspond to the source of the document (e.g. if the string written is the string "<plaintext>" or "<!--"). In other cases, the call can clear the current page first, as if document.open() had been called. In yet more cases, the method is simply ignored, or throws an exception. To make matters worse, the exact behavior of this method can in some cases be dependent on network latency, which can lead to failures that are very hard to debug. For all these reasons, use of this method is strongly discouraged.

This method throws an InvalidStateError exception when invoked on XML documents.

3.3.4 document.writeln()

document . writeln(text...)

Adds the given string(s) to the Document's input stream, followed by a newline character. If necessary, calls the open() method implicitly first.

This method throws an InvalidStateError exception when invoked on XML documents.

4 The elements of HTML

4.1 The root element

The html element.

4.1.1 The html element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As the root element of a document.
Wherever a subdocument fragment is allowed in a compound document.
Content model:
A head element followed by a body element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
manifest
DOM interface:
interface HTMLHtmlElement : HTMLElement {};

The html element represents the root of an HTML document.

The manifest attribute gives the address of the document's application cache manifest, if there is one. If the attribute is present, the attribute's value must be a valid non-empty URL potentially surrounded by spaces.

The manifest attribute only has an effect during the early stages of document load. Changing the attribute dynamically thus has no effect (and thus, no DOM API is provided for this attribute).

For the purposes of application cache selection, later base elements cannot affect the resolving of relative URLs in manifest attributes, as the attributes are processed before those elements are seen.

The window.applicationCache IDL attribute provides scripted access to the offline application cache mechanism.

The html element in the following example declares that the document's language is English.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<title>Swapping Songs</title>
</head>
<body>
<h1>Swapping Songs</h1>
<p>Tonight I swapped some of the songs I wrote with some friends, who
gave me some of the songs they wrote. I love sharing my music.</p>
</body>
</html>

4.2 Document metadata

4.2.1 The head element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As the first element in an html element.
Content model:
If the document is an iframe srcdoc document or if title information is available from a higher-level protocol: Zero or more elements of metadata content.
Otherwise: One or more elements of metadata content, of which exactly one is a title element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLHeadElement : HTMLElement {};

The head element represents a collection of metadata for the Document.

The collection of metadata in a head element can be large or small. Here is an example of a very short one:

<!doctype html>
<html>
 <head>
  <title>A document with a short head</title>
 </head>
 <body>
 ...

Here is an example of a longer one:

<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<HTML>
 <HEAD>
  <META CHARSET="UTF-8">
  <BASE HREF="http://www.example.com/">
  <TITLE>An application with a long head</TITLE>
  <LINK REL="STYLESHEET" HREF="default.css">
  <LINK REL="STYLESHEET ALTERNATE" HREF="big.css" TITLE="Big Text">
  <SCRIPT SRC="support.js"></SCRIPT>
  <META NAME="APPLICATION-NAME" CONTENT="Long headed application">
 </HEAD>
 <BODY>
 ...

The title element is a required child in most situations, but when a higher-level protocol provides title information, e.g. in the Subject line of an e-mail when HTML is used as an e-mail authoring format, the title element can be omitted.

4.2.2 The title element

Categories:
Metadata content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
In a head element containing no other title elements.
Content model:
Text.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLTitleElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString text;
};

The title element represents the document's title or name. Authors should use titles that identify their documents even when they are used out of context, for example in a user's history or bookmarks, or in search results. The document's title is often different from its first heading, since the first heading does not have to stand alone when taken out of context.

There must be no more than one title element per document.

title . text [ = value ]

Returns the contents of the element, ignoring child nodes that aren't Text nodes.

Can be set, to replace the element's children with the given value.

Here are some examples of appropriate titles, contrasted with the top-level headings that might be used on those same pages.

  <title>Introduction to The Mating Rituals of Bees</title>
    ...
  <h1>Introduction</h1>
  <p>This companion guide to the highly successful
  <cite>Introduction to Medieval Bee-Keeping</cite> book is...

The next page might be a part of the same site. Note how the title describes the subject matter unambiguously, while the first heading assumes the reader knows what the context is and therefore won't wonder if the dances are Salsa or Waltz:

  <title>Dances used during bee mating rituals</title>
    ...
  <h1>The Dances</h1>

The string to use as the document's title is given by the document.title IDL attribute.

4.2.3 The base element

Categories:
Metadata content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
In a head element containing no other base elements.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
href
target
DOM interface:
interface HTMLBaseElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString href;
           attribute DOMString target;
};

The base element allows authors to specify the document base URL for the purposes of resolving relative URLs, and the name of the default browsing context for the purposes of following hyperlinks. The element does not represent any content beyond this information.

There must be no more than one base element per document.

A base element must have either an href attribute, a target attribute, or both.

The href content attribute, if specified, must contain a valid URL potentially surrounded by spaces.

A base element, if it has an href attribute, must come before any other elements in the tree that have attributes defined as taking URLs, except the html element (its manifest attribute isn't affected by base elements).

The target attribute, if specified, must contain a valid browsing context name or keyword, which specifies which browsing context is to be used as the default when hyperlinks and forms in the Document cause navigation.

A base element, if it has a target attribute, must come before any elements in the tree that represent hyperlinks.

In this example, a base element is used to set the document base URL:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
    <head>
        <title>This is an example for the &lt;base&gt; element</title>
        <base href="http://www.example.com/news/index.html">
    </head>
    <body>
        <p>Visit the <a href="archives.html">archives</a>.</p>
    </body>
</html>

The link in the above example would be a link to "http://www.example.com/news/archives.html".

Categories:
Metadata content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where metadata content is expected.
In a noscript element that is a child of a head element.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
href
rel
media
hreflang
type
sizes
Also, the title attribute has special semantics on this element.
DOM interface:
interface HTMLLinkElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute boolean disabled;
           attribute DOMString href;
           attribute DOMString rel;
  readonly attribute DOMTokenList relList;
           attribute DOMString media;
           attribute DOMString hreflang;
           attribute DOMString type;
  [PutForwards=value] readonly attribute DOMSettableTokenList sizes;
};
HTMLLinkElement implements LinkStyle;

The link element allows authors to link their document to other resources.

The destination of the link(s) is given by the href attribute, which must be present and must contain a valid non-empty URL potentially surrounded by spaces.

A link element must have rel attribute.

The types of link indicated (the relationships) are given by the value of the rel attribute, which, if present, must have a value that is a set of space-separated tokens. The allowed keywords and their meanings are defined in a later section.

Two categories of links can be created using the link element: Links to external resources and hyperlinks. The link types section defines whether a particular link type is an external resource or a hyperlink. One link element can create multiple links (of which some might be external resource links and some might be hyperlinks); exactly which and how many links are created depends on the keywords given in the rel attribute. User agents must process the links on a per-link basis, not a per-element basis.

Each link created for a link element is handled separately. For instance, if there are two link elements with rel="stylesheet", they each count as a separate external resource, and each is affected by its own attributes independently. Similarly, if a single link element has a rel attribute with the value next stylesheet, it creates both a hyperlink (for the keyword) and an external resource link (for the stylesheet keyword), and they are affected by other attributes (such as media or title) differently.

For example, the following link element creates two hyperlinks (to the same page):

<link rel="author license" href="/about">

The two links created by this element are one whose semantic is that the target page has information about the current page's author, and one whose semantic is that the target page has information regarding the license under which the current page is provided.

The exact behavior for links to external resources depends on the exact relationship, as defined for the relevant link type. Some of the attributes control whether or not the external resource is to be applied (as defined below).

Hyperlinks created with the link element and its rel attribute apply to the whole page. This contrasts with the rel attribute of a and area elements, which indicates the type of a link whose context is given by the link's location within the document.

The media attribute says which media the resource applies to. The value must be a valid media query.

The default, if the media attribute is omitted, is "all", meaning that by default links apply to all media.

The hreflang attribute on the link element has the same semantics as the hreflang attribute on a and area elements.

The type attribute gives the MIME type of the linked resource. It is purely advisory. The value must be a valid MIME type.

For external resource links, the type attribute is used as a hint to user agents so that they can avoid fetching resources they do not support.

The title attribute gives the title of the link. With one exception, it is purely advisory. The value is text. The exception is for style sheet links, where the title attribute defines alternative style sheet sets.

The title attribute on link elements differs from the global title attribute of most other elements in that a link without a title does not inherit the title of the parent element: it merely has no title.

The sizes attribute is used with the icon link type. The attribute must not be specified on link elements that do not have a rel attribute that specifies the icon keyword.

The IDL attribute disabled only applies to style sheet links. When the link element defines a style sheet link, then the disabled attribute behaves as defined for the alternative style sheets DOM. For all other link elements it always return false and does nothing on setting.

The LinkStyle interface is also implemented by this element; the styling processing model defines how. [CSSOM]

Here, a set of link elements provide some style sheets:

<!-- a persistent style sheet -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="default.css">

<!-- the preferred alternate style sheet -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="green.css" title="Green styles">

<!-- some alternate style sheets -->
<link rel="alternate stylesheet" href="contrast.css" title="High contrast">
<link rel="alternate stylesheet" href="big.css" title="Big fonts">
<link rel="alternate stylesheet" href="wide.css" title="Wide screen">

The following example shows how you can specify versions of the page that use alternative formats, are aimed at other languages, and that are intended for other media:

<link rel=alternate href="/en/html" hreflang=en type=text/html title="English HTML">
<link rel=alternate href="/fr/html" hreflang=fr type=text/html title="French HTML">
<link rel=alternate href="/en/html/print" hreflang=en type=text/html media=print title="English HTML (for printing)">
<link rel=alternate href="/fr/html/print" hreflang=fr type=text/html media=print title="French HTML (for printing)">
<link rel=alternate href="/en/pdf" hreflang=en type=application/pdf title="English PDF">
<link rel=alternate href="/fr/pdf" hreflang=fr type=application/pdf title="French PDF">

4.2.5 The meta element

Categories:
Metadata content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
If the charset attribute is present, or if the element's http-equiv attribute is in the Encoding declaration state: in a head element.
If the http-equiv attribute is present but not in the Encoding declaration state: in a head element.
If the http-equiv attribute is present but not in the Encoding declaration state: in a noscript element that is a child of a head element.
If the name attribute is present: where metadata content is expected.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
name
http-equiv
content
charset
DOM interface:
interface HTMLMetaElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString name;
           attribute DOMString httpEquiv;
           attribute DOMString content;
};

The meta element represents various kinds of metadata that cannot be expressed using the title, base, link, style, and script elements.

The meta element can represent document-level metadata with the name attribute, pragma directives with the http-equiv attribute, and the file's character encoding declaration when an HTML document is serialized to string form (e.g. for transmission over the network or for disk storage) with the charset attribute.

Exactly one of the name, http-equiv, and charset attributes must be specified.

If either name or http-equiv is specified, then the content attribute must also be specified. Otherwise, it must be omitted.

The charset attribute specifies the character encoding used by the document. This is a character encoding declaration. If the attribute is present in an XML document, its value must be an ASCII case-insensitive match for the string "UTF-8" (and the document is therefore forced to use UTF-8 as its encoding).

The charset attribute on the meta element has no effect in XML documents, and is only allowed in order to facilitate migration to and from XHTML.

There must not be more than one meta element with a charset attribute per document.

The content attribute gives the value of the document metadata or pragma directive when the element is used for those purposes. The allowed values depend on the exact context, as described in subsequent sections of this specification.

If a meta element has a name attribute, it sets document metadata. Document metadata is expressed in terms of name-value pairs, the name attribute on the meta element giving the name, and the content attribute on the same element giving the value. The name specifies what aspect of metadata is being set; valid names and the meaning of their values are described in the following sections. If a meta element has no content attribute, then the value part of the metadata name-value pair is the empty string.

4.2.5.1 Standard metadata names

This specification defines a few names for the name attribute of the meta element.

Names are case-insensitive.

application-name

The value must be a short free-form string giving the name of the Web application that the page represents. If the page is not a Web application, the application-name metadata name must not be used. There must not be more than one meta element with its name attribute set to the value application-name per document.

author

The value must be a free-form string giving the name of one of the page's authors.

description

The value must be a free-form string that describes the page. The value must be appropriate for use in a directory of pages, e.g. in a search engine. There must not be more than one meta element with its name attribute set to the value description per document.

generator

The value must be a free-form string that identifies one of the software packages used to generate the document.

Here is what a tool called "Frontweaver" could include in its output, in the page's head element, to identify itself as the tool used to generate the page:

<meta name=generator content="Frontweaver 8.2">
keywords

The value must be a set of comma-separated tokens, each of which is a keyword relevant to the page.

This page about typefaces on British motorways uses a meta element to specify some keywords that users might use to look for the page:

<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html>
 <head>
  <title>Typefaces on UK motorways</title>
  <meta name="keywords" content="british,type face,font,fonts,highway,highways">
 </head>
 <body>
  ...

Many search engines do not consider such keywords, because this feature has historically been used unreliably and even misleadingly as a way to spam search engine results in a way that is not helpful for users.

4.2.5.2 Other metadata names

Extensions to the predefined set of metadata names may be registered in the WHATWG Wiki MetaExtensions page. [WHATWGWIKI]

Anyone is free to edit the WHATWG Wiki MetaExtensions page at any time to add a type. These new names must be specified with the following information:

Keyword

The actual name being defined. The name should not be confusingly similar to any other defined name (e.g. differing only in case).

Brief description

A short non-normative description of what the metadata name's meaning is, including the format the value is required to be in.

Specification
A link to a more detailed description of the metadata name's semantics and requirements. It could be another page on the Wiki, or a link to an external page.
Synonyms

A list of other names that have exactly the same processing requirements. Authors should not use the names defined to be synonyms, they are only intended to allow user agents to support legacy content. Anyone may remove synonyms that are not used in practice; only names that need to be processed as synonyms for compatibility with legacy content are to be registered in this way.

Status

One of the following:

Proposed
The name has not received wide peer review and approval. Someone has proposed it and is, or soon will be, using it.
Ratified
The name has received wide peer review and approval. It has a specification that unambiguously defines how to handle pages that use the name, including when they use it in incorrect ways.
Discontinued
The metadata name has received wide peer review and it has been found wanting. Existing pages are using this metadata name, but new pages should avoid it. The "brief description" and "specification" entries will give details of what authors should use instead, if anything.

If a metadata name is found to be redundant with existing values, it should be removed and listed as a synonym for the existing value.

If a metadata name is registered in the "proposed" state for a period of a month or more without being used or specified, then it may be removed from the registry.

If a metadata name is added with the "proposed" status and found to be redundant with existing values, it should be removed and listed as a synonym for the existing value. If a metadata name is added with the "proposed" status and found to be harmful, then it should be changed to "discontinued" status.

Anyone can change the status at any time, but should only do so in accordance with the definitions above.

Metadata names whose values are to be URLs must not be proposed or accepted. Links must be represented using the link element, not the meta element.

4.2.5.3 Pragma directives

When the http-equiv attribute is specified on a meta element, the element is a pragma directive.

The http-equiv attribute is an enumerated attribute. The following table lists the keywords defined for this attribute. The states given in the first cell of the rows with keywords give the states to which those keywords map.

State Keyword Notes
Encoding declaration content-type
Default style default-style
Refresh refresh
Encoding declaration state (http-equiv="content-type")

The Encoding declaration state is just an alternative form of setting the charset attribute: it is a character encoding declaration.

For meta elements with an http-equiv attribute in the Encoding declaration state, the content attribute must have a value that is an ASCII case-insensitive match for a string that consists of: the literal string "text/html;", optionally followed by any number of space characters, followed by the literal string "charset=", followed by the character encoding name of the character encoding declaration.

A document must not contain both a meta element with an http-equiv attribute in the Encoding declaration state and a meta element with the charset attribute present.

The Encoding declaration state may be used in HTML documents, but elements with an http-equiv attribute in that state must not be used in XML documents.

Default style state (http-equiv="default-style")

This pragma sets the name of the default alternative style sheet set.

Refresh state (http-equiv="refresh")

This pragma acts as timed redirect.

For meta elements with an http-equiv attribute in the Refresh state, the content attribute must have a value consisting either of:

In the former case, the integer represents a number of seconds before the page is to be reloaded; in the latter case the integer represents a number of seconds before the page is to be replaced by the page at the given URL.

A news organization's front page could include the following markup in the page's head element, to ensure that the page automatically reloads from the server every five minutes:

<meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="300">

A sequence of pages could be used as an automated slide show by making each page refresh to the next page in the sequence, using markup such as the following:

<meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="20; URL=page4.html">

There must not be more than one meta element with any particular state in the document at a time.

4.2.5.4 Other pragma directives

Extensions to the predefined set of pragma directives may, under certain conditions, be registered in the WHATWG Wiki PragmaExtensions page. [WHATWGWIKI]

Such extensions must use a name that is identical to an HTTP header registered in the Permanent Message Header Field Registry, and must have behavior identical to that described for the HTTP header. [IANAPERMHEADERS]

Pragma directives corresponding to headers describing metadata, or not requiring specific user agent processing, must not be registered; instead, use metadata names. Pragma directives corresponding to headers that affect the HTTP processing model (e.g. caching) must not be registered, as they would result in HTTP-level behavior being different for user agents that implement HTML than for user agents that do not.

Anyone is free to edit the WHATWG Wiki PragmaExtensions page at any time to add a pragma directive satisfying these conditions. Such registrations must specify the following information:

Keyword

The actual name being defined. The name must match a previously-registered HTTP name with the same requirements.

Brief description

A short non-normative description of the purpose of the pragma directive.

Specification
A link to the specification defining the corresponding HTTP header.
4.2.5.5 Specifying the document's character encoding

A character encoding declaration is a mechanism by which the character encoding used to store or transmit a document is specified.

The following restrictions apply to character encoding declarations:

In addition, due to a number of restrictions on meta elements, there can only be one meta-based character encoding declaration per document.

If an HTML document does not start with a BOM, and its encoding is not explicitly given by Content-Type metadata, and the document is not an iframe srcdoc document, then the character encoding used must be an ASCII-compatible character encoding, and the encoding must be specified using a meta element with a charset attribute or a meta element with an http-equiv attribute in the Encoding declaration state.

A character encoding declaration is required (either in the Content-Type metadata or explicitly in the file) even if the encoding is US-ASCII, because an encoding is needed to process non-ASCII characters entered by the user in forms, in URLs generated by scripts, and so forth.

If the document is an iframe srcdoc document, the document must not have a character encoding declaration. (In this case, the source is already decoded, since it is part of the document that contained the iframe.)

If an HTML document contains a meta element with a charset attribute or a meta element with an http-equiv attribute in the Encoding declaration state, then the character encoding used must be an ASCII-compatible character encoding.

Authors are encouraged to use UTF-8. Conformance checkers may advise authors against using legacy encodings. [RFC3629]

Encodings in which a series of bytes in the range 0x20 to 0x7E can encode characters other than the corresponding characters in the range U+0020 to U+007E represent a potential security vulnerability: a user agent that does not support the encoding (or does not support the label used to declare the encoding, or does not use the same mechanism to detect the encoding of unlabelled content as another user agent) might end up interpreting technically benign plain text content as HTML tags and JavaScript. For example, this applies to encodings in which the bytes corresponding to "<script>" in ASCII can encode a different string. Authors should not use such encodings, which are known to include JIS_C6226-1983 , JIS_X0212-1990 , HZ-GB-2312, JOHAB (Windows code page 1361), encodings based on ISO-2022, and encodings based on EBCDIC. Furthermore, authors must not use the CESU-8, UTF-7, BOCU-1 and SCSU encodings, which also fall into this category, because these encodings were never intended for use for Web content. [RFC1345] [RFC1842] [RFC1468] [RFC2237] [RFC1554] [CP50220] [RFC1922] [RFC1557] [CESU8] [UTF7] [BOCU1] [SCSU]

Authors should not use UTF-32, as the encoding detection algorithms described in this specification intentionally do not distinguish it from UTF-16. [UNICODE]

Using non-UTF-8 encodings can have unexpected results on form submission and URL encodings, which use the document's character encoding by default.

In XHTML, the XML declaration should be used for inline character encoding information, if necessary.

In HTML, to declare that the character encoding is UTF-8, the author could include the following markup near the top of the document (in the head element):

<meta charset="utf-8">

In XML, the XML declaration would be used instead, at the very top of the markup:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

4.2.6 The style element

Categories:
Metadata content.
If the scoped attribute is present: flow content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
If the scoped attribute is absent: where metadata content is expected.
If the scoped attribute is absent: in a noscript element that is a child of a head element.
If the scoped attribute is present: where flow content is expected, but before any other flow content other than inter-element whitespace, and not as the child of an element whose content model is transparent.
Content model:
Depends on the value of the type attribute, but must match requirements described in prose below.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
media
type
scoped
Also, the title attribute has special semantics on this element.
DOM interface:
interface HTMLStyleElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute boolean disabled;
           attribute DOMString media;
           attribute DOMString type;
           attribute boolean scoped;
};
HTMLStyleElement implements LinkStyle;

The style element allows authors to embed style information in their documents. The style element is one of several inputs to the styling processing model. The element does not represent content for the user.

The type attribute gives the styling language. If the attribute is present, its value must be a valid MIME type that designates a styling language. The charset parameter must not be specified. The default value for the type attribute, which is used if the attribute is absent, is "text/css". [RFC2318]

The media attribute says which media the styles apply to. The value must be a valid media query.

The default, if the media attribute is omitted, is "all", meaning that by default styles apply to all media.

The scoped attribute is a boolean attribute. If present, it indicates that the styles are intended just for the subtree rooted at the style element's parent element, as opposed to the whole Document.

If the scoped attribute is present and the element has a parent element, then the style element must be the first node of flow content in its parent element other than inter-element whitespace, and the parent element's content model must not have a transparent component.

This implies that only one scoped style element is allowed at a time, and that such elements cannot be children of, e.g., a or ins elements, even when those are used as flow content containers.

The title attribute on style elements defines alternative style sheet sets. If the style element has no title attribute, then it has no title; the title attribute of ancestors does not apply to the style element. [CSSOM]

The title attribute on style elements, like the title attribute on link elements, differs from the global title attribute in that a style block without a title does not inherit the title of the parent element: it merely has no title.

The textContent of a style element must match the style production in the following ABNF, the character set for which is Unicode. [ABNF]

style         = no-c-start *( c-start no-c-end c-end no-c-start )
no-c-start    = <any string that doesn't contain a substring that matches c-start >
c-start       = "<!--"
no-c-end      = <any string that doesn't contain a substring that matches c-end >
c-end         = "-->"

This specification does not specify a style system, but CSS is expected to be supported by most Web browsers. [CSS]

The disabled IDL attribute behaves as defined for the alternative style sheets DOM.

The LinkStyle interface is also implemented by this element; the styling processing model defines how. [CSSOM]

The following document has its stress emphasis styled as bright red text rather than italics text, while leaving titles of works and Latin words in their default italics. It shows how using appropriate elements enables easier restyling of documents.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en-US">
 <head>
  <title>My favorite book</title>
  <style>
   body { color: black; background: white; }
   em { font-style: normal; color: red; }
  </style>
 </head>
 <body>
  <p>My <em>favorite</em> book of all time has <em>got</em> to be
  <cite>A Cat's Life</cite>. It is a book by P. Rahmel that talks
  about the <i lang="la">Felis Catus</i> in modern human society.</p>
 </body>
</html>

4.2.7 Styling

The link and style elements can provide styling information for the user agent to use when rendering the document. The CSS and CSSOM specifications specify what styling information is to be used by the user agent and how it is to be used. [CSS] [CSSOM]

The style and link elements implement the LinkStyle interface. [CSSOM]

4.3 Scripting

Scripts allow authors to add interactivity to their documents.

Authors are encouraged to use declarative alternatives to scripting where possible, as declarative mechanisms are often more maintainable, and many users disable scripting.

For example, instead of using script to show or hide a section to show more details, the details element could be used.

Authors are also encouraged to make their applications degrade gracefully in the absence of scripting support.

For example, if an author provides a link in a table header to dynamically resort the table, the link could also be made to function without scripts by requesting the sorted table from the server.

4.3.1 The script element

Categories:
Metadata content.
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where metadata content is expected.
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
If there is no src attribute, depends on the value of the type attribute, but must match script content restrictions.
If there is a src attribute, the element must be either empty or contain only script documentation that also matches script content restrictions.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
src
async
defer
type
charset
DOM interface:
interface HTMLScriptElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString src;
           attribute boolean async;
           attribute boolean defer;
           attribute DOMString type;
           attribute DOMString charset;
           attribute DOMString text;
};

The script element allows authors to include dynamic script and data blocks in their documents. The element does not represent content for the user.

When used to include dynamic scripts, the scripts may either be embedded inline or may be imported from an external file using the src attribute. If the language is not that described by "text/javascript", then the type attribute must be present, as described below. Whatever language is used, the contents of the script element must conform with the requirements of that language's specification.

When used to include data blocks (as opposed to scripts), the data must be embedded inline, the format of the data must be given using the type attribute, the src attribute must not be specified, and the contents of the script element must conform to the requirements defined for the format used.

The type attribute gives the language of the script or format of the data. If the attribute is present, its value must be a valid MIME type. The charset parameter must not be specified. The default, which is used if the attribute is absent, is "text/javascript".

The src attribute, if specified, gives the address of the external script resource to use. The value of the attribute must be a valid non-empty URL potentially surrounded by spaces identifying a script resource of the type given by the type attribute, if the attribute is present, or of the type "text/javascript", if the attribute is absent. A resource is a script resource of a given type if that type identifies a scripting language and the resource conforms with the requirements of that language's specification.

The charset attribute gives the character encoding of the external script resource. The attribute must not be specified if the src attribute is not present. If the attribute is set, its value must be a valid character encoding name, must be an ASCII case-insensitive match for the preferred MIME name for that encoding, and must match the encoding given in the charset parameter of the Content-Type metadata of the external file, if any. [IANACHARSET]

The async and defer attributes are boolean attributes that indicate how the script should be executed. The defer and async attributes must not be specified if the src attribute is not present.

There are three possible modes that can be selected using these attributes. If the async attribute is present, then the script will be executed asynchronously, as soon as it is available. If the async attribute is not present but the defer attribute is present, then the script is executed when the page has finished parsing. If neither attribute is present, then the script is fetched and executed immediately, before the user agent continues parsing the page.

The exact processing details for these attributes are, for mostly historical reasons, somewhat non-trivial, involving a number of aspects of HTML. The implementation requirements are therefore by necessity scattered throughout the specification. The algorithms below (in this section) describe the core of this processing, but these algorithms reference and are referenced by the parsing rules for script start and end tags in HTML, in foreign content, and in XML, the rules for the document.write() method, the handling of scripting, etc.

The defer attribute may be specified even if the async attribute is specified, to cause legacy Web browsers that only support defer (and not async) to fall back to the defer behavior instead of the synchronous blocking behavior that is the default.

Changing the src, type, charset, async, and defer attributes dynamically has no direct effect; these attribute are only used at specific times described below.

script . text [ = value ]

Returns the contents of the element, ignoring child nodes that aren't Text nodes.

Can be set, to replace the element's children with the given value.

When inserted using the document.write() method, script elements execute (typically synchronously), but when inserted using innerHTML and outerHTML attributes, they do not execute at all.

In this example, two script elements are used. One embeds an external script, and the other includes some data.

<script src="game-engine.js"></script>
<script type="text-x-game-map">
........U.........e
o............A....e
.....A.....AAA....e
.A..AAA...AAAAA...e
</script>

The data in this case might be used by the script to generate the map of a video game. The data doesn't have to be used that way, though; maybe the map data is actually embedded in other parts of the page's markup, and the data block here is just used by the site's search engine to help users who are looking for particular features in their game maps.

The following sample shows how a script element can be used to define a function that is then used by other parts of the document. It also shows how a script element can be used to invoke script while the document is being parsed, in this case to initialize the form's output.

<script>
 function calculate(form) {
   var price = 52000;
   if (form.elements.brakes.checked)
     price += 1000;
   if (form.elements.radio.checked)
     price += 2500;
   if (form.elements.turbo.checked)
     price += 5000;
   if (form.elements.sticker.checked)
     price += 250;
   form.elements.result.value = price;
 }
</script>
<form name="pricecalc" onsubmit="return false" onchange="calculate(this)">
 <fieldset>
  <legend>Work out the price of your car</legend>
  <p>Base cost: £52000.</p>
  <p>Select additional options:</p>
  <ul>
   <li><label><input type=checkbox name=brakes> Ceramic brakes (£1000)</label></li>
   <li><label><input type=checkbox name=radio> Satellite radio (£2500)</label></li>
   <li><label><input type=checkbox name=turbo> Turbo charger (£5000)</label></li>
   <li><label><input type=checkbox name=sticker> "XZ" sticker (£250)</label></li>
  </ul>
  <p>Total: £<output name=result></output></p>
 </fieldset>
 <script>
  calculate(document.forms.pricecalc);
 </script>
</form>
4.3.1.1 Scripting languages

The following lists some MIME type strings and the languages to which they refer:

"application/ecmascript"
"application/javascript"
"application/x-ecmascript"
"application/x-javascript"
"text/ecmascript"
"text/javascript"
"text/javascript1.0"
"text/javascript1.1"
"text/javascript1.2"
"text/javascript1.3"
"text/javascript1.4"
"text/javascript1.5"
"text/jscript"
"text/livescript"
"text/x-ecmascript"
"text/x-javascript"
JavaScript. [ECMA262]
"text/javascript;e4x=1"
JavaScript with ECMAScript for XML. [ECMA357]
4.3.1.2 Restrictions for contents of script elements

The textContent of a script element must match the script production in the following ABNF, the character set for which is Unicode. [ABNF]

script        = data1 *( escape [ script-start data3 ] "-->" data1 ) [ escape ]
escape        = "<!--" data2 *( script-start data3 script-end data2 )

data1         = <any string that doesn't contain a substring that matches not-data1>
not-data1     = "<!--"             


data2         = <any string that doesn't contain a substring that matches not-data2>
not-data2     = script-start / "-->"  


data3         = <any string that doesn't contain a substring that matches not-data3>
not-data3     = script-end / "-->"

script-start  = lt       s c r i p t tag-end
script-end    = lt slash s c r i p t tag-end

lt            =  %x003C ; U+003C LESS-THAN SIGN character (<)
slash         =  %x002F ; "/" (U+002F) character

s             =  %x0053 ; U+0053 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER S
s             =/ %x0073 ; U+0073 LATIN SMALL LETTER S
c             =  %x0043 ; U+0043 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER C
c             =/ %x0063 ; U+0063 LATIN SMALL LETTER C
r             =  %x0052 ; U+0052 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER R
r             =/ %x0072 ; U+0072 LATIN SMALL LETTER R
i             =  %x0049 ; U+0049 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER I
i             =/ %x0069 ; U+0069 LATIN SMALL LETTER I
p             =  %x0050 ; U+0050 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER P
p             =/ %x0070 ; U+0070 LATIN SMALL LETTER P
t             =  %x0054 ; U+0054 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER T
t             =/ %x0074 ; U+0074 LATIN SMALL LETTER T

tag-end       =  %x0009 ; "tab" (U+0009)
tag-end       =/ %x000A ; "LF" (U+000A)
tag-end       =/ %x000C ; "FF" (U+000C)
tag-end       =/ %x0020 ; U+0020 SPACE
tag-end       =/ %x002F ; "/" (U+002F)
tag-end       =/ %x003E ; U+003E GREATER-THAN SIGN (>)

When a script element contains script documentation, there are further restrictions on the contents of the element, as described in the section below.

4.3.1.3 Inline documentation for external scripts

If a script element's src attribute is specified, then the contents of the script element, if any, must be such that the value of the text IDL attribute, which is derived from the element's contents, matches the documentation production in the following ABNF, the character set for which is Unicode. [ABNF]

documentation = *( *( space / tab / comment ) [ line-comment ] newline )
comment       = slash star *( not-star / star not-slash ) 1*star slash
line-comment  = slash slash *not-newline

; characters
tab           = %x0009 ; "tab" (U+0009)
newline       = %x000A ; "LF" (U+000A)
space         = %x0020 ; U+0020 SPACE
star          = %x002A ; "*" (U+002A)
slash         = %x002F ; "/" (U+002F)
not-newline   = %x0000-0009 / %x000B-10FFFF
                ; a Unicode character other than "LF" (U+000A)
not-star      = %x0000-0029 / %x002B-10FFFF
                ; a Unicode character other than "*" (U+002A)
not-slash     = %x0000-002E / %x0030-10FFFF
                ; a Unicode character other than "/" (U+002F)

This corresponds to putting the contents of the element in JavaScript comments.

This requirement is in addition to the earlier restrictions on the syntax of contents of script elements.

This allows authors to include documentation, such as license information or API information, inside their documents while still referring to external script files. The syntax is constrained so that authors don't accidentally include what looks like valid script while also providing a src attribute.

<script src="cool-effects.js">
 // create new instances using:
 //    var e = new Effect();
 // start the effect using .play, stop using .stop:
 //    e.play();
 //    e.stop();
</script>

4.3.2 The noscript element

Categories:
Metadata content.
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
In a head element of an HTML document, if there are no ancestor noscript elements.
Where phrasing content is expected in HTML documents, if there are no ancestor noscript elements.
Content model:
When scripting is disabled, in a head element: in any order, zero or more link elements, zero or more style elements, and zero or more meta elements.
When scripting is disabled, not in a head element: transparent, but there must be no noscript element descendants.
Otherwise: text that conforms to the requirements given in the prose.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The noscript element represents nothing if scripting is enabled, and represents its children if scripting is disabled. It is used to present different markup to user agents that support scripting and those that don't support scripting, by affecting how the document is parsed.

When used in HTML documents, the allowed content model is as follows:

In a head element, if scripting is disabled for the noscript element

The noscript element must contain only link, style, and meta elements.

In a head element, if scripting is enabled for the noscript element

The noscript element must contain only text, except that invoking the HTML fragment parsing algorithm with the noscript element as the context element and the text contents as the input must result in a list of nodes that consists only of link, style, and meta elements that would be conforming if they were children of the noscript element, and no parse errors.

Outside of head elements, if scripting is disabled for the noscript element

The noscript element's content model is transparent, with the additional restriction that a noscript element must not have a noscript element as an ancestor (that is, noscript can't be nested).

Outside of head elements, if scripting is enabled for the noscript element

The noscript element must contain only text, except that the text must be such that running the following algorithm results in a conforming document with no noscript elements and no script elements, and such that no step in the algorithm causes an HTML parser to flag a parse error:

  1. Remove every script element from the document.
  2. Make a list of every noscript element in the document. For every noscript element in that list, perform the following steps:
    1. Let the parent element be the parent element of the noscript element.
    2. Take all the children of the parent element that come before the noscript element, and call these elements the before children.
    3. Take all the children of the parent element that come after the noscript element, and call these elements the after children.
    4. Let s be the concatenation of all the Text node children of the noscript element.
    5. Set the innerHTML attribute of the parent element to the value of s. (This, as a side-effect, causes the noscript element to be removed from the document.)
    6. Insert the before children at the start of the parent element, preserving their original relative order.
    7. Insert the after children at the end of the parent element, preserving their original relative order.

All these contortions are required because, for historical reasons, the noscript element is handled differently by the HTML parser based on whether scripting was enabled or not when the parser was invoked.

The noscript element must not be used in XML documents.

The noscript element is only effective in the HTML syntax, it has no effect in the XHTML syntax. This is because the way it works is by essentially "turning off" the parser when scripts are enabled, so that the contents of the element are treated as pure text and not as real elements. XML does not define a mechanism by which to do this.

In the following example, a noscript element is used to provide fallback for a script.

<form action="calcSquare.php">
 <p>
  <label for=x>Number</label>:
  <input id="x" name="x" type="number">
 </p>
 <script>
  var x = document.getElementById('x');
  var output = document.createElement('p');
  output.textContent = 'Type a number; it will be squared right then!';
  x.form.appendChild(output);
  x.form.onsubmit = function () { return false; }
  x.oninput = function () {
    var v = x.valueAsNumber;
    output.textContent = v + ' squared is ' + v * v;
  };
 </script>
 <noscript>
  <input type=submit value="Calculate Square">
 </noscript>
</form>

When script is disabled, a button appears to do the calculation on the server side. When script is enabled, the value is computed on-the-fly instead.

The noscript element is a blunt instrument. Sometimes, scripts might be enabled, but for some reason the page's script might fail. For this reason, it's generally better to avoid using noscript, and to instead design the script to change the page from being a scriptless page to a scripted page on the fly, as in the next example:

<form action="calcSquare.php">
 <p>
  <label for=x>Number</label>:
  <input id="x" name="x" type="number">
 </p>
 <input id="submit" type=submit value="Calculate Square">
 <script>
  var x = document.getElementById('x');
  var output = document.createElement('p');
  output.textContent = 'Type a number; it will be squared right then!';
  x.form.appendChild(output);
  x.form.onsubmit = function () { return false; }
  x.oninput = function () {
    var v = x.valueAsNumber;
    output.textContent = v + ' squared is ' + v * v;
  };
  var submit = document.getElementById('submit');
  submit.parentNode.removeChild(submit);
 </script>
</form>

The above technique is also useful in XHTML, since noscript is not supported in the XHTML syntax.

4.4 Sections

The body, section, nav, article, aside, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, hgroup, header, footer, and address elements.

4.4.1 The body element

Categories:
Sectioning root.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As the second element in an html element.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
onafterprint
onbeforeprint
onbeforeunload
onblur
onerror
onfocus
onhashchange
onload
onmessage
onoffline
ononline
onpagehide
onpageshow
onpopstate
onresize
onscroll
onstorage
onunload
DOM interface:
interface HTMLBodyElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute EventHandler onafterprint;
           attribute EventHandler onbeforeprint;
           attribute EventHandler onbeforeunload;
           attribute EventHandler onblur;
           attribute OnErrorEventHandler onerror;
           attribute EventHandler onfocus;
           attribute EventHandler onhashchange;
           attribute EventHandler onload;
           attribute EventHandler onmessage;
           attribute EventHandler onoffline;
           attribute EventHandler ononline;
           attribute EventHandler onpopstate;
           attribute EventHandler onpagehide;
           attribute EventHandler onpageshow;
           attribute EventHandler onresize;
           attribute EventHandler onscroll;
           attribute EventHandler onstorage;
           attribute EventHandler onunload;
};

The body element represents the main content of the document.

In conforming documents, there is only one body element. The document.body IDL attribute provides scripts with easy access to a document's body element.

The body element exposes as event handler content attributes a number of the event handlers of the Window object. It also mirrors their event handler IDL attributes.

The onblur, onerror, onfocus, onload, and onscroll event handlers of the Window object, exposed on the body element, shadow the generic event handlers with the same names normally supported by HTML elements.

Thus, for example, a bubbling error event dispatched on a child of the body element of a Document would first trigger the onerror event handler content attributes of that element, then that of the root html element, and only then would it trigger the onerror event handler content attribute on the body element. This is because the event would bubble from the target, to the body, to the html, to the Document, to the Window, and the event handler on the body is watching the Window not the body. A regular event listener attached to the body using addEventListener(), however, would be run when the event bubbled through the body and not when it reaches the Window object.

This page updates an indicator to show whether or not the user is online:

<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html>
 <head>
  <title>Online or offline?</title>
  <script>
   function update(online) {
     document.getElementById('status').textContent =
       online ? 'Online' : 'Offline';
   }
  </script>
 </head>
 <body ononline="update(true)"
       onoffline="update(false)"
       onload="update(navigator.onLine)">
  <p>You are: <span id="status">(Unknown)</span></p>
 </body>
</html>

4.4.2 The section element

Categories:
Flow content.
Sectioning content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The section element represents a generic section of a document or application. A section, in this context, is a thematic grouping of content, typically with a heading.

Examples of sections would be chapters, the various tabbed pages in a tabbed dialog box, or the numbered sections of a thesis. A Web site's home page could be split into sections for an introduction, news items, and contact information.

Authors are encouraged to use the article element instead of the section element when it would make sense to syndicate the contents of the element.

The section element is not a generic container element. When an element is needed only for styling purposes or as a convenience for scripting, authors are encouraged to use the div element instead. A general rule is that the section element is appropriate only if the element's contents would be listed explicitly in the document's outline.

In the following example, we see an article (part of a larger Web page) about apples, containing two short sections.

<article>
 <hgroup>
  <h1>Apples</h1>
  <h2>Tasty, delicious fruit!</h2>
 </hgroup>
 <p>The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree.</p>
 <section>
  <h1>Red Delicious</h1>
  <p>These bright red apples are the most common found in many
  supermarkets.</p>
 </section>
 <section>
  <h1>Granny Smith</h1>
  <p>These juicy, green apples make a great filling for
  apple pies.</p>
 </section>
</article>

Notice how the use of section means that the author can use h1 elements throughout, without having to worry about whether a particular section is at the top level, the second level, the third level, and so on.

Here is a graduation programme with two sections, one for the list of people graduating, and one for the description of the ceremony.

<!DOCTYPE Html>
<Html
 ><Head
   ><Title
     >Graduation Ceremony Summer 2022</Title
   ></Head
 ><Body
   ><H1
     >Graduation</H1
   ><Section
     ><H1
       >Ceremony</H1
     ><P
       >Opening Procession</P
     ><P
       >Speech by Validactorian</P
     ><P
       >Speech by Class President</P
     ><P
       >Presentation of Diplomas</P
     ><P
       >Closing Speech by Headmaster</P
   ></Section
   ><Section
     ><H1
       >Graduates</H1
     ><Ul
       ><Li
         >Molly Carpenter</Li
       ><Li
         >Anastasia Luccio</Li
       ><Li
         >Ebenezar McCoy</Li
       ><Li
         >Karrin Murphy</Li
       ><Li
         >Thomas Raith</Li
       ><Li
         >Susan Rodriguez</Li
     ></Ul
   ></Section
 ></Body
></Html>

In this example, a book author has marked up some sections as chapters and some as appendices, and uses CSS to style the headers in these two classes of section differently. The whole book is wrapped in an article element as part of an even larger document containing other books.

<article class="book">
 <style>
  section { border: double medium; margin: 2em; }
  section.chapter h1 { font: 2em Roboto, Helvetica Neue, sans-serif; }
  section.appendix h1 { font: small-caps 2em Roboto, Helvetica Neue, sans-serif; }
 </style>
 <header>
  <hgroup>
   <h1>My Book</h1>
   <h2>A sample with not much content</h2>
  </hgroup>
  <p><small>Published by Dummy Publicorp Ltd.</small></p>
 </header>
 <section class="chapter">
  <h1>My First Chapter</h1>
  <p>This is the first of my chapters. It doesn't say much.</p>
  <p>But it has two paragraphs!</p>
 </section>
 <section class="chapter">
  <h1>It Continutes: The Second Chapter</h1>
  <p>Bla dee bla, dee bla dee bla. Boom.</p>
 </section>
 <section class="chapter">
  <h1>Chapter Three: A Further Example</h1>
  <p>It's not like a battle between brightness and earthtones would go
  unnoticed.</p>
  <p>But it might ruin my story.</p>
 </section>
 <section class="appendix">
  <h1>Appendix A: Overview of Examples</h1>
  <p>These are demonstrations.</p>
 </section>
 <section class="appendix">
  <h1>Appendix B: Some Closing Remarks</h1>
  <p>Hopefully this long example shows that you <em>can</em> style
  sections, so long as they are used to indicate actual sections.</p>
 </section>
</article>

4.4.3 The nav element

Categories:
Flow content.
Sectioning content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The nav element represents a section of a page that links to other pages or to parts within the page: a section with navigation links.

Not all groups of links on a page need to be in a nav element — the element is primarily intended for sections that consist of major navigation blocks. In particular, it is common for footers to have a short list of links to various pages of a site, such as the terms of service, the home page, and a copyright page. The footer element alone is sufficient for such cases; while a nav element can be used in such cases, it is usually unnecessary.

User agents (such as screen readers) that are targeted at users who can benefit from navigation information being omitted in the initial rendering, or who can benefit from navigation information being immediately available, can use this element as a way to determine what content on the page to initially skip and/or provide on request.

In the following example, the page has several places where links are present, but only one of those places is considered a navigation section.

<body>
 <header>
  <h1>Wake up sheeple!</h1>
  <p><a href="news.html">News</a> -
     <a href="blog.html">Blog</a> -
     <a href="forums.html">Forums</a></p>
  <p>Last Modified: 2009-04-01
</p>
  <nav>
   <h1>Navigation</h1>
   <ul>
    <li><a href="articles.html">Index of all articles</a></li>
    <li><a href="today.html">Things sheeple need to wake up for today</a></li>
    <li><a href="successes.html">Sheeple we have managed to wake</a></li>
   </ul>
  </nav>
 </header>
 <div>
  <article>
   <header>
    <h1>My Day at the Beach</h1>
   </header>
   <div>
    <p>Today I went to the beach and had a lot of fun.</p>
    ...more content...
   </div>
   <footer>
    <p>Posted <time
 datetime="2009-10-10">Thursday</time>.</p>
   </footer>
  </article>
  ...more blog posts...
 </div>
 <footer>
  <p>Copyright © 2010 
The Example Company
  </p>
  <p><a href="about.html">About</a> -
     <a href="policy.html">Privacy Policy</a> -
     <a href="contact.html">Contact Us</a></p>
 </footer>
</body>

Notice the div elements being used to wrap all the contents of the page other than the header and footer, and all the contents of the blog entry other than its header and footer.

In the following example, there are two nav elements, one for primary navigation around the site, and one for secondary navigation around the page itself.

<body>
 <h1>The Wiki Center Of Exampland</h1>
 <nav>
  <ul>
   <li><a href="/">Home</a></li>
   <li><a href="/events">Current Events</a></li>
   ...more...
  </ul>
 </nav>
 <article>
  <header>
   <h1>Demos in Exampland</h1>
   <p>Written by A. N. Other.</p>
  </header>
  <nav>
   <ul>
    <li><a href="http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/single-page.html#public">Public demonstrations</a></li>
    <li><a href="http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/single-page.html#destroy">Demolitions</a></li>
    ...more...
   </ul>
  </nav>
  <div>
   <section id="public">
    <h1>Public demonstrations</h1>
    <p>...more...</p>
   </section>
   <section id="destroy">
    <h1>Demolitions</h1>
    <p>...more...</p>
   </section>
   ...more...
  </div>
  <footer>
   <p><a href="?edit">Edit</a> | <a href="?delete">Delete</a> | <a href="?Rename">Rename</a></p>
  </footer>
 </article>
 <footer>
  <p><small>© copyright 1998 Exampland Emperor</small></p>
 </footer>
</body>

A nav element doesn't have to contain a list, it can contain other kinds of content as well. In this navigation block, links are provided in prose:

<nav>
 <h1>Navigation</h1>
 <p>You are on my home page. To the north lies <a href="/blog">my
 blog</a>, from whence the sounds of battle can be heard. To the east
 you can see a large mountain, upon which many <a
 href="/school">school papers</a> are littered. Far up thus mountain
 you can spy a little figure who appears to be me, desperately
 scribbling a <a href="/school/thesis">thesis</a>.</p>
 <p>To the west are several exits. One fun-looking exit is labeled <a
 href="http://games.example.com/">"games"</a>. Another more
 boring-looking exit is labeled <a
 href="http://isp.example.net/">ISP™</a>.</p>
 <p>To the south lies a dark and dank <a href="/about">contacts
 page</a>. Cobwebs cover its disused entrance, and at one point you
 see a rat run quickly out of the page.</p>
</nav>

4.4.4 The article element

Categories:
Flow content.
Sectioning content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The article element represents a self-contained composition in a document, page, application, or site and that is, in principle, independently distributable or reusable, e.g. in syndication. This could be a forum post, a magazine or newspaper article, a blog entry, a user-submitted comment, an interactive widget or gadget, or any other independent item of content.

When article elements are nested, the inner article elements represent articles that are in principle related to the contents of the outer article. For instance, a blog entry on a site that accepts user-submitted comments could represent the comments as article elements nested within the article element for the blog entry.

Author information associated with an article element (q.v. the address element) does not apply to nested article elements.

When used specifically with content to be redistributed in syndication, the article element is similar in purpose to the entry element in Atom. [ATOM]

This example shows a blog post using the article element:

<article>
 <header>
  <h1>The Very First Rule of Life</h1>
  <p><time
 datetime="2009-10-09">3 days ago</time></p>
 </header>
 <p>If there's a microphone anywhere near you, assume it's hot and
 sending whatever you're saying to the world. Seriously.</p>
 <p>...</p>
 <footer>
  <a href="?comments=1">Show comments...</a>
 </footer>
</article>

Here is that same blog post, but showing some of the comments:

<article>
 <header>
  <h1>The Very First Rule of Life</h1>
  <p><time
 datetime="2009-10-09">3 days ago</time></p>
 </header>
 <p>If there's a microphone anywhere near you, assume it's hot and
 sending whatever you're saying to the world. Seriously.</p>
 <p>...</p>
 <section>
  <h1>Comments</h1>
  <article id="c1">
   <footer>
    <p>Posted by: George Washington
</p>
    <p><time
 datetime="2009-10-10">15 minutes ago</time></p>
   </footer>
   <p>Yeah! Especially when talking about your lobbyist friends!</p>
  </article>
  <article id="c2">
   <footer>
    <p>Posted by: George Hammond
</p>
    <p><time
 datetime="2009-10-10">5 minutes ago</time></p>
   </footer>
   <p>Hey, you have the same first name as me.</p>
  </article>
 </section>
</article>

Notice the use of footer to give the information for each comment (such as who wrote it and when): the footer element can appear at the start of its section when appropriate, such as in this case. (Using header in this case wouldn't be wrong either; it's mostly a matter of authoring preference.)

4.4.5 The aside element

Categories:
Flow content.
Sectioning content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The aside element represents a section of a page that consists of content that is tangentially related to the content around the aside element, and which could be considered separate from that content. Such sections are often represented as sidebars in printed typography.

The element can be used for typographical effects like pull quotes or sidebars, for advertising, for groups of nav elements, and for other content that is considered separate from the main content of the page.

It's not appropriate to use the aside element just for parentheticals, since those are part of the main flow of the document.

The following example shows how an aside is used to mark up background material on Switzerland in a much longer news story on Europe.

<aside>
 <h1>Switzerland</h1>
 <p>Switzerland, a land-locked country in the middle of geographic
 Europe, has not joined the geopolitical European Union, though it is
 a signatory to a number of European treaties.</p>
</aside>

The following example shows how an aside is used to mark up a pull quote in a longer article.

...

<p>He later joined a large company, continuing on the same work.
<q>I love my job. People ask me what I do for fun when I'm not at
work. But I'm paid to do my hobby, so I never know what to
answer. Some people wonder what they would do if they didn't have to
work... but I know what I would do, because I was unemployed for a
year, and I filled that time doing exactly what I do now.</q></p>

<aside>
 <q> People ask me what I do for fun when I'm not at work. But I'm
 paid to do my hobby, so I never know what to answer. </q>
</aside>

<p>Of course his work — or should that be hobby? —
isn't his only passion. He also enjoys other pleasures.</p>

...

The following extract shows how aside can be used for blogrolls and other side content on a blog:

<body>
 <header>
  <h1>My wonderful blog</h1>
  <p>My tagline</p>
 </header>
 <aside>
  <!-- this aside contains two sections that are tangentially related
  to the page, namely, links to other blogs, and links to blog posts
  from this blog -->
  <nav>
   <h1>My blogroll</h1>
   <ul>
    <li><a href="http://blog.example.com/">Example Blog</a>
   </ul>
  </nav>
  <nav>
   <h1>Archives</h1>
   <ol reversed>
    <li><a href="/last-post">My last post</a>
    <li><a href="/first-post">My first post</a>
   </ol>
  </nav>
 </aside>
 <aside>
  <!-- this aside is tangentially related to the page also, it
  contains twitter messages from the blog author -->
  <h1>Twitter Feed</h1>
  <blockquote cite="http://twitter.example.net/t31351234">
   I'm on vacation, writing my blog.
  </blockquote>
  <blockquote cite="http://twitter.example.net/t31219752">
   I'm going to go on vacation soon.
  </blockquote>
 </aside>
 <article>
  <!-- this is a blog post -->
  <h1>My last post</h1>
  <p>This is my last post.</p>
  <footer>
   <p><a href="/last-post" rel=bookmark>Permalink</a>
  </footer>
 </article>
 <article>
  <!-- this is also a blog post -->
  <h1>My first post</h1>
  <p>This is my first post.</p>
  <aside>
   <!-- this aside is about the blog post, since it's inside the
   <article> element; it would be wrong, for instance, to put the
   blogroll here, since the blogroll isn't really related to this post
   specifically, only to the page as a whole -->
   <h1>Posting</h1>
   <p>While I'm thinking about it, I wanted to say something about
   posting. Posting is fun!</p>
  </aside>
  <footer>
   <p><a href="/first-post" rel=bookmark>Permalink</a>
  </footer>
 </article>
 <footer>
  <nav>
   <a href="/archives">Archives</a> —
   <a href="/about">About me</a> —
   <a href="/copyright">Copyright</a>
  </nav>
 </footer>
</body>

4.4.6 The h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6 elements

Categories:
Flow content.
Heading content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As a child of an hgroup element.
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLHeadingElement : HTMLElement {};

These elements represent headings for their sections.

The semantics and meaning of these elements are defined in the section on headings and sections.

These elements have a rank given by the number in their name. The h1 element is said to have the highest rank, the h6 element has the lowest rank, and two elements with the same name have equal rank.

As far as their respective document outlines (their heading and section structures) are concerned, these two snippets are semantically equivalent:

<body>
<h1>Let's call it a draw(ing surface)</h1>
<h2>Diving in</h2>
<h2>Simple shapes</h2>
<h2>Canvas coordinates</h2>
<h3>Canvas coordinates diagram</h3>
<h2>Paths</h2>
</body>
<body>
 <h1>Let's call it a draw(ing surface)</h1>
 <section>
  <h1>Diving in</h1>
 </section>
 <section>
  <h1>Simple shapes</h1>
 </section>
 <section>
  <h1>Canvas coordinates</h1>
  <section>
   <h1>Canvas coordinates diagram</h1>
  </section>
 </section>
 <section>
  <h1>Paths</h1>
 </section>
</body>

Authors might prefer the former style for its terseness, or the latter style for its convenience in the face of heavy editing; which is best is purely an issue of preferred authoring style.

4.4.7 The hgroup element

Categories:
Flow content.
Heading content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
One or more h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and/or h6 elements.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The hgroup element represents the heading of a section. The element is used to group a set of h1h6 elements when the heading has multiple levels, such as subheadings, alternative titles, or taglines.

Other elements of heading content in the hgroup element indicate subheadings or subtitles.

The rank of an hgroup element is the rank of the highest-ranked h1h6 element descendant of the hgroup element, if there are any such elements, or otherwise the same as for an h1 element (the highest rank).

The section on headings and sections defines how hgroup elements are assigned to individual sections.

Here are some examples of valid headings.

<hgroup>
 <h1>The reality dysfunction</h1>
 <h2>Space is not the only void</h2>
</hgroup>
<hgroup>
 <h1>Dr. Strangelove</h1>
 <h2>Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb</h2>
</hgroup>

The point of using hgroup in these examples is to mask the h2 element (which acts as a secondary title) from the outline algorithm.

How a user agent exposes such multi-level headings in user interfaces (e.g. in tables of contents or search results) is left open to implementors, as it is a user interface issue. The first example above could be rendered as:

The reality dysfunction: Space is not the only void

Alternatively, it could look like this:

The reality dysfunction (Space is not the only void)

In interfaces where a title can be rendered on multiple lines, it could be rendered as follows, maybe with the first line in a bigger font size:

The reality dysfunction
Space is not the only void

4.4.8 The header element

Categories:
Flow content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content, but with no header or footer element descendants.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The header element represents a group of introductory or navigational aids.

A header element is intended to usually contain the section's heading (an h1h6 element or an hgroup element), but this is not required. The header element can also be used to wrap a section's table of contents, a search form, or any relevant logos.

Here are some sample headers. This first one is for a game:

<header>
 <p>Welcome to...</p>
 <h1>Voidwars!</h1>
</header>

The following snippet shows how the element can be used to mark up a specification's header:

<header>
 <hgroup>
  <h1>Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.2</h1>
  <h2>W3C Working Draft 27 October 2004</h2>
 </hgroup>
 <dl>
  <dt>This version:</dt>
  <dd><a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-SVG12-20041027/">http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-SVG12-20041027/</a></dd>
  <dt>Previous version:</dt>
  <dd><a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-SVG12-20040510/">http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-SVG12-20040510/</a></dd>
  <dt>Latest version of SVG 1.2:</dt>
  <dd><a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG12/">http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG12/</a></dd>
  <dt>Latest SVG Recommendation:</dt>
  <dd><a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG/">http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG/</a></dd>
  <dt>Editor:</dt>
  <dd>Dean Jackson, W3C, <a href="mailto:dean@w3.org">dean@w3.org</a></dd>
  <dt>Authors:</dt>
  <dd>See <a href="http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/single-page.html#authors">Author List</a></dd>
 </dl>
 <p class="copyright"><a href="http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/ipr-notic ...
</header>

The header element is not sectioning content; it doesn't introduce a new section.

In this example, the page has a page heading given by the h1 element, and two subsections whose headings are given by h2 elements. The content after the header element is still part of the last subsection started in the header element, because the header element doesn't take part in the outline algorithm.

<body>
 <header>
  <h1>Little Green Guys With Guns</h1>
  <nav>
   <ul>
    <li><a href="/games">Games</a>
    <li><a href="/forum">Forum</a>
    <li><a href="/download">Download</a>
   </ul>
  </nav>
  <h2>Important News</h2> <!-- this starts a second subsection -->
  <!-- this is part of the subsection entitled "Important News" -->
  <p>To play today's games you will need to update your client.</p>
  <h2>Games</h2> <!-- this starts a third subsection -->
 </header>
 <p>You have three active games:</p>
 <!-- this is still part of the subsection entitled "Games" -->
 ...
Categories:
Flow content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content, but with no header or footer element descendants.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The footer element represents a footer for its nearest ancestor sectioning content or sectioning root element. A footer typically contains information about its section such as who wrote it, links to related documents, copyright data, and the like.

When the footer element contains entire sections, they represent appendices, indexes, long colophons, verbose license agreements, and other such content.

Contact information for the author or editor of a section belongs in an address element, possibly itself inside a footer. Bylines and other information that could be suitable for both a header or a footer can be placed in either (or neither). The primary purpose of these elements is merely to help the author write self-explanatory markup that is easy to maintain and style; they are not intended to impose specific structures on authors.

Footers don't necessarily have to appear at the end of a section, though they usually do.

When the nearest ancestor sectioning content or sectioning root element is the body element, then it applies to the whole page.

The footer element is not sectioning content; it doesn't introduce a new section.

Here is a page with two footers, one at the top and one at the bottom, with the same content:

<body>
 <footer><a href="../">Back to index...</a></footer>
 <hgroup>
  <h1>Lorem ipsum</h1>
  <h2>The ipsum of all lorems</h2>
 </hgroup>
 <p>A dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod
 tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim
 veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex
 ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in
 voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla
 pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in
 culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.</p>
 <footer><a href="../">Back to index...</a></footer>
</body>

Here is an example which shows the footer element being used both for a site-wide footer and for a section footer.

<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<HTML><HEAD>
<TITLE>The Ramblings of a Scientist</TITLE>
<BODY>
<H1>The Ramblings of a Scientist</H1>
<ARTICLE>
 <H1>Episode 15</H1>
 <VIDEO SRC="/fm/015.ogv" CONTROLS PRELOAD>
  <P><A HREF="/fm/015.ogv">Download video</A>.</P>
 </VIDEO>
 <FOOTER> <!-- footer for article -->
  <P>Published <TIME DATETIME="2009-10-21T18:26-07:00">on 2009/10/21 at 6:26pm</TIME></P>
 </FOOTER>
</ARTICLE>
<ARTICLE>
 <H1>My Favorite Trains</H1>
 <P>I love my trains. My favorite train of all time is a Köf.</P>
 <P>It is fun to see them pull some coal cars because they look so
 dwarfed in comparison.</P>
 <FOOTER> <!-- footer for article -->
  <P>Published <TIME DATETIME="2009-09-15T14:54-07:00">on 2009/09/15 at 2:54pm</TIME></P>
 </FOOTER>
</ARTICLE>
<FOOTER> <!-- site wide footer -->
 <NAV>
  <P><A HREF="/credits.html">Credits</A> —
     <A HREF="/tos.html">Terms of Service</A> —
     <A HREF="/index.html">Blog Index</A></P>
 </NAV>
 <P>Copyright © 2009 Gordon Freeman</P>
</FOOTER>
</BODY>
</HTML>

Some site designs have what is sometimes referred to as "fat footers" — footers that contain a lot of material, including images, links to other articles, links to pages for sending feedback, special offers... in some ways, a whole "front page" in the footer.

This fragment shows the bottom of a page on a site with a "fat footer":

...
 <footer>
  <nav>
   <section>
    <h1>Articles</h1>
    <p><img src="images/somersaults.jpeg" alt=""> Go to the gym with
    our somersaults class! Our teacher Jim takes you through the paces
    in this two-part article. <a href="articles/somersaults/1">Part
    1</a> · <a href="articles/somersaults/1">Part 2</a></p>
    <p><img src="images/kindplus.jpeg"> Tired of walking on the edge of
    a clif<!-- sic -->? Our guest writer Lara shows you how to bumble
    your way through the bars. <a href="articles/kindplus/1">Read
    more...</a></p>
    <p><img src="images/crisps.jpeg"> The chips are down, now all
    that's left is a potato. What can you do with it? <a
    href="articles/crisps/1">Read more...</a></p>
   </section>
   <ul>
    <li> <a href="/about">About us...</a>
    <li> <a href="/feedback">Send feedback!</a>
    <li> <a href="/sitemap">Sitemap</a>
   </ul>
  </nav>
  <p><small>Copyright © 2015 The Snacker —
  <a href="/tos">Terms of Service</a></small></p>
 </footer>
</body>

4.4.10 The address element

Categories:
Flow content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content, but with no heading content descendants, no sectioning content descendants, and no header, footer, or address element descendants.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The address element represents the contact information for its nearest article or body element ancestor. If that is the body element, then the contact information applies to the document as a whole.

For example, a page at the W3C Web site related to HTML might include the following contact information:

<ADDRESS>
 <A href="../People/Raggett/">Dave Raggett</A>,
 <A href="../People/Arnaud/">Arnaud Le Hors</A>,
 contact persons for the <A href="Activity">W3C HTML Activity</A>
</ADDRESS>

The address element must not be used to represent arbitrary addresses (e.g. postal addresses), unless those addresses are in fact the relevant contact information. (The p element is the appropriate element for marking up postal addresses in general.)

The address element must not contain information other than contact information.

For example, the following is non-conforming use of the address element:

<ADDRESS>Last Modified: 1999/12/24 23:37:50</ADDRESS>

Typically, the address element would be included along with other information in a footer element.

In this example the footer contains contact information and a copyright notice.

<footer>
 <address>
  For more details, contact
  <a href="mailto:js@example.com">John Smith</a>.
 </address>
 <p><small>© copyright 2038 Example Corp.</small></p>
</footer>

4.4.11 Headings and sections

The h1h6 elements and the hgroup element are headings.

The first element of heading content in an element of sectioning content represents the heading for that section. Subsequent headings of equal or higher rank start new (implied) sections, headings of lower rank start implied subsections that are part of the previous one. In both cases, the element represents the heading of the implied section.

Certain elements are said to be sectioning roots, including blockquote and td elements. These elements can have their own outlines, but the sections and headings inside these elements do not contribute to the outlines of their ancestors.

Sectioning content elements are always considered subsections of their nearest ancestor sectioning root or their nearest ancestor element of sectioning content, whichever is nearest, regardless of what implied sections other headings may have created.

For the following fragment:

<body>
 <h1>Foo</h1>
 <h2>Bar</h2>
 <blockquote>
  <h3>Bla</h3>
 </blockquote>
 <p>Baz</p>
 <h2>Quux</h2>
 <section>
  <h3>Thud</h3>
 </section>
 <p>Grunt</p>
</body>

...the structure would be:

  1. Foo (heading of explicit body section, containing the "Grunt" paragraph)
    1. Bar (heading starting implied section, containing a block quote and the "Baz" paragraph)
    2. Quux (heading starting implied section with no content other than the heading itself)
    3. Thud (heading of explicit section section)

Notice how the section ends the earlier implicit section so that a later paragraph ("Grunt") is back at the top level.

Sections may contain headings of any rank, but authors are strongly encouraged to either use only h1 elements, or to use elements of the appropriate rank for the section's nesting level.

Authors are also encouraged to explicitly wrap sections in elements of sectioning content, instead of relying on the implicit sections generated by having multiple headings in one element of sectioning content.

For example, the following is correct:

<body>
 <h4>Apples</h4>
 <p>Apples are fruit.</p>
 <section>
  <h2>Taste</h2>
  <p>They taste lovely.</p>
  <h6>Sweet</h6>
  <p>Red apples are sweeter than green ones.</p>
  <h1>Color</h1>
  <p>Apples come in various colors.</p>
 </section>
</body>

However, the same document would be more clearly expressed as:

<body>
 <h1>Apples</h1>
 <p>Apples are fruit.</p>
 <section>
  <h2>Taste</h2>
  <p>They taste lovely.</p>
  <section>
   <h3>Sweet</h3>
   <p>Red apples are sweeter than green ones.</p>
  </section>
 </section>
 <section>
  <h2>Color</h2>
  <p>Apples come in various colors.</p>
 </section>
</body>

Both of the documents above are semantically identical and would produce the same outline in compliant user agents.

This third example is also semantically identical, and might be easier to maintain (e.g. if sections are often moved around in editing):

<body>
 <h1>Apples</h1>
 <p>Apples are fruit.</p>
 <section>
  <h1>Taste</h1>
  <p>They taste lovely.</p>
  <section>
   <h1>Sweet</h1>
   <p>Red apples are sweeter than green ones.</p>
  </section>
 </section>
 <section>
  <h1>Color</h1>
  <p>Apples come in various colors.</p>
 </section>
</body>

This final example would need explicit style rules to be rendered well in legacy browsers. Legacy browsers without CSS support would render all the headings as top-level headings.

4.4.11.1 Creating an outline

The outline for a sectioning content element or a sectioning root element consists of a list of one or more potentially nested sections. A section is a container that corresponds to some nodes in the original DOM tree. Each section can have one heading associated with it, and can contain any number of further nested sections. (The sections in the outline aren't section elements, though some may correspond to such elements — they are merely conceptual sections.)

The following markup fragment:

<body>
 <h1>A</h1>
 <p>B</p>
 <h2>C</h2>
 <p>D</p>
 <h2>E</h2>
 <p>F</p>
</body>

...results in the following outline being created for the body node (and thus the entire document):

  1. Section created for body node.

    Associated with heading "A".

    Also associated with paragraph "B".

    Nested sections:

    1. Section implied for first h2 element.

      Associated with heading "C".

      Also associated with paragraph "D".

      No nested sections.

    2. Section implied for second h2 element.

      Associated with heading "E".

      Also associated with paragraph "F".

      No nested sections.

4.5 Grouping content

The p, hr, pre, blockquote, ol, ul, li, dl, dt, dd, figure, figcaption, and div elements.

4.5.1 The p element

Categories:
Flow content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLParagraphElement : HTMLElement {};

The p element represents a paragraph.

While paragraphs are usually represented in visual media by blocks of text that are physically separated from adjacent blocks through blank lines, a style sheet or user agent would be equally justified in presenting paragraph breaks in a different manner, for instance using inline pilcrows (¶).

The following examples are conforming HTML fragments:

<p>The little kitten gently seated himself on a piece of
carpet. Later in his life, this would be referred to as the time the
cat sat on the mat.</p>
<fieldset>
 <legend>Personal information</legend>
 <p>
   <label>Name: <input name="n"></label>
   <label><input name="anon" type="checkbox"> Hide from other users</label>
 </p>
 <p><label>Address: <textarea name="a"></textarea></label></p>
</fieldset>
<p>There was once an example from Femley,<br>
Whose markup was of dubious quality.<br>
The validator complained,<br>
So the author was pained,<br>
To move the error from the markup to the rhyming.</p>

The p element should not be used when a more specific element is more appropriate.

The following example is technically correct:

<section>
 <!-- ... -->
 <p>Last modified: 2001-04-23</p>
 <p>Author: fred@example.com</p>
</section>

However, it would be better marked-up as:

<section>
 <!-- ... -->
 <footer>Last modified: 2001-04-23</footer>
 <address>Author: fred@example.com</address>
</section>

Or:

<section>
 <!-- ... -->
 <footer>
  <p>Last modified: 2001-04-23</p>
  <address>Author: fred@example.com</address>
 </footer>
</section>

List elements (in particular, ol and ul elements) cannot be children of p elements. When a sentence contains a bulleted list, therefore, one might wonder how it should be marked up.

For instance, this fantastic sentence has bullets relating to

and is further discussed below.

The solution is to realise that a paragraph, in HTML terms, is not a logical concept, but a structural one. In the fantastic example above, there are actually five paragraphs as defined by this speciication: one before the list, one for each bullet, and one after the list.

The markup for the above example could therefore be:

<p>For instance, this fantastic sentence has bullets relating to</p>
<ul>
 <li>wizards,
 <li>faster-than-light travel, and
 <li>telepathy,
</ul>
<p>and is further discussed below.</p>

Authors wishing to conveniently style such "logical" paragraphs consisting of multiple "structural" paragraphs can use the div element instead of the p element.

Thus for instance the above example could become the following:

<div>For instance, this fantastic sentence has bullets relating to
<ul>
 <li>wizards,
 <li>faster-than-light travel, and
 <li>telepathy,
</ul>
and is further discussed below.</div>

This example still has five structural paragraphs, but now the author can style just the div instead of having to consider each part of the example separately.

4.5.2 The hr element

Categories:
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLHRElement : HTMLElement {};

The hr element represents a paragraph-level thematic break, e.g. a scene change in a story, or a transition to another topic within a section of a reference book.

The following fictional extract from a project manual shows two sections that use the hr element to separate topics within the section.

<section>
 <h1>Communication</h1>
 <p>There are various methods of communication. This section
 covers a few of the important ones used by the project.</p>
 <hr>
 <p>Communication stones seem to come in pairs and have mysterious
 properties:</p>
 <ul>
  <li>They can transfer thoughts in two directions once activated
  if used alone.</li>
  <li>If used with another device, they can transfer one's
  consciousness to another body.</li>
  <li>If both stones are used with another device, the
  consciousnesses switch bodies.</li>
 </ul>
 <hr>
 <p>Radios use the electromagnetic spectrum in the meter range and
 longer.</p>
 <hr>
 <p>Signal flares use the electromagnetic spectrum in the
 nanometer range.</p>
</section>
<section>
 <h1>Food</h1>
 <p>All food at the project is rationed:</p>
 <dl>
  <dt>Potatoes</dt>
  <dd>Two per day</dd>
  <dt>Soup</dt>
  <dd>One bowl per day</dd>
 </dl>
 <hr>
 <p>Cooking is done by the chefs on a set rotation.</p>
</section>

There is no need for an hr element between the sections themselves, since the section elements and the h1 elements imply thematic changes themselves.

The following extract from Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton shows two paragraphs that precede a scene change and the paragraph that follows it. The scene change, represented in the printed book by a gap containing a solitary centered star between the second and third paragraphs, is here represented using the hr element.

<p>Dudley was ninety-two, in his second life, and fast approaching
time for another rejuvenation. Despite his body having the physical
age of a standard fifty-year-old, the prospect of a long degrading
campaign within academia was one he regarded with dread. For a
supposedly advanced civilization, the Intersolar Commonwealth could be
appallingly backward at times, not to mention cruel.</p>
<p><i>Maybe it won't be that bad</i>, he told himself. The lie was
comforting enough to get him through the rest of the night's
shift.</p>
<hr>
<p>The Carlton AllLander drove Dudley home just after dawn. Like the
astronomer, the vehicle was old and worn, but perfectly capable of
doing its job. It had a cheap diesel engine, common enough on a
semi-frontier world like Gralmond, although its drive array was a
thoroughly modern photoneural processor. With its high suspension and
deep-tread tyres it could plough along the dirt track to the
observatory in all weather and seasons, including the metre-deep snow
of Gralmond's winters.</p>

The hr element does not affect the document's outline.

4.5.3 The pre element

Categories:
Flow content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLPreElement : HTMLElement {};

The pre element represents a block of preformatted text, in which structure is represented by typographic conventions rather than by elements.

In the HTML syntax, a leading newline character immediately following the pre element start tag is stripped.

Some examples of cases where the pre element could be used:

Authors are encouraged to consider how preformatted text will be experienced when the formatting is lost, as will be the case for users of speech synthesizers, braille displays, and the like. For cases like ASCII art, it is likely that an alternative presentation, such as a textual description, would be more universally accessible to the readers of the document.

To represent a block of computer code, the pre element can be used with a code element; to represent a block of computer output the pre element can be used with a samp element. Similarly, the kbd element can be used within a pre element to indicate text that the user is to enter.

In the following snippet, a sample of computer code is presented.

<p>This is the <code>Panel</code> constructor:</p>
<pre><code>function Panel(element, canClose, closeHandler) {
  this.element = element;
  this.canClose = canClose;
  this.closeHandler = function () { if (closeHandler) closeHandler() };
}</code></pre>

In the following snippet, samp and kbd elements are mixed in the contents of a pre element to show a session of Zork I.

<pre><samp>You are in an open field west of a big white house with a boarded
front door.
There is a small mailbox here.

></samp> <kbd>open mailbox</kbd>

<samp>Opening the mailbox reveals:
A leaflet.

></samp></pre>

The following shows a contemporary poem that uses the pre element to preserve its unusual formatting, which forms an intrinsic part of the poem itself.

<pre>                maxling

it is with a          heart
               heavy

that i admit loss of a feline
        so           loved

a friend lost to the
        unknown
                                (night)

~cdr 11dec07</pre>

4.5.4 The blockquote element

Categories:
Flow content.
Sectioning root.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
cite
DOM interface:
interface HTMLQuoteElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString cite;
};

The HTMLQuoteElement interface is also used by the q element.

The blockquote element represents a section that is quoted from another source.

Content inside a blockquote must be quoted from another source, whose address, if it has one, may be cited in the cite attribute.

If the cite attribute is present, it must be a valid URL potentially surrounded by spaces.

The content of a blockquote may be abbreviated or may have context added in the conventional manner for the text's language.

For example, in English this is traditionally done using square brackets. Consider a page with the sentence "Fred ate the cracker. He then said he liked apples and fish."; it could be quoted as follows:

<blockquote>
 <p>[Fred] then said he liked [...] fish.</p>
</blockquote>

Attribution for the quotation, if any, must be placed outside the blockquote element.

For example, here the attribution is given in a paragraph after the quote:

<blockquote>
 <p>I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer
 god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other
 possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>— Stephen Roberts</p>

The other examples below show other ways of showing attribution.

Here a blockquote element is used in conjunction with a figure element and its figcaption to clearly relate a quote to its attribution (which is not part of the quote and therefore doesn't belong inside the blockquote itself):

<figure>
 <blockquote>
  <p>The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with.
  It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held
  prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to
  be true. But our preferences do not determine what's true. We have a
  method, and that method helps us to reach not absolute truth, only
  asymptotic approaches to the truth — never there, just closer
  and closer, always finding vast new oceans of undiscovered
  possibilities. Cleverly designed experiments are the key.</p>
 </blockquote>
 <figcaption>Carl Sagan, in "<cite>Wonder and Skepticism</cite>", from
 the <cite>Skeptical Enquirer</cite> Volume 19, Issue 1 (January-February
 1995)</figcaption>
</figure>

This next example shows the use of cite alongside blockquote:

<p>His next piece was the aptly named <cite>Sonnet 130</cite>:</p>
<blockquote cite="http://quotes.example.org/s/sonnet130.html">
  <p>My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun,<br>
  Coral is far more red, than her lips red,<br>
  ...

This example shows how a forum post could use blockquote to show what post a user is replying to. The article element is used for each post, to mark up the threading.

<article>
 <h1><a href="http://bacon.example.com/?blog=109431">Bacon on a crowbar</a></h1>
 <article>
  <header><strong>t3yw</strong> 12 points 1 hour ago</header>
  <p>I bet a narwhal would love that.</p>
  <footer><a href="?pid=29578">permalink</a></footer>
  <article>
   <header><strong>greg</strong> 8 points 1 hour ago</header>
   <blockquote><p>I bet a narwhal would love that.</p></blockquote>
   <p>Dude narwhals don't eat bacon.</p>
   <footer><a href="?pid=29579">permalink</a></footer>
   <article>
    <header><strong>t3yw</strong> 15 points 1 hour ago</header>
    <blockquote>
     <blockquote><p>I bet a narwhal would love that.</p></blockquote>
     <p>Dude narwhals don't eat bacon.</p>
    </blockquote>
    <p>Next thing you'll be saying they don't get capes and wizard
    hats either!</p>
    <footer><a href="?pid=29580">permalink</a></footer>
    <article>
     <article>
      <header><strong>boing</strong> -5 points 1 hour ago</header>
      <p>narwhals are worse than ceiling cat</p>
      <footer><a href="?pid=29581">permalink</a></footer>
     </article>
    </article>
   </article>
  </article>
  <article>
   <header><strong>fred</strong> 1 points 23 minutes ago</header>
   <blockquote><p>I bet a narwhal would love that.</p></blockquote>
   <p>I bet they'd love to peel a banana too.</p>
   <footer><a href="?pid=29582">permalink</a></footer>
  </article>
 </article>
</article>

This example shows the use of a blockquote for short snippets, demonstrating that one does not have to use p elements inside blockquote elements:

<p>He began his list of "lessons" with the following:</p>
<blockquote>One should never assume that his side of 
the issue will be recognized, let alone that it will 
be conceded to have merits.</blockquote>
<p>He continued with a number of similar points, ending with:</p>
<blockquote>Finally, one should be prepared for the threat 
of breakdown in negotiations at any given moment and not 
be cowed by the possiblity.</blockquote>
<p>We shall now discuss these points...

Examples of how to represent a conversation are shown in a later section; it is not appropriate to use the cite and blockquote elements for this purpose.

4.5.5 The ol element

Categories:
Flow content.
If the element's children include at least one li element: Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Zero or more li elements.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
reversed
start
type
DOM interface:
interface HTMLOListElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute boolean reversed;
           attribute long start;
           attribute DOMString type;
};

The ol element represents a list of items, where the items have been intentionally ordered, such that changing the order would change the meaning of the document.

The items of the list are the li element child nodes of the ol element, in tree order.

The reversed attribute is a boolean attribute. If present, it indicates that the list is a descending list (..., 3, 2, 1). If the attribute is omitted, the list is an ascending list (1, 2, 3, ...).

The start attribute, if present, must be a valid integer giving the ordinal value of the first list item.

The type attribute can be used to specify the kind of marker to use in the list, in the cases where that matters (e.g. because items are to be referenced by their number/letter). The attribute, if specified, must have a value that is a case-sensitive match for one of the characters given in the first cell of one of the rows of the following table.

Keyword State Description Examples for values 1-3 and 3999-4001
1 (U+0031) decimal Decimal numbers 1. 2. 3. ... 3999. 4000. 4001. ...
a (U+0061) lower-alpha Lowercase latin alphabet a. b. c. ... ewu. ewv. eww. ...
A (U+0041) upper-alpha Uppercase latin alphabet A. B. C. ... EWU. EWV. EWW. ...
i (U+0069) lower-roman Lowercase roman numerals i. ii. iii. ... mmmcmxcix. i̅v̅. i̅v̅i. ...
I (U+0049) upper-roman Uppercase roman numerals I. II. III. ... MMMCMXCIX. I̅V̅. I̅V̅I. ...

The following markup shows a list where the order matters, and where the ol element is therefore appropriate. Compare this list to the equivalent list in the ul section to see an example of the same items using the ul element.

<p>I have lived in the following countries (given in the order of when
I first lived there):</p>
<ol>
 <li>Switzerland
 <li>United Kingdom
 <li>United States
 <li>Norway
</ol>

Note how changing the order of the list changes the meaning of the document. In the following example, changing the relative order of the first two items has changed the birthplace of the author:

<p>I have lived in the following countries (given in the order of when
I first lived there):</p>
<ol>
 <li>United Kingdom
 <li>Switzerland
 <li>United States
 <li>Norway
</ol>

4.5.6 The ul element

Categories:
Flow content.
If the element's children include at least one li element: Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Zero or more li elements.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLUListElement : HTMLElement {};

The ul element represents a list of items, where the order of the items is not important — that is, where changing the order would not materially change the meaning of the document.

The items of the list are the li element child nodes of the ul element.

The following markup shows a list where the order does not matter, and where the ul element is therefore appropriate. Compare this list to the equivalent list in the ol section to see an example of the same items using the ol element.

<p>I have lived in the following countries:</p>
<ul>
 <li>Norway
 <li>Switzerland
 <li>United Kingdom
 <li>United States
</ul>

Note that changing the order of the list does not change the meaning of the document. The items in the snippet above are given in alphabetical order, but in the snippet below they are given in order of the size of their current account balance in 2007, without changing the meaning of the document whatsoever:

<p>I have lived in the following countries:</p>
<ul>
 <li>Switzerland
 <li>Norway
 <li>United Kingdom
 <li>United States
</ul>

4.5.7 The li element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Inside ol elements.
Inside ul elements.
Inside menu elements.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
If the element is a child of an ol element: value
DOM interface:
interface HTMLLIElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute long value;
};

The li element represents a list item. If its parent element is an ol, ul, or menu element, then the element is an item of the parent element's list, as defined for those elements. Otherwise, the list item has no defined list-related relationship to any other li element.

If the parent element is an ol element, then the li element has an ordinal value.

The value attribute, if present, must be a valid integer giving the ordinal value of the list item.

The following example, the top ten movies are listed (in reverse order). Note the way the list is given a title by using a figure element and its figcaption element.

<figure>
 <figcaption>The top 10 movies of all time</figcaption>
 <ol>
  <li value="10"><cite>Josie and the Pussycats</cite>, 2001</li>
  <li value="9"><cite lang="sh">&TScy;&rcy;&ncy;&acy; &mcy;&acy;&chcy;&kcy;&acy;, &bcy;&iecy;&lcy;&icy; &mcy;&acy;&chcy;&ocy;&rcy;</cite>, 1998</li>
  <li value="8"><cite>A Bug's Life</cite>, 1998</li>
  <li value="7"><cite>Toy Story</cite>, 1995</li>
  <li value="6"><cite>Monsters, Inc</cite>, 2001</li>
  <li value="5"><cite>Cars</cite>, 2006</li>
  <li value="4"><cite>Toy Story 2</cite>, 1999</li>
  <li value="3"><cite>Finding Nemo</cite>, 2003</li>
  <li value="2"><cite>The Incredibles</cite>, 2004</li>
  <li value="1"><cite>Ratatouille</cite>, 2007</li>
 </ol>
</figure>

The markup could also be written as follows, using the reversed attribute on the ol element:

<figure>
 <figcaption>The top 10 movies of all time</figcaption>
 <ol reversed>
  <li><cite>Josie and the Pussycats</cite>, 2001</li>
  <li><cite lang="sh">&TScy;&rcy;&ncy;&acy; &mcy;&acy;&chcy;&kcy;&acy;, &bcy;&iecy;&lcy;&icy; &mcy;&acy;&chcy;&ocy;&rcy;</cite>, 1998</li>
  <li><cite>A Bug's Life</cite>, 1998</li>
  <li><cite>Toy Story</cite>, 1995</li>
  <li><cite>Monsters, Inc</cite>, 2001</li>
  <li><cite>Cars</cite>, 2006</li>
  <li><cite>Toy Story 2</cite>, 1999</li>
  <li><cite>Finding Nemo</cite>, 2003</li>
  <li><cite>The Incredibles</cite>, 2004</li>
  <li><cite>Ratatouille</cite>, 2007</li>
 </ol>
</figure>

If the li element is the child of a menu element and itself has a child that defines a command, then the li element will match the :enabled and :disabled pseudo-classes in the same way as the first such child element does.

While it is conforming to include heading elements (e.g. h1) inside li elements, it likely does not convey the semantics that the author intended. A heading starts a new section, so a heading in a list implicitly splits the list into spanning multiple sections.

4.5.8 The dl element

Categories:
Flow content.
If the element's children include at least one name-value group: Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Zero or more groups each consisting of one or more dt elements followed by one or more dd elements.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLDListElement : HTMLElement {};

The dl element represents an association list consisting of zero or more name-value groups (a description list). Each group must consist of one or more names (dt elements) followed by one or more values (dd elements). Within a single dl element, there should not be more than one dt element for each name.

Name-value groups may be terms and definitions, metadata topics and values, questions and answers, or any other groups of name-value data.

The values within a group are alternatives; multiple paragraphs forming part of the same value must all be given within the same dd element.

The order of the list of groups, and of the names and values within each group, may be significant.

In the following example, one entry ("Authors") is linked to two values ("John" and "Luke").

<dl>
 <dt> Authors
 <dd> John
 <dd> Luke
 <dt> Editor
 <dd> Frank
</dl>

In the following example, one definition is linked to two terms.

<dl>
 <dt lang="en-US"> <dfn>color</dfn> </dt>
 <dt lang="en-GB"> <dfn>colour</dfn> </dt>
 <dd> A sensation which (in humans) derives from the ability of
 the fine structure of the eye to distinguish three differently
 filtered analyses of a view. </dd>
</dl>

The following example illustrates the use of the dl element to mark up metadata of sorts. At the end of the example, one group has two metadata labels ("Authors" and "Editors") and two values ("Robert Rothman" and "Daniel Jackson").

<dl>
 <dt> Last modified time </dt>
 <dd> 2004-12-23T23:33Z </dd>
 <dt> Recommended update interval </dt>
 <dd> 60s </dd>
 <dt> Authors </dt>
 <dt> Editors </dt>
 <dd> Robert Rothman </dd>
 <dd> Daniel Jackson </dd>
</dl>

The following example shows the dl element used to give a set of instructions. The order of the instructions here is important (in the other examples, the order of the blocks was not important).

<p>Determine the victory points as follows (use the
first matching case):</p>
<dl>
 <dt> If you have exactly five gold coins </dt>
 <dd> You get five victory points </dd>
 <dt> If you have one or more gold coins, and you have one or more silver coins </dt>
 <dd> You get two victory points </dd>
 <dt> If you have one or more silver coins </dt>
 <dd> You get one victory point </dd>
 <dt> Otherwise </dt>
 <dd> You get no victory points </dd>
</dl>

The following snippet shows a dl element being used as a glossary. Note the use of dfn to indicate the word being defined.

<dl>
 <dt><dfn>Apartment</dfn>, n.</dt>
 <dd>An execution context grouping one or more threads with one or
 more COM objects.</dd>
 <dt><dfn>Flat</dfn>, n.</dt>
 <dd>A deflated tire.</dd>
 <dt><dfn>Home</dfn>, n.</dt>
 <dd>The user's login directory.</dd>
</dl>

The dl element is inappropriate for marking up dialogue. Examples of how to mark up dialogue are shown below.

4.5.9 The dt element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Before dd or dt elements inside dl elements.
Content model:
Flow content, but with no header, footer, sectioning content, or heading content descendants.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The dt element represents the term, or name, part of a term-description group in a description list (dl element).

The dt element itself, when used in a dl element, does not indicate that its contents are a term being defined, but this can be indicated using the dfn element.

This example shows a list of frequently asked questions (a FAQ) marked up using the dt element for questions and the dd element for answers.

<article>
 <h1>FAQ</h1>
 <dl>
  <dt>What do we want?</dt>
  <dd>Our data.</dd>
  <dt>When do we want it?</dt>
  <dd>Now.</dd>
  <dt>Where is it?</dt>
  <dd>We are not sure.</dd>
 </dl>
</article>

4.5.10 The dd element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
After dt or dd elements inside dl elements.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The dd element represents the description, definition, or value, part of a term-description group in a description list (dl element).

A dl can be used to define a vocabulary list, like in a dictionary. In the following example, each entry, given by a dt with a dfn, has several dds, showing the various parts of the definition.

<dl>
 <dt><dfn>happiness</dfn></dt>
 <dd class="pronunciation">/'hæ p. nes/</dd>
 <dd class="part-of-speech"><i><abbr>n.</abbr></i></dd>
 <dd>The state of being happy.</dd>
 <dd>Good fortune; success. <q>Oh <b>happiness</b>! It worked!</q></dd>
 <dt><dfn>rejoice</dfn></dt>
 <dd class="pronunciation">/ri jois'/</dd>
 <dd><i class="part-of-speech"><abbr>v.intr.</abbr></i> To be delighted oneself.</dd>
 <dd><i class="part-of-speech"><abbr>v.tr.</abbr></i> To cause one to be delighted.</dd>
</dl>

4.5.11 The figure element

Categories:
Flow content.
Sectioning root.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Either: One figcaption element followed by flow content.
Or: Flow content followed by one figcaption element.
Or: Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The figure element represents some flow content, optionally with a caption, that is self-contained and is typically referenced as a single unit from the main flow of the document.

The element can thus be used to annotate illustrations, diagrams, photos, code listings, etc, that are referred to from the main content of the document, but that could, without affecting the flow of the document, be moved away from that primary content, e.g. to the side of the page, to dedicated pages, or to an appendix.

The figcaption element child of the element, if any, represents the caption of the figure element's contents. If there is no child figcaption element, then there is no caption.

This example shows the figure element to mark up a code listing.

<p>In <a href="http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/single-page.html#l4">listing 4</a> we see the primary core interface
API declaration.</p>
<figure id="l4">
 <figcaption>Listing 4. The primary core interface API declaration.</figcaption>
 <pre><code>interface PrimaryCore {
 boolean verifyDataLine();
 void sendData(in sequence&lt;byte> data);
 void initSelfDestruct();
}</code></pre>
</figure>
<p>The API is designed to use UTF-8.</p>

Here we see a figure element to mark up a photo.

<figure>
 <img src="bubbles-work.jpeg"
      alt="Bubbles, sitting in his office chair, works on his
           latest project intently.">
 <figcaption>Bubbles at work</figcaption>
</figure>

In this example, we see an image that is not a figure, as well as an image and a video that are.

<h2>Malinko's comics</h2>

<p>This case centered on some sort of "intellectual property"
infringement related to a comic (see Exhibit A). The suit started
after a trailer ending with these words:

<blockquote>
 <img src="promblem-packed-action.png" alt="ROUGH COPY! Promblem-Packed Action!">
</blockquote>

<p>...was aired. A lawyer, armed with a Bigger Notebook, launched a
preemptive strike using snowballs. A complete copy of the trailer is
included with Exhibit B.

<figure>
 <img src="ex-a.png" alt="Two squiggles on a dirty piece of paper.">
 <figcaption>Exhibit A. The alleged <cite>rough copy</cite> comic.</figcaption>
</figure>

<figure>
 <video src="ex-b.mov"></video>
 <figcaption>Exhibit B. The <cite>Rough Copy</cite> trailer.</figcaption>
</figure>

<p>The case was resolved out of court.

Here, a part of a poem is marked up using figure.

<figure>
 <p>'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves<br>
 Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;<br>
 All mimsy were the borogoves,<br>
 And the mome raths outgrabe.</p>
 <figcaption><cite>Jabberwocky</cite> (first verse). Lewis Carroll, 1832-98</figcaption>
</figure>

In this example, which could be part of a much larger work discussing a castle, nested figure elements are used to provide both a group caption and individual captions for each figure in the group:

<figure>
 <figcaption>The castle through the ages: 1423, 1858, and 1999 respectively.</figcaption>
 <figure>
  <figcaption>Etching. Anonymous, ca. 1423.</figcaption>
  <img src="castle1423.jpeg" alt="The castle has one tower, and a tall wall around it.">
 </figure>
 <figure>
  <figcaption>Oil-based paint on canvas. Maria Towle, 1858.</figcaption>
  <img src="castle1858.jpeg" alt="The castle now has two towers and two walls.">
 </figure>
 <figure>
  <figcaption>Film photograph. Peter Jankle, 1999.</figcaption>
  <img src="castle1999.jpeg" alt="The castle lies in ruins, the original tower all that remains in one piece.">
 </figure>
</figure>

4.5.12 The figcaption element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As the first or last child of a figure element.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The figcaption element represents a caption or legend for the rest of the contents of the figcaption element's parent figure element.

4.5.13 The div element

Categories:
Flow content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLDivElement : HTMLElement {};

The div element has no special meaning at all. It represents its children. It can be used with the class, lang, and title attributes to mark up semantics common to a group of consecutive elements.

Authors are strongly encouraged to view the div element as an element of last resort, for when no other element is suitable. Use of more appropriate elements instead of the div element leads to better accessibility for readers and easier maintainability for authors.

For example, a blog post would be marked up using article, a chapter using section, a page's navigation aids using nav, and a group of form controls using fieldset.

On the other hand, div elements can be useful for stylistic purposes or to wrap multiple paragraphs within a section that are all to be annotated in a similar way. In the following example, we see div elements used as a way to set the language of two paragraphs at once, instead of setting the language on the two paragraph elements separately:

<article lang="en-US">
 <h1>My use of language and my cats</h1>
 <p>My cat's behavior hasn't changed much since her absence, except
 that she plays her new physique to the neighbors regularly, in an
 attempt to get pets.</p>
 <div lang="en-GB">
  <p>My other cat, coloured black and white, is a sweetie. He followed
  us to the pool today, walking down the pavement with us. Yesterday
  he apparently visited our neighbours. I wonder if he recognises that
  their flat is a mirror image of ours.</p>
  <p>Hm, I just noticed that in the last paragraph I used British
  English. But I'm supposed to write in American English. So I
  shouldn't say "pavement" or "flat" or "colour"...</p>
 </div>
 <p>I should say "sidewalk" and "apartment" and "color"!</p>
</article>

4.6 Text-level semantics

The a, em, strong, small, s, cite, q, dfn, abbr, time, code, figure, samp, kbd, sub, sup, i, b, u, mark, ruby, rt, rp, bdi, bdo, span, br, and wbr elements.

4.6.1 The a element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Interactive content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Transparent, but there must be no interactive content descendant.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
href
target
rel
media
hreflang
type
DOM interface:
interface HTMLAnchorElement : HTMLElement {
  stringifier attribute DOMString href;
           attribute DOMString target;

           attribute DOMString rel;
  readonly attribute DOMTokenList relList;
           attribute DOMString media;
           attribute DOMString hreflang;
           attribute DOMString type;

           attribute DOMString text;

  // URL decomposition IDL attributes
           attribute DOMString protocol;
           attribute DOMString host;
           attribute DOMString hostname;
           attribute DOMString port;
           attribute DOMString pathname;
           attribute DOMString search;
           attribute DOMString hash;
};

If the a element has an href attribute, then it represents a hyperlink (a hypertext anchor).

If the a element has no href attribute, then the element represents a placeholder for where a link might otherwise have been placed, if it had been relevant.

The target, rel, media, hreflang, and type attributes must be omitted if the href attribute is not present.

If a site uses a consistent navigation toolbar on every page, then the link that would normally link to the page itself could be marked up using an a element:

<nav>
 <ul>
  <li> <a href="/">Home</a> </li>
  <li> <a href="/news">News</a> </li>
  <li> <a>Examples</a> </li>
  <li> <a href="/legal">Legal</a> </li>
 </ul>
</nav>
a . text

Same as textContent.

The a element may be wrapped around entire paragraphs, lists, tables, and so forth, even entire sections, so long as there is no interactive content within (e.g. buttons or other links). This example shows how this can be used to make an entire advertising block into a link:

<aside class="advertising">
 <h1>Advertising</h1>
 <a href="http://ad.example.com/?adid=1929&amp;pubid=1422">
  <section>
   <h1>Mellblomatic 9000!</h1>
   <p>Turn all your widgets into mellbloms!</p>
   <p>Only $9.99 plus shipping and handling.</p>
  </section>
 </a>
 <a href="http://ad.example.com/?adid=375&amp;pubid=1422">
  <section>
   <h1>The Mellblom Browser</h1>
   <p>Web browsing at the speed of light.</p>
   <p>No other browser goes faster!</p>
  </section>
 </a>
</aside>

4.6.2 The em element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The em element represents stress emphasis of its contents.

The level of stress that a particular piece of content has is given by its number of ancestor em elements.

The placement of stress emphasis changes the meaning of the sentence. The element thus forms an integral part of the content. The precise way in which stress is used in this way depends on the language.

These examples show how changing the stress emphasis changes the meaning. First, a general statement of fact, with no stress:

<p>Cats are cute animals.</p>

By emphasizing the first word, the statement implies that the kind of animal under discussion is in question (maybe someone is asserting that dogs are cute):

<p><em>Cats</em> are cute animals.</p>

Moving the stress to the verb, one highlights that the truth of the entire sentence is in question (maybe someone is saying cats are not cute):

<p>Cats <em>are</em> cute animals.</p>

By moving it to the adjective, the exact nature of the cats is reasserted (maybe someone suggested cats were mean animals):

<p>Cats are <em>cute</em> animals.</p>

Similarly, if someone asserted that cats were vegetables, someone correcting this might emphasize the last word:

<p>Cats are cute <em>animals</em>.</p>

By emphasizing the entire sentence, it becomes clear that the speaker is fighting hard to get the point across. This kind of stress emphasis also typically affects the punctuation, hence the exclamation mark here.

<p><em>Cats are cute animals!</em></p>

Anger mixed with emphasizing the cuteness could lead to markup such as:

<p><em>Cats are <em>cute</em> animals!</em></p>

The em element isn't a generic "italics" element. Sometimes, text is intended to stand out from the rest of the paragraph, as if it was in a different mood or voice. For this, the i element is more appropriate.

The em element also isn't intended to convey importance; for that purpose, the strong element is more appropriate.

4.6.3 The strong element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The strong element represents strong importance for its contents.

The relative level of importance of a piece of content is given by its number of ancestor strong elements; each strong element increases the importance of its contents.

Changing the importance of a piece of text with the strong element does not change the meaning of the sentence.

Here is an example of a warning notice in a game, with the various parts marked up according to how important they are:

<p><strong>Warning.</strong> This dungeon is dangerous.
<strong>Avoid the ducks.</strong> Take any gold you find.
<strong><strong>Do not take any of the diamonds</strong>,
they are explosive and <strong>will destroy anything within
ten meters.</strong></strong> You have been warned.</p>

4.6.4 The small element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The small element represents side comments such as small print.

Small print typically features disclaimers, caveats, legal restrictions, or copyrights. Small print is also sometimes used for attribution, or for satisfying licensing requirements.

The small element does not "de-emphasize" or lower the importance of text emphasized by the em element or marked as important with the strong element. To mark text as not emphasized or important, simply do not mark it up with the em or strong elements respectively.

The small element should not be used for extended spans of text, such as multiple paragraphs, lists, or sections of text. It is only intended for short runs of text. The text of a page listing terms of use, for instance, would not be a suitable candidate for the small element: in such a case, the text is not a side comment, it is the main content of the page.

In this example, the small element is used to indicate that value-added tax is not included in a price of a hotel room:

<dl>
 <dt>Single room
 <dd>199 € <small>breakfast included, VAT not included</small>
 <dt>Double room
 <dd>239 € <small>breakfast included, VAT not included</small>
</dl>

In this second example, the small element is used for a side comment in an article.

<p>Example Corp today announced record profits for the
second quarter <small>(Full Disclosure: Foo News is a subsidiary of
Example Corp)</small>, leading to speculation about a third quarter
merger with Demo Group.</p>

This is distinct from a sidebar, which might be multiple paragraphs long and is removed from the main flow of text. In the following example, we see a sidebar from the same article. This sidebar also has small print, indicating the source of the information in the sidebar.

<aside>
 <h1>Example Corp</h1>
 <p>This company mostly creates small software and Web
 sites.</p>
 <p>The Example Corp company mission is "To provide entertainment
 and news on a sample basis".</p>
 <p><small>Information obtained from <a
 href="http://example.com/about.html">example.com</a> home
 page.</small></p>
</aside>

In this last example, the small element is marked as being important small print.

<p><strong><small>Continued use of this service will result in a kiss.</small></strong></p>

4.6.5 The s element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The s element represents contents that are no longer accurate or no longer relevant.

The s element is not appropriate when indicating document edits; to mark a span of text as having been removed from a document, use the del element.

In this example a recommended retail price has been marked as no longer relevant as the product in question has a new sale price.

<p>Buy our Iced Tea and Lemonade!</p>
<p><s>Recommended retail price: $3.99 per bottle</s></p>
<p><strong>Now selling for just $2.99 a bottle!</strong></p>

4.6.6 The cite element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The cite element represents the title of a work (e.g. a book, a paper, an essay, a poem, a score, a song, a script, a film, a TV show, a game, a sculpture, a painting, a theatre production, a play, an opera, a musical, an exhibition, a legal case report, etc). This can be a work that is being quoted or referenced in detail (i.e. a citation), or it can just be a work that is mentioned in passing.

A person's name is not the title of a work — even if people call that person a piece of work — and the element must therefore not be used to mark up people's names. (In some cases, the b element might be appropriate for names; e.g. in a gossip article where the names of famous people are keywords rendered with a different style to draw attention to them. In other cases, if an element is really needed, the span element can be used.)

This next example shows a typical use of the cite element:

<p>My favorite book is <cite>The Reality Dysfunction</cite> by
Peter F. Hamilton. My favorite comic is <cite>Pearls Before
Swine</cite> by Stephan Pastis. My favorite track is <cite>Jive
Samba</cite> by the Cannonball Adderley Sextet.</p>

This is correct usage:

<p>According to the Wikipedia article <cite>HTML</cite>, as it
stood in mid-February 2008, leaving attribute values unquoted is
unsafe. This is obviously an over-simplification.</p>

The following, however, is incorrect usage, as the cite element here is containing far more than the title of the work:

<!-- do not copy this example, it is an example of bad usage! -->
<p>According to <cite>the Wikipedia article on HTML</cite>, as it
stood in mid-February 2008, leaving attribute values unquoted is
unsafe. This is obviously an over-simplification.</p>

The cite element is obviously a key part of any citation in a bibliography, but it is only used to mark the title:

<p><cite>Universal Declaration of Human Rights</cite>, United Nations,
December 1948. Adopted by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III).</p>

A citation is not a quote (for which the q element is appropriate).

This is incorrect usage, because cite is not for quotes:

<p><cite>This is wrong!</cite>, said Ian.</p>

This is also incorrect usage, because a person is not a work:

<p><q>This is still wrong!</q>, said <cite>Ian</cite>.</p>

The correct usage does not use a cite element:

<p><q>This is correct</q>, said Ian.</p>

As mentioned above, the b element might be relevant for marking names as being keywords in certain kinds of documents:

<p>And then <b>Ian</b> said <q>this might be right, in a
gossip column, maybe!</q>.</p>

4.6.7 The q element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
cite
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLQuoteElement.

The q element represents some phrasing content quoted from another source.

Quotation punctuation (such as quotation marks) that is quoting the contents of the element must not appear immediately before, after, or inside q elements; they will be inserted into the rendering by the user agent.

Content inside a q element must be quoted from another source, whose address, if it has one, may be cited in the cite attribute. The source may be fictional, as when quoting characters in a novel or screenplay.

If the cite attribute is present, it must be a valid URL potentially surrounded by spaces.

The q element must not be used in place of quotation marks that do not represent quotes; for example, it is inappropriate to use the q element for marking up sarcastic statements.

The use of q elements to mark up quotations is entirely optional; using explicit quotation punctuation without q elements is just as correct.

Here is a simple example of the use of the q element:

<p>The man said <q>Things that are impossible just take
longer</q>. I disagreed with him.</p>

Here is an example with both an explicit citation link in the q element, and an explicit citation outside:

<p>The W3C page <cite>About W3C</cite> says the W3C's
mission is <q cite="http://www.w3.org/Consortium/">To lead the
World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and
guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web</q>. I
disagree with this mission.</p>

In the following example, the quotation itself contains a quotation:

<p>In <cite>Example One</cite>, he writes <q>The man
said <q>Things that are impossible just take longer</q>. I
disagreed with him</q>. Well, I disagree even more!</p>

In the following example, quotation marks are used instead of the q element:

<p>His best argument was ❝I disagree❞, which
I thought was laughable.</p>

In the following example, there is no quote — the quotation marks are used to name a word. Use of the q element in this case would be inappropriate.

<p>The word "ineffable" could have been used to describe the disaster
resulting from the campaign's mismanagement.</p>

4.6.8 The dfn element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content, but there must be no dfn element descendants.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
Also, the title attribute has special semantics on this element.
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The dfn element represents the defining instance of a term. The paragraph, description list group, or section that is the nearest ancestor of the dfn element must also contain the definition(s) for the term given by the dfn element.

Defining term: If the dfn element has a title attribute, then the exact value of that attribute is the term being defined. Otherwise, if it contains exactly one element child node and no child Text nodes, and that child element is an abbr element with a title attribute, then the exact value of that attribute is the term being defined. Otherwise, it is the exact textContent of the dfn element that gives the term being defined.

If the title attribute of the dfn element is present, then it must contain only the term being defined.

The title attribute of ancestor elements does not affect dfn elements.

An a element that links to a dfn element represents an instance of the term defined by the dfn element.

In the following fragment, the term "Garage Door Opener" is first defined in the first paragraph, then used in the second. In both cases, its abbreviation is what is actually displayed.

<p>The <dfn><abbr title="Garage Door Opener">GDO</abbr></dfn>
is a device that allows off-world teams to open the iris.</p>
<!-- ... later in the document: -->
<p>Teal'c activated his <abbr title="Garage Door Opener">GDO</abbr>
and so Hammond ordered the iris to be opened.</p>

With the addition of an a element, the reference can be made explicit:

<p>The <dfn id=gdo><abbr title="Garage Door Opener">GDO</abbr></dfn>
is a device that allows off-world teams to open the iris.</p>
<!-- ... later in the document: -->
<p>Teal'c activated his <a href=#gdo><abbr title="Garage Door Opener">GDO</abbr></a>
and so Hammond ordered the iris to be opened.</p>

4.6.9 The abbr element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
Also, the title attribute has special semantics on this element.
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The abbr element represents an abbreviation or acronym, optionally with its expansion. The title attribute may be used to provide an expansion of the abbreviation. The attribute, if specified, must contain an expansion of the abbreviation, and nothing else.

The paragraph below contains an abbreviation marked up with the abbr element. This paragraph defines the term "Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group".

<p>The <dfn id=whatwg><abbr
title="Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group">WHATWG</abbr></dfn>
is a loose unofficial collaboration of Web browser manufacturers and
interested parties who wish to develop new technologies designed to
allow authors to write and deploy Applications over the World Wide
Web.</p>

An alternative way to write this would be:

<p>The <dfn id=whatwg>Web Hypertext Application Technology
Working Group</dfn> (<abbr
title="Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group">WHATWG</abbr>)
is a loose unofficial collaboration of Web browser manufacturers and
interested parties who wish to develop new technologies designed to
allow authors to write and deploy Applications over the World Wide
Web.</p>

This paragraph has two abbreviations. Notice how only one is defined; the other, with no expansion associated with it, does not use the abbr element.

<p>The
<abbr title="Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group">WHATWG</abbr>
started working on HTML5 in 2004.</p>

This paragraph links an abbreviation to its definition.

<p>The <a href="http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/single-page.html#whatwg"><abbr
title="Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group">WHATWG</abbr></a>
community does not have much representation from Asia.</p>

This paragraph marks up an abbreviation without giving an expansion, possibly as a hook to apply styles for abbreviations (e.g. smallcaps).

<p>Philip` and Dashiva both denied that they were going to
get the issue counts from past revisions of the specification to
backfill the <abbr>WHATWG</abbr> issue graph.</p>

If an abbreviation is pluralized, the expansion's grammatical number (plural vs singular) must match the grammatical number of the contents of the element.

Here the plural is outside the element, so the expansion is in the singular:

<p>Two <abbr title="Working Group">WG</abbr>s worked on
this specification: the <abbr>WHATWG</abbr> and the
<abbr>HTMLWG</abbr>.</p>

Here the plural is inside the element, so the expansion is in the plural:

<p>Two <abbr title="Working Groups">WGs</abbr> worked on
this specification: the <abbr>WHATWG</abbr> and the
<abbr>HTMLWG</abbr>.</p>

Abbreviations do not have to be marked up using this element. It is expected to be useful in the following cases:

Providing an expansion in a title attribute once will not necessarily cause other abbr elements in the same document with the same contents but without a title attribute to behave as if they had the same expansion. Every abbr element is independent.

4.6.10 The time element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
datetime
DOM interface:
interface HTMLTimeElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString datetime;
};

The time element represents its contents, along with a machine-readable form of those contents in the datetime attribute. The kind of content is limited to various kinds of dates, times, time-zone offsets, and durations, as described below.

The datetime attribute may be present. If present, its value must be a representation of the element's contents in a machine-readable format.

A time element that does not have a datetime content attribute must not have any element descendants.

The datetime value of a time element is the value of the element's datetime content attribute, if it has one, or the element's textContent, if it does not.

The datetime value of a time element must match one of the following syntaxes.

A valid month string
<time>2011-11</time>
A valid date string
<time>2011-11-12</time>
A valid yearless date string
<time>11-12</time>
A valid time string
<time>14:54</time>
<time>14:54:39</time>
<time>14:54:39.92922</time>
A valid local date and time string
<time>2011-11-12T14:54</time>
<time>2011-11-12T14:54:39</time>
<time>2011-11-12T14:54:39.92922</time>
<time>2011-11-12 14:54</time>
<time>2011-11-12 14:54:39</time>
<time>2011-11-12 14:54:39.92922</time>
A valid time-zone offset string
<time>Z</time>
<time>+0000</time>
<time>+00:00</time>
<time>-0800</time>
<time>-08:00</time>
A valid global date and time string
<time>2011-11-12T14:54Z</time>
<time>2011-11-12T14:54:39Z</time>
<time>2011-11-12T14:54:39.92922Z</time>
<time>2011-11-12T14:54+0000</time>
<time>2011-11-12T14:54:39+0000</time>
<time>2011-11-12T14:54:39.92922+0000</time>
<time>2011-11-12T14:54+00:00</time>
<time>2011-11-12T14:54:39+00:00</time>
<time>2011-11-12T14:54:39.92922+00:00</time>
<time>2011-11-12T06:54-0800</time>
<time>2011-11-12T06:54:39-0800</time>
<time>2011-11-12T06:54:39.92922-0800</time>
<time>2011-11-12T06:54-08:00</time>
<time>2011-11-12T06:54:39-08:00</time>
<time>2011-11-12T06:54:39.92922-08:00</time>
<time>2011-11-12 14:54Z</time>
<time>2011-11-12 14:54:39Z</time>
<time>2011-11-12 14:54:39.92922Z</time>
<time>2011-11-12 14:54+0000</time>
<time>2011-11-12 14:54:39+0000</time>
<time>2011-11-12 14:54:39.92922+0000</time>
<time>2011-11-12 14:54+00:00</time>
<time>2011-11-12 14:54:39+00:00</time>
<time>2011-11-12 14:54:39.92922+00:00</time>
<time>2011-11-12 06:54-0800</time>
<time>2011-11-12 06:54:39-0800</time>
<time>2011-11-12 06:54:39.92922-0800</time>
<time>2011-11-12 06:54-08:00</time>
<time>2011-11-12 06:54:39-08:00</time>
<time>2011-11-12 06:54:39.92922-08:00</time>
A valid week string
<time>2011-W46</time>
A valid non-negative integer representing a year
<time>2011</time>
A valid duration string
<time>PT4H18M3S</time>
<time>4h 18m 3s</time>

The time element can be used to encode dates, for example in microformats. The following shows a hypothetical way of encoding an event using a variant on hCalendar that uses the time element:

<div class="vevent">
 <a class="url" href="http://www.web2con.com/">http://www.web2con.com/</a>
  <span class="summary">Web 2.0 Conference</span>:
  <time class="dtstart" datetime="2005-10-05">October 5</time> -
  <time class="dtend" datetime="2005-10-07">7</time>,
  at the <span class="location">Argent Hotel, San Francisco, CA</span>
 </div>

In the following snippet, the time element is used to encode a date in the ISO8601 format, for later processing by a script:

<p>Our first date was <time datetime="2006-09-23">a Saturday</time>.</p>

In this second snippet, the value includes a time:

<p>We stopped talking at <time datetime="2006-09-24T05:00-07:00">5am the next morning</time>.</p>

A script loaded by the page (and thus privy to the page's internal convention of marking up dates and times using the time element) could scan through the page and look at all the time elements therein to create an index of dates and times.

For example, this element conveys the string "Tuesday" with the additional semantic that the 12th of November 2011 is the meaning that corresponds to "Tuesday":

Today is <time datetime="2011-11-12">Tuesday</time>.

In this example, a specific time in the Pacific Standard Time timezone is specified:

Your next meeting is at <time datetime="2011-11-12T15:00-08:00">3pm</time>.

4.6.11 The code element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The code element represents a fragment of computer code. This could be an XML element name, a filename, a computer program, or any other string that a computer would recognize.

Although there is no formal way to indicate the language of computer code being marked up, authors who wish to mark code elements with the language used, e.g. so that syntax highlighting scripts can use the right rules, may do so by adding a class prefixed with "language-" to the element.

The following example shows how the element can be used in a paragraph to mark up element names and computer code, including punctuation.

<p>The <code>code</code> element represents a fragment of computer
code.</p>

<p>When you call the <code>activate()</code> method on the
<code>robotSnowman</code> object, the eyes glow.</p>

<p>The example below uses the <code>begin</code> keyword to indicate
the start of a statement block. It is paired with an <code>end</code>
keyword, which is followed by the <code>.</code> punctuation character
(full stop) to indicate the end of the program.</p>

The following example shows how a block of code could be marked up using the pre and code elements.

<pre><code class="language-pascal">var i: Integer;
begin
   i := 1;
end.</code></pre>

A class is used in that example to indicate the language used.

See the pre element for more details.

4.6.12 The var element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The var element represents a variable. This could be an actual variable in a mathematical expression or programming context, an identifier representing a constant, a symbol identifying a physical quantity, a function parameter, or just be a term used as a placeholder in prose.

In the paragraph below, the letter "n" is being used as a variable in prose:

<p>If there are <var>n</var> pipes leading to the ice
cream factory then I expect at <em>least</em> <var>n</var>
flavors of ice cream to be available for purchase!</p>

For mathematics, in particular for anything beyond the simplest of expressions, MathML is more appropriate. However, the var element can still be used to refer to specific variables that are then mentioned in MathML expressions.

In this example, an equation is shown, with a legend that references the variables in the equation. The expression itself is marked up with MathML, but the variables are mentioned in the figure's legend using var.

<figure>
 <math>
  <mi>a</mi>
  <mo>=</mo>
  <msqrt>
   <msup><mi>b</mi><mn>2</mn></msup>
   <mi>+</mi>
   <msup><mi>c</mi><mn>2</mn></msup>
  </msqrt>
 </math>
 <figcaption>
  Using Pythagoras' theorem to solve for the hypotenuse <var>a</var> of
  a triangle with sides <var>b</var> and <var>c</var>
 </figcaption>
</figure>

Here, the equation describing mass-energy equivalence is used in a sentence, and the var element is used to mark the variables and constants in that equation:

<p>Then he turned to the blackboard and picked up the chalk. After a few moment's
thought, he wrote <var>E</var> = <var>m</var> <var>c</var><sup>2</sup>. The teacher
looked pleased.</p>

4.6.13 The samp element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The samp element represents (sample) output from a program or computing system.

See the pre and kbd elements for more details.

This example shows the samp element being used inline:

<p>The computer said <samp>Too much cheese in tray
two</samp> but I didn't know what that meant.</p>

This second example shows a block of sample output. Nested samp and kbd elements allow for the styling of specific elements of the sample output using a style sheet.

<pre><samp><span class="prompt">jdoe@mowmow:~$</span> <kbd>ssh demo.example.com</kbd>
Last login: Tue Apr 12 09:10:17 2005 from mowmow.example.com on pts/1
Linux demo 2.6.10-grsec+gg3+e+fhs6b+nfs+gr0501+++p3+c4a+gr2b-reslog-v6.189 #1 SMP Tue Feb 1 11:22:36 PST 2005 i686 unknown

<span class="prompt">jdoe@demo:~$</span> <span class="cursor">_</span></samp></pre>

4.6.14 The kbd element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The kbd element represents user input (typically keyboard input, although it may also be used to represent other input, such as voice commands).

When the kbd element is nested inside a samp element, it represents the input as it was echoed by the system.

When the kbd element contains a samp element, it represents input based on system output, for example invoking a menu item.

When the kbd element is nested inside another kbd element, it represents an actual key or other single unit of input as appropriate for the input mechanism.

Here the kbd element is used to indicate keys to press:

<p>To make George eat an apple, press <kbd><kbd>Shift</kbd>+<kbd>F3</kbd></kbd></p>

In this second example, the user is told to pick a particular menu item. The outer kbd element marks up a block of input, with the inner kbd elements representing each individual step of the input, and the samp elements inside them indicating that the steps are input based on something being displayed by the system, in this case menu labels:

<p>To make George eat an apple, select
    <kbd><kbd><samp>File</samp></kbd>|<kbd><samp>Eat Apple...</samp></kbd></kbd>
</p>

Such precision isn't necessary; the following is equally fine:

<p>To make George eat an apple, select <kbd>File | Eat Apple...</kbd></p>

4.6.15 The sub and sup elements

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Use HTMLElement.

The sup element represents a superscript and the sub element represents a subscript.

These elements must be used only to mark up typographical conventions with specific meanings, not for typographical presentation for presentation's sake. For example, it would be inappropriate for the sub and sup elements to be used in the name of the LaTeX document preparation system. In general, authors should use these elements only if the absence of those elements would change the meaning of the content.

In certain languages, superscripts are part of the typographical conventions for some abbreviations.

<p>The most beautiful women are
<span lang="fr"><abbr>M<sup>lle</sup></abbr> Gwendoline</span> and
<span lang="fr"><abbr>M<sup>me</sup></abbr> Denise</span>.</p>

The sub element can be used inside a var element, for variables that have subscripts.

Here, the sub element is used to represents the subscript that identifies the variable in a family of variables:

<p>The coordinate of the <var>i</var>th point is
(<var>x<sub><var>i</var></sub></var>, <var>y<sub><var>i</var></sub></var>).
For example, the 10th point has coordinate
(<var>x<sub>10</sub></var>, <var>y<sub>10</sub></var>).</p>

Mathematical expressions often use subscripts and superscripts. Authors are encouraged to use MathML for marking up mathematics, but authors may opt to use sub and sup if detailed mathematical markup is not desired. [MATHML]

<var>E</var>=<var>m</var><var>c</var><sup>2</sup>
f(<var>x</var>, <var>n</var>) = log<sub>4</sub><var>x</var><sup><var>n</var></sup>

4.6.16 The i element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The i element represents a span of text in an alternate voice or mood, or otherwise offset from the normal prose in a manner indicating a different quality of text, such as a taxonomic designation, a technical term, an idiomatic phrase from another language, a thought, or a ship name in Western texts.

Terms in languages different from the main text should be annotated with lang attributes (or, in XML, lang attributes in the XML namespace).

The examples below show uses of the i element:

<p>The <i class="taxonomy">Felis silvestris catus</i> is cute.</p>
<p>The term <i>prose content</i> is defined above.</p>
<p>There is a certain <i lang="fr">je ne sais quoi</i> in the air.</p>

In the following example, a dream sequence is marked up using i elements.

<p>Raymond tried to sleep.</p>
<p><i>The ship sailed away on Thursday</i>, he
dreamt. <i>The ship had many people aboard, including a beautiful
princess called Carey. He watched her, day-in, day-out, hoping she
would notice him, but she never did.</i></p>
<p><i>Finally one night he picked up the courage to speak with
her—</i></p>
<p>Raymond woke with a start as the fire alarm rang out.</p>

Authors can use the class attribute on the i element to identify why the element is being used, so that if the style of a particular use (e.g. dream sequences as opposed to taxonomic terms) is to be changed at a later date, the author doesn't have to go through the entire document (or series of related documents) annotating each use.

Authors are encouraged to consider whether other elements might be more applicable than the i element, for instance the em element for marking up stress emphasis, or the dfn element to mark up the defining instance of a term.

Style sheets can be used to format i elements, just like any other element can be restyled. Thus, it is not the case that content in i elements will necessarily be italicized.

4.6.17 The b element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The b element represents a span of text to which attention is being drawn for utilitarian purposes without conveying any extra importance and with no implication of an alternate voice or mood, such as key words in a document abstract, product names in a review, actionable words in interactive text-driven software, or an article lede.

The following example shows a use of the b element to highlight key words without marking them up as important:

<p>The <b>frobonitor</b> and <b>barbinator</b> components are fried.</p>

In the following example, objects in a text adventure are highlighted as being special by use of the b element.

<p>You enter a small room. Your <b>sword</b> glows
brighter. A <b>rat</b> scurries past the corner wall.</p>

Another case where the b element is appropriate is in marking up the lede (or lead) sentence or paragraph. The following example shows how a BBC article about kittens adopting a rabbit as their own could be marked up:

<article>
 <h2>Kittens 'adopted' by pet rabbit</h2>
 <p><b class="lede">Six abandoned kittens have found an
 unexpected new mother figure — a pet rabbit.</b></p>
 <p>Veterinary nurse Melanie Humble took the three-week-old
 kittens to her Aberdeen home.</p>
[...]

As with the i element, authors can use the class attribute on the b element to identify why the element is being used, so that if the style of a particular use is to be changed at a later date, the author doesn't have to go through annotating each use.

The b element should be used as a last resort when no other element is more appropriate. In particular, headings should use the h1 to h6 elements, stress emphasis should use the em element, importance should be denoted with the strong element, and text marked or highlighted should use the mark element.

The following would be incorrect usage:

<p><b>WARNING!</b> Do not frob the barbinator!</p>

In the previous example, the correct element to use would have been strong, not b.

Style sheets can be used to format b elements, just like any other element can be restyled. Thus, it is not the case that content in b elements will necessarily be boldened.

4.6.18 The u element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The u element represents a span of text with an unarticulated, though explicitly rendered, non-textual annotation, such as labeling the text as being a proper name in Chinese text (a Chinese proper name mark), or labeling the text as being misspelt.

In most cases, another element is likely to be more appropriate: for marking stress emphasis, the em element should be used; for marking key words or phrases either the b element or the mark element should be used, depending on the context; for marking book titles, the cite element should be used ; for labeling text with explicit textual annotations, the ruby element should be used; for labeling ship names in Western texts, the i element should be used.

The default rendering of the u element in visual presentations clashes with the conventional rendering of hyperlinks (underlining). Authors are encouraged to avoid using the u element where it could be confused for a hyperlink.

4.6.19 The mark element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The mark element represents a run of text in one document marked or highlighted for reference purposes, due to its relevance in another context. When used in a quotation or other block of text referred to from the prose, it indicates a highlight that was not originally present but which has been added to bring the reader's attention to a part of the text that might not have been considered important by the original author when the block was originally written, but which is now under previously unexpected scrutiny. When used in the main prose of a document, it indicates a part of the document that has been highlighted due to its likely relevance to the user's current activity.

This example shows how the mark element can be used to bring attention to a particular part of a quotation:

<p lang="en-US">Consider the following quote:</p>
<blockquote lang="en-GB">
 <p>Look around and you will find, no-one's really
 <mark>colour</mark> blind.</p>
</blockquote>
<p lang="en-US">As we can tell from the <em>spelling</em> of the word,
the person writing this quote is clearly not American.</p>

(If the goal was to mark the element as misspelt, however, the u element, possibly with a class, would be more appropriate.)

Another example of the mark element is highlighting parts of a document that are matching some search string. If someone looked at a document, and the server knew that the user was searching for the word "kitten", then the server might return the document with one paragraph modified as follows:

<p>I also have some <mark>kitten</mark>s who are visiting me
these days. They're really cute. I think they like my garden! Maybe I
should adopt a <mark>kitten</mark>.</p>

In the following snippet, a paragraph of text refers to a specific part of a code fragment.

<p>The highlighted part below is where the error lies:</p>
<pre><code>var i: Integer;
begin
   i := <mark>1.1</mark>;
end.</code></pre>

This is separate from syntax highlighting, for which span is more appropriate. Combining both, one would get:

<p>The highlighted part below is where the error lies:</p>
<pre><code><span class=keyword>var</span> <span class=ident>i</span>: <span class=type>Integer</span>;
<span class=keyword>begin</span>
   <span class=ident>i</span> := <span class=literal><mark>1.1</mark></span>;
<span class=keyword>end</span>.</code></pre>

This is another example showing the use of mark to highlight a part of quoted text that was originally not emphasized. In this example, common typographic conventions have led the author to explicitly style mark elements in quotes to render in italics.

<article>
 <style scoped>
  blockquote mark, q mark {
    font: inherit; font-style: italic;
    text-decoration: none;
    background: transparent; color: inherit;
  }
  .bubble em {
    font: inherit; font-size: larger;
    text-decoration: underline;
  }
 </style>
 <h1>She knew</h1>
 <p>Did you notice the subtle joke in the joke on panel 4?</p>
 <blockquote>
  <p class="bubble">I didn't <em>want</em> to believe. <mark>Of course
  on some level I realized it was a known-plaintext attack.</mark> But I
  couldn't admit it until I saw for myself.</p>
 </blockquote>
 <p>(Emphasis mine.) I thought that was great. It's so pedantic, yet it
 explains everything neatly.</p>
</article>

Note, incidentally, the distinction between the em element in this example, which is part of the original text being quoted, and the mark element, which is highlighting a part for comment.

The following example shows the difference between denoting the importance of a span of text (strong) as opposed to denoting the relevance of a span of text (mark). It is an extract from a textbook, where the extract has had the parts relevant to the exam highlighted. The safety warnings, important though they may be, are apparently not relevant to the exam.

<h3>Wormhole Physics Introduction</h3>

<p><mark>A wormhole in normal conditions can be held open for a
maximum of just under 39 minutes.</mark> Conditions that can increase
the time include a powerful energy source coupled to one or both of
the gates connecting the wormhole, and a large gravity well (such as a
black hole).</p>

<p><mark>Momentum is preserved across the wormhole. Electromagnetic
radiation can travel in both directions through a wormhole,
but matter cannot.</mark></p>

<p>When a wormhole is created, a vortex normally forms.
<strong>Warning: The vortex caused by the wormhole opening will
annihilate anything in its path.</strong> Vortexes can be avoided when
using sufficiently advanced dialing technology.</p>

<p><mark>An obstruction in a gate will prevent it from accepting a
wormhole connection.</mark></p>

4.6.20 The ruby element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
See prose.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The ruby element allows one or more spans of phrasing content to be marked with ruby annotations. Ruby annotations are short runs of text presented alongside base text, primarily used in East Asian typography as a guide for pronunciation or to include other annotations. In Japanese, this form of typography is also known as furigana.

The content model of ruby elements consists of one or more of the following sequences:

  1. One or the other of the following:
  2. One or the other of the following:

The ruby and rt elements can be used for a variety of kinds of annotations, including in particular those described below. For more details on Japanese Ruby in particular, and how to render Ruby for Japanese, see Requirements for Japanese Text Layout. [JLREQ]

At the time of writing, CSS does not yet provide a way to fully control the rendering of the HTML ruby element. It is hoped that CSS will be extended to support the styles described below in due course.

Mono-ruby for individual base characters

One or more hiragana or katakana characters (the ruby annotation) are placed with each ideographic character (the base text). This is used to provide readings of kanji characters.

<ruby>B<rt>annotation</ruby>

In this example, notice how each annotation corresponds to a single base character.

<ruby>君<rt>くん</ruby><ruby>子<rt>し</ruby>は<ruby>和<rt>わ</ruby>して<ruby>同<rt>どう</ruby>ぜず。

くんしてどうぜず。

Mono-ruby for compound words (jukugo)

This is similar to the previous case: each ideographic character in the compound word (the base text) has its reading given in hiragana or katakana characters (the ruby annotation). The difference is that the base text segments form a compound word rather than being separate from each other.

<ruby>B<rt>annotation</rt>B<rt>annotation</ruby>

In this example, notice again how each annotation corresponds to a single base character. In this example, each compound word (jukugo) corresponds to a single ruby element.

The rendering here is expected to be that each annotation be placed over (or next to, in vertical text) the corresponding base character, with the annotations not overhanging any of the adjacent characters.

<ruby>鬼<rt>き</rt>門<rt>もん</rt></ruby>の<ruby>方<rt>ほう</rt>角<rt>がく</rt></ruby>を<ruby>凝<rt>ぎょう</rt>視<rt>し</rt></ruby>する

もんほうがくぎょうする

Jukugo-ruby

This is semantically identical to the previous case (each individual ideographic character in the base compound word has its reading given in an annotation in hiragana or katakana characters), but the rendering is the more complicated Jukugo Ruby rendering.

This is the same example as above for mono-ruby for compound words. The different rendering is expected to be achieved using different styling (e.g. in CSS), and is not shown here.

<ruby>鬼<rt>き</rt>門<rt>もん</rt></ruby>の<ruby>方<rt>ほう</rt>角<rt>がく</rt></ruby>を<ruby>凝<rt>ぎょう</rt>視<rt>し</rt></ruby>する

For more details on Jukugo Ruby rendering, see Appendix F in the Requirements for Japanese Text Layout. [JLREQ]

Group ruby for describing meanings

The annotation describes the meaning of the base text, rather than (or in addition to) the pronunciation. As such, both the base text and the annotation can be multiple characters long.

<ruby>BASE<rt>annotation</ruby>

Here a compound ideographic word has its corresponding katakana given as an annotation.

<ruby>境界面<rt>インターフェース</ruby>

境界面インターフェース

Here a compound ideographic word has its translation in English provided as an annotation.

<ruby lang="ja">編集者<rt lang="en">editor</ruby>

編集者editor

Group ruby for Jukuji readings

A phonetic reading that corresponds to multiple base characters, because a one-to-one mapping would be difficult. (In English, the words "Colonel" and "Lieutenant" are examples of words where a direct mapping of pronunciation to individual letters is, in some dialects, rather unclear.)

In this example, the name of a species of flowers has a phonetic reading provided using group ruby:

<ruby>紫陽花<rt>あじさい</ruby>

紫陽花あじさい

Text with both phonetic and semantic annotations (double-sided ruby)

Sometimes, ruby styles described above are combined.

<ruby>BASE<rt>annotation 1<rt>annotation 2</ruby>
<ruby><ruby>B<rt>a</rt>A<rt>n</rt>S<rt>t</rt>E<rt>n</rt></ruby><rt>annotation</ruby>

Here both a phonetic reading and the meaning are given in ruby annotations. The annotation on the nested ruby element gives a mono-ruby phonetic annotation for each base character, while the annotation in the rt element that is a child of the outer ruby element gives the meaning using hiragana.

<ruby><ruby>東<rt>とう</rt>南<rt>なん</rt></ruby><rt>たつみ</rt></ruby>の方角

とうなんたつみの方角

This is the same example, but the meaning is given in English instead of Japanese:

<ruby><ruby>東<rt>とう</rt>南<rt>なん</rt></ruby><rt lang=en>Southeast</rt></ruby>の方角

とうなんSoutheastの方角


Within a ruby element that does not have a ruby element ancestor, content is segmented and segments are placed into three categories: base text segments, annotation segments, and ignored segments. Ignored segments do not form part of the document's semantics (they consist of some inter-element whitespace and rp elements, the latter of which are used for legacy user agents that do not support ruby at all). Base text segments can overlap (with a limit of two segments overlapping any one position in the DOM, and with any segment having an earlier start point than an overlapping segment also having an equal or later end point, and any segment have a later end point than an overlapping segment also having an equal or earlier start point ). Annotation segments correspond to rt elements. Each annotation segment can be associated with a base text segment, and each base text segment can have annotation segments associated with it. (In a conforming document, each base text segment is associated with at least one annotation segment, and each annotation segment is associated with one base text segment.) A ruby element represents the union of the segments of base text it contains, along with the mapping from those base text segments to annotation segments. Segments are described in terms of DOM ranges; annotation segment ranges always consist of exactly one element. [DOMCORE]

At any particular time, the segmentation and categorisation of content of a ruby element is the result that would be obtained from running the following algorithm:

  1. Let base text segments be an empty list of base text segments, each potentially with a list of base text subsegments.

  2. Let annotation segments be an empty list of annotation segments, each potentially being associated with a base text segment or subsegment.

  3. Let root be the ruby element for which the algorithm is being run.

  4. If root has a ruby element ancestor, then jump to the step labeled end.

  5. Let current parent be root.

  6. Let index be 0.

  7. Let start index be null.

  8. Let parent start index be null.

  9. Let current base text be null.

  10. Start mode: If index is equal to or greater than the number of child nodes in current parent, then jump to the step labeled end mode.

  11. If the indexth node in current parent is an rt or rp element, jump to the step labeled annotation mode.

  12. Set start index to the value of index.

  13. Base mode: If the indexth node in current parent is a ruby element, and if current parent is the same element as root, then push a ruby level and then jump to the step labeled start mode.

  14. If the indexth node in current parent is an rt or rp element, then set the current base text and then jump to the step labeled annotation mode.

  15. Increment index by one.

  16. Base mode post-increment: If index is equal to or greater than the number of child nodes in current parent, then jump to the step labeled end mode.

  17. Jump back to the step labeled base mode.

  18. Annotation mode: If the indexth node in current parent is an rt element, then push a ruby annotation and jump to the step labeled annotation mode increment.

  19. If the indexth node in current parent is an rp element, jump to the step labeled annotation mode increment.

  20. If the indexth node in current parent is not a Text node, or is a Text node that is not inter-element whitespace, then jump to the step labeled base mode.

  21. Annotation mode increment: Let lookahead index be index plus one.

  22. Annotation mode white-space skipper: If lookahead index is equal to the number of child nodes in current parent then jump to the step labeled end mode.

  23. If the lookahead indexth node in current parent is an rt element or an rp element, then set index to lookahead index and jump to the step labeled annotation mode.

  24. If the lookahead indexth node in current parent is not a Text node, or is a Text node that is not inter-element whitespace, then jump to the step labeled base mode (without further incrementing index, so the inter-element whitespace seen so far becomes part of the next base text segment).

  25. Increment lookahead index by one.

  26. Jump to the step labeled annotation mode white-space skipper.

  27. End mode: If current parent is not the same element as root, then pop a ruby level and jump to the step labeled base mode post-increment.

  28. End: Return base text segments and annotation segments. Any content of the ruby element not described by segments in either of thost lists is implicitly in an ignored segment.

When the steps above say to set the current base text, it means to run the following steps at that point in the algorithm:

  1. Let text range a DOM range whose start is the boundary point (current parent, start index) and whose end is the boundary point (current parent, index).

  2. Let new text segment be a base text segment described by the range annotation range.

  3. Add new text segment to base text segments.

  4. Let current base text be new text segment.

  5. Let start index be null.

When the steps above say to push a ruby level, it means to run the following steps at that point in the algorithm:

  1. Let current parent be the indexth node in current parent.

  2. Let index be 0.

  3. Set saved start index to the value of start index.

  4. Let start index be null.

When the steps above say to pop a ruby level, it means to run the following steps at that point in the algorithm:

  1. Let index be the position of current parent in root.

  2. Let current parent be root.

  3. Increment index by one.

  4. Set start index to the value of saved start index.

  5. Let saved start index be null.

When the steps above say to push a ruby annotation, it means to run the following steps at that point in the algorithm:

  1. Let rt be the rt element that is the indexth node of current parent.

  2. Let annotation range a DOM range whose start is the boundary point (current parent, index) and whose end is the boundary point (current parent, index plus one) (i.e. that contains only rt).

  3. Let new annotation segment be an annotation segment described by the range annotation range.

  4. If current base text is not null, associate new annotation segment with current base text.

  5. Add new annotation segment to annotation segments.

In this example, each ideograph in the Japanese text 漢字 is annotated with its reading in hiragana.

...
<ruby>漢<rt>かん</rt>字<rt>じ</rt></ruby>
...

This might be rendered as:

The two main ideographs, each with its annotation in hiragana rendered in a smaller font above it.

In this example, each ideograph in the traditional Chinese text 漢字 is annotated with its bopomofo reading.

<ruby>漢<rt>ㄏㄢˋ</rt>字<rt>ㄗˋ</rt></ruby>

This might be rendered as:

The two main ideographs, each with its bopomofo annotation rendered in a smaller font next to it.

In this example, each ideograph in the simplified Chinese text 汉字 is annotated with its pinyin reading.

...<ruby>汉<rt>hàn</rt>字<rt>zì</rt></ruby>...

This might be rendered as:

The two main ideographs, each with its pinyin annotation rendered in a smaller font above it.

In this more contrived example, the acronym "HTML" has four annotations: one for the whole acronym, briefly describing what it is, one for the letters "HT" expanding them to "Hypertext", one for the letter "M" expanding it to "Markup", and one for the letter "L" expanding it to "Language".

<ruby>
 <ruby>HT<rt>Hypertext</rt>M<rt>Markup</rt>L<rt>Language</rt></ruby>
 <rt>An abstract language for describing documents and applications
</ruby>

4.6.21 The rt element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As a child of a ruby element.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The rt element marks the ruby text component of a ruby annotation.

An rt element represents an annotation (given by its children) for the zero or more nodes of phrasing content that immediately precedes it in the ruby element, ignoring rp elements.

4.6.22 The rp element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As a child of a ruby element, either immediately before or immediately after an rt element.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The rp element can be used to provide parentheses around a ruby text component of a ruby annotation, to be shown by user agents that don't support ruby annotations.

An rp element represents nothing .

The example above, in which each ideograph in the text 漢字 is annotated with its phonetic reading, could be expanded to use rp so that in legacy user agents the readings are in parentheses:

...
<ruby>漢<rp> (</rp><rt>かん</rt><rp>) </rp>字<rp> (</rp><rt>じ</rt><rp>) </rp></ruby>
...

In conforming user agents the rendering would be as above, but in user agents that do not support ruby, the rendering would be:

... 漢 (かん) 字 (じ) ...

4.6.23 The bdi element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
Also, the dir global attribute has special semantics on this element.
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The bdi element represents a span of text that is to be isolated from its surroundings for the purposes of bidirectional text formatting. [BIDI]

The dir global attribute defaults to auto on this element (it never inherits from the parent element like with other elements).

This element is especially useful when embedding user-generated content with an unknown directionality.

In this example, usernames are shown along with the number of posts that the user has submitted. If the bdi element were not used, the username of the Arabic user would end up confusing the text (the bidirectional algorithm would put the colon and the number "3" next to the word "User" rather than next to the word "posts").

<ul>
 <li>User <bdi>jcranmer</bdi>: 12 posts.
 <li>User <bdi>hober</bdi>: 5 posts.
 <li>User <bdi>إيان</bdi>: 3 posts.
</ul>

4.6.24 The bdo element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
Also, the dir global attribute has special semantics on this element.
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The bdo element represents explicit text directionality formatting control for its children. It allows authors to override the Unicode bidirectional algorithm by explicitly specifying a direction override. [BIDI]

Authors must specify the dir attribute on this element, with the value ltr to specify a left-to-right override and with the value rtl to specify a right-to-left override.

4.6.25 The span element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLSpanElement : HTMLElement {};

The span element doesn't mean anything on its own, but can be useful when used together with the global attributes, e.g. class, lang, or dir. It represents its children.

In this example, a code fragment is marked up using span elements and class attributes so that its keywords and identifiers can be color-coded from CSS:

<pre><code class="lang-c"><span class="keyword">for</span> (<span class="ident">j</span> = 0; <span class="ident">j</span> &lt; 256; <span class="ident">j</span>++) {
  <span class="ident">i_t3</span> = (<span class="ident">i_t3</span> & 0x1ffff) | (<span class="ident">j</span> &lt;&lt; 17);
  <span class="ident">i_t6</span> = (((((((<span class="ident">i_t3</span> >> 3) ^ <span class="ident">i_t3</span>) >> 1) ^ <span class="ident">i_t3</span>) >> 8) ^ <span class="ident">i_t3</span>) >> 5) & 0xff;
  <span class="keyword">if</span> (<span class="ident">i_t6</span> == <span class="ident">i_t1</span>)
    <span class="keyword">break</span>;
}</code></pre>

4.6.26 The br element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLBRElement : HTMLElement {};

The br element represents a line break.

While line breaks are usually represented in visual media by physically moving subsequent text to a new line, a style sheet or user agent would be equally justified in causing line breaks to be rendered in a different manner, for instance as green dots, or as extra spacing.

br elements must be used only for line breaks that are actually part of the content, as in poems or addresses.

The following example is correct usage of the br element:

<p>P. Sherman<br>
42 Wallaby Way<br>
Sydney</p>

br elements must not be used for separating thematic groups in a paragraph.

The following examples are non-conforming, as they abuse the br element:

<p><a ...>34 comments.</a><br>
<a ...>Add a comment.</a></p>
<p><label>Name: <input name="name"></label><br>
<label>Address: <input name="address"></label></p>

Here are alternatives to the above, which are correct:

<p><a ...>34 comments.</a></p>
<p><a ...>Add a comment.</a></p>
<p><label>Name: <input name="name"></label></p>
<p><label>Address: <input name="address"></label></p>

If a paragraph consists of nothing but a single br element, it represents a placeholder blank line (e.g. as in a template). Such blank lines must not be used for presentation purposes.

4.6.27 The wbr element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The wbr element represents a line break opportunity.

In the following example, someone is quoted as saying something which, for effect, is written as one long word. However, to ensure that the text can be wrapped in a readable fashion, the individual words in the quote are separated using a wbr element.

<p>So then he pointed at the tiger and screamed
"there<wbr>is<wbr>no<wbr>way<wbr>you<wbr>are<wbr>ever<wbr>going<wbr>to<wbr>catch<wbr>me"!</p>

Here, especially long lines of code in a program listing have suggested wrapping points given using wbr elements.

<pre>...
Heading heading = Helm.HeadingFactory(HeadingCoordinates[1], <wbr>HeadingCoordinates[2], <wbr>HeadingCoordinates[3], <wbr>HeadingCoordinates[4]);
Course course = Helm.CourseFactory(Heading, <wbr>Maps.MapFactoryFromHeading(heading), <wbr>Speeds.GetMaximumSpeed().ConvertToWarp());
...</pre>

4.6.28 Usage summary

This section is non-normative.

Element Purpose Example
a Hyperlinks
Visit my <a href="drinks.html">drinks</a> page.
em Stress emphasis
I must say I <em>adore</em> lemonade.
strong Importance
This tea is <strong>very hot</strong>.