1. 4.8 Embedded content
      1. 4.8.1 The picture element
      2. 4.8.2 The source element
      3. 4.8.3 The img element

4.8 Embedded content

4.8.1 The picture element

Support: pictureChrome for Android 62+Chrome 38+iOS Safari 9.3+UC Browser for Android 11.4+Firefox 38+IE NoneSamsung Internet 4+Opera Mini NoneSafari 9.1+Edge 13+Android Browser 62+Opera 25+

Source: caniuse.com

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Embedded content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where embedded content is expected.
Content model:
Zero or more source elements, followed by one img element, optionally intermixed with script-supporting elements.
Tag omission in text/html:
Neither tag is omissible.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLPictureElement.

The picture element is a container which provides multiple sources to its contained img element to allow authors to declaratively control or give hints to the user agent about which image resource to use, based on the screen pixel density, viewport size, image format, and other factors. It represents its children.

The picture element is somewhat different from the similar-looking video and audio elements. While all of them contain source elements, the source element's src attribute has no meaning when the element is nested within a picture element, and the resource selection algorithm is different. Also, the picture element itself does not display anything; it merely provides a context for its contained img element that enables it to choose from multiple URLs.

4.8.2 The source element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As a child of a picture element, before the img element.
As a child of a media element, before any flow content or track elements.
Content model:
Nothing.
Tag omission in text/html:
No end tag.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
src — Address of the resource
type — Type of embedded resource
srcset — Images to use in different situations (e.g. high-resolution displays, small monitors, etc)
sizes — Image sizes for different page layouts
media — Applicable media
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLSourceElement.

The source element allows authors to specify multiple alternative source sets for img elements or multiple alternative media resources for media elements. It does not represent anything on its own.

The type attribute may be present. If present, the value must be a valid MIME type.

The remainder of the requirements depend on whether the parent is a picture element or a media element:

source element's parent is a picture element

The srcset attribute must be present, and is a srcset attribute.

The srcset attribute contributes the image sources to the source set, if the source element is selected.

If the srcset attribute has any image candidate strings using a width descriptor, the sizes attribute must also be present, and is a sizes attribute. The sizes attribute contributes the source size to the source set, if the source element is selected.

The media attributes may also be present. If present, the value must contain a valid media query list. The user agent will skip to the next source element if the value does not match the environment.

The type attribute gives the type of the images in the source set, to allow the user agent to skip to the next source element if it does not support the given type.

If the type attribute is not specified, the user agent will not select a different source element if it finds that it does not support the image format after fetching it.

When a source element has a following sibling source element or img element with a srcset attribute specified, it must have at least one of the following:

The src attribute must not be present.

source element's parent is a media element

The src attribute gives the URL of the media resource. The value must be a valid non-empty URL potentially surrounded by spaces. This attribute must be present.

Dynamically modifying a source element and its attribute when the element is already inserted in a video or audio element will have no effect. To change what is playing, just use the src attribute on the media element directly, possibly making use of the canPlayType() method to pick from amongst available resources. Generally, manipulating source elements manually after the document has been parsed is an unnecessarily complicated approach.

The type attribute gives the type of the media resource, to help the user agent determine if it can play this media resource before fetching it. The codecs parameter, which certain MIME types define, might be necessary to specify exactly how the resource is encoded. [RFC6381]

The following list shows some examples of how to use the codecs= MIME parameter in the type attribute.

H.264 Constrained baseline profile video (main and extended video compatible) level 3 and Low-Complexity AAC audio in MP4 container
<source src='video.mp4' type='video/mp4; codecs="avc1.42E01E, mp4a.40.2"'>
H.264 Extended profile video (baseline-compatible) level 3 and Low-Complexity AAC audio in MP4 container
<source src='video.mp4' type='video/mp4; codecs="avc1.58A01E, mp4a.40.2"'>
H.264 Main profile video level 3 and Low-Complexity AAC audio in MP4 container
<source src='video.mp4' type='video/mp4; codecs="avc1.4D401E, mp4a.40.2"'>
H.264 'High' profile video (incompatible with main, baseline, or extended profiles) level 3 and Low-Complexity AAC audio in MP4 container
<source src='video.mp4' type='video/mp4; codecs="avc1.64001E, mp4a.40.2"'>
MPEG-4 Visual Simple Profile Level 0 video and Low-Complexity AAC audio in MP4 container
<source src='video.mp4' type='video/mp4; codecs="mp4v.20.8, mp4a.40.2"'>
MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Profile Level 0 video and Low-Complexity AAC audio in MP4 container
<source src='video.mp4' type='video/mp4; codecs="mp4v.20.240, mp4a.40.2"'>
MPEG-4 Visual Simple Profile Level 0 video and AMR audio in 3GPP container
<source src='video.3gp' type='video/3gpp; codecs="mp4v.20.8, samr"'>
Theora video and Vorbis audio in Ogg container
<source src='video.ogv' type='video/ogg; codecs="theora, vorbis"'>
Theora video and Speex audio in Ogg container
<source src='video.ogv' type='video/ogg; codecs="theora, speex"'>
Vorbis audio alone in Ogg container
<source src='audio.ogg' type='audio/ogg; codecs=vorbis'>
Speex audio alone in Ogg container
<source src='audio.spx' type='audio/ogg; codecs=speex'>
FLAC audio alone in Ogg container
<source src='audio.oga' type='audio/ogg; codecs=flac'>
Dirac video and Vorbis audio in Ogg container
<source src='video.ogv' type='video/ogg; codecs="dirac, vorbis"'>

The srcset, sizes, and media attributes must not be present.

If the author isn't sure if user agents will all be able to render the media resources provided, the author can listen to the error event on the last source element and trigger fallback behavior:

<script>
 function fallback(video) {
   // replace <video> with its contents
   while (video.hasChildNodes()) {
     if (video.firstChild instanceof HTMLSourceElement)
       video.removeChild(video.firstChild);
     else
       video.parentNode.insertBefore(video.firstChild, video);
   }
   video.parentNode.removeChild(video);
 }
</script>
<video controls autoplay>
 <source src='video.mp4' type='video/mp4; codecs="avc1.42E01E, mp4a.40.2"'>
 <source src='video.ogv' type='video/ogg; codecs="theora, vorbis"'
         onerror="fallback(parentNode)">
 ...
</video>

4.8.3 The img element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Embedded content.
Form-associated element.
If the element has a usemap attribute: Interactive content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where embedded content is expected.
Content model:
Nothing.
Tag omission in text/html:
No end tag.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
alt — Replacement text for use when images are not available
src — Address of the resource
srcset — Images to use in different situations (e.g. high-resolution displays, small monitors, etc)
sizes — Image sizes for different page layouts
crossorigin — How the element handles crossorigin requests
usemap — Name of image map to use
ismap — Whether the image is a server-side image map
width — Horizontal dimension
height — Vertical dimension
referrerpolicyReferrer policy for fetches initiated by the element
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLImageElement.

An img element represents an image.

The image given by the src and srcset attributes, and any previous sibling source elements' srcset attributes if the parent is a picture element, is the embedded content; the value of the alt attribute provides equivalent content for those who cannot process images or who have image loading disabled (i.e. it is the img element's fallback content).

Support: srcsetChrome for Android 62+Chrome 38+iOS Safari 9.0+UC Browser for Android 11.4+Firefox 38+IE NoneSamsung Internet 4+Opera Mini NoneSafari 9+Edge 16+Android Browser 62+Opera 25+

Source: caniuse.com

The requirements on the alt attribute's value are described in a separate section.

The src attribute must be present, and must contain a valid non-empty URL potentially surrounded by spaces referencing a non-interactive, optionally animated, image resource that is neither paged nor scripted.

The requirements above imply that images can be static bitmaps (e.g. PNGs, GIFs, JPEGs), single-page vector documents (single-page PDFs, XML files with an SVG document element), animated bitmaps (APNGs, animated GIFs), animated vector graphics (XML files with an SVG document element that use declarative SMIL animation), and so forth. However, these definitions preclude SVG files with script, multipage PDF files, interactive MNG files, HTML documents, plain text documents, and so forth. [PNG] [GIF] [JPEG] [PDF] [XML] [APNG] [SVG] [MNG]

The srcset attribute may also be present, and is a srcset attribute.

The srcset attribute and the src attribute (if width descriptors are not used) contribute the image sources to the source set (if no source element was selected).

If the srcset attribute is present and has any image candidate strings using a width descriptor, the sizes attribute must also be present, and is a sizes attribute. The sizes attribute contributes the source size to the source set (if no source element was selected).

The crossorigin attribute is a CORS settings attribute. Its purpose is to allow images from third-party sites that allow cross-origin access to be used with canvas.

The referrerpolicy attribute is a referrer policy attribute. Its purpose is to set the referrer policy used when fetching the image. [REFERRERPOLICY]


The img element must not be used as a layout tool. In particular, img elements should not be used to display transparent images, as such images rarely convey meaning and rarely add anything useful to the document.


The usemap attribute, if present, can indicate that the image has an associated image map.

The ismap attribute, when used on an element that is a descendant of an a element with an href attribute, indicates by its presence that the element provides access to a server-side image map. This affects how events are handled on the corresponding a element.

The ismap attribute is a boolean attribute. The attribute must not be specified on an element that does not have an ancestor a element with an href attribute.

The usemap and ismap attributes can result in confusing behavior when used together with source elements with the media attribute specified in a picture element.

The img element supports dimension attributes.

image . width [ = value ]
image . height [ = value ]

These attributes return the actual rendered dimensions of the image, or zero if the dimensions are not known.

They can be set, to change the corresponding content attributes.

image . naturalWidth
image . naturalHeight

These attributes return the intrinsic dimensions of the image, or zero if the dimensions are not known.

image . complete

Returns true if the image has been completely downloaded or if no image is specified; otherwise, returns false.

image . currentSrc

Returns the image's absolute URL.

image . decode()

Images usually exist in some encoded form; user agents need to decode them into raw pixels before displaying them. This process can be relatively expensive.

This method causes the user agent to decode the image in parallel, returning a promise that fulfills when decoding is complete. The decoded image data will then be readily available for at least one frame after the fulfillment, ensuring that attempting to display the image will complete without decoding delay.

The promise will be rejected with an "EncodingError" DOMException if the image cannot be decoded.

image = new Image( [ width [, height ] ] )

Returns a new img element, with the width and height attributes set to the values passed in the relevant arguments, if applicable.

Support: img-naturalwidth-naturalheightChrome for Android 62+Chrome 4+iOS Safari 3.2+UC Browser for Android 11.4+Firefox 2+IE 9+Samsung Internet 4+Opera Mini all+Safari 3.1+Edge 12+Android Browser 2.1+Opera 9+

Source: caniuse.com

Without the decode() method, the process of loading an img element and then displaying it might look like the following:

const img = new Image();
img.src = "nebula.jpg";
img.onload = () => {
    document.body.appendChild(img);
};
img.onerror = () => {
    document.body.appendChild(new Text("Could not load the nebula :("));
};

However, this can cause notable dropped frames, as the paint that occurs after inserting the image into the DOM causes a synchronous decode on the main thread.

This can instead be rewritten using the decode() method:

const img = new Image();
img.src = "nebula.jpg";
img.decode().then(() => {
    document.body.appendChild(img);
}).catch(() => {
    document.body.appendChild(new Text("Could not load the nebula :("));
});

This latter form avoids the dropped frames of the original, by allowing the user agent to decode the image in parallel, and only inserting it into the DOM (and thus causing it to be painted) once the decoding process is complete.

Because the decode() method attempts to ensure that the decoded image data is available for at least one frame, it can be combined with the requestAnimationFrame() API. This means it can be used with coding styles or frameworks that ensure that all DOM modifications are batched together as animation frame callbacks:

const container = document.querySelector("#container");

const { containerWidth, containerHeight } = computeDesiredSize();
requestAnimationFrame(() => {
 container.style.width = containerWidth;
 container.style.height = containerHeight;
});

// ...

const img = new Image();
img.src = "supernova.jpg";
img.decode().then(() => {
    requestAnimationFrame(() => container.appendChild(img));
});

A single image can have different appropriate alternative text depending on the context.

In each of the following cases, the same image is used, yet the alt text is different each time. The image is the coat of arms of the Carouge municipality in the canton Geneva in Switzerland.

Here it is used as a supplementary icon:

<p>I lived in <img src="carouge.svg" alt=""> Carouge.</p>

Here it is used as an icon representing the town:

<p>Home town: <img src="carouge.svg" alt="Carouge"></p>

Here it is used as part of a text on the town:

<p>Carouge has a coat of arms.</p>
<p><img src="carouge.svg" alt="The coat of arms depicts a lion, sitting in front of a tree."></p>
<p>It is used as decoration all over the town.</p>

Here it is used as a way to support a similar text where the description is given as well as, instead of as an alternative to, the image:

<p>Carouge has a coat of arms.</p>
<p><img src="carouge.svg" alt=""></p>
<p>The coat of arms depicts a lion, sitting in front of a tree.
It is used as decoration all over the town.</p>

Here it is used as part of a story:

<p>She picked up the folder and a piece of paper fell out.</p>
<p><img src="carouge.svg" alt="Shaped like a shield, the paper had a
red background, a green tree, and a yellow lion with its tongue
hanging out and whose tail was shaped like an S."></p>
<p>She stared at the folder. S! The answer she had been looking for all
this time was simply the letter S! How had she not seen that before? It all
came together now. The phone call where Hector had referred to a lion's tail,
the time Maria had stuck her tongue out...</p>

Here it is not known at the time of publication what the image will be, only that it will be a coat of arms of some kind, and thus no replacement text can be provided, and instead only a brief caption for the image is provided, in the title attribute:

<p>The last user to have uploaded a coat of arms uploaded this one:</p>
<p><img src="last-uploaded-coat-of-arms.cgi" title="User-uploaded coat of arms."></p>

Ideally, the author would find a way to provide real replacement text even in this case, e.g. by asking the previous user. Not providing replacement text makes the document more difficult to use for people who are unable to view images, e.g. blind users, or users or very low-bandwidth connections or who pay by the byte, or users who are forced to use a text-only Web browser.

Here are some more examples showing the same picture used in different contexts, with different appropriate alternate texts each time.

<article>
 <h1>My cats</h1>
 <h2>Fluffy</h2>
 <p>Fluffy is my favorite.</p>
 <img src="fluffy.jpg" alt="She likes playing with a ball of yarn.">
 <p>She's just too cute.</p>
 <h2>Miles</h2>
 <p>My other cat, Miles just eats and sleeps.</p>
</article>
<article>
 <h1>Photography</h1>
 <h2>Shooting moving targets indoors</h2>
 <p>The trick here is to know how to anticipate; to know at what speed and
 what distance the subject will pass by.</p>
 <img src="fluffy.jpg" alt="A cat flying by, chasing a ball of yarn, can be
 photographed quite nicely using this technique.">
 <h2>Nature by night</h2>
 <p>To achieve this, you'll need either an extremely sensitive film, or
 immense flash lights.</p>
</article>
<article>
 <h1>About me</h1>
 <h2>My pets</h2>
 <p>I've got a cat named Fluffy and a dog named Miles.</p>
 <img src="fluffy.jpg" alt="Fluffy, my cat, tends to keep itself busy.">
 <p>My dog Miles and I like go on long walks together.</p>
 <h2>music</h2>
 <p>After our walks, having emptied my mind, I like listening to Bach.</p>
</article>
<article>
 <h1>Fluffy and the Yarn</h1>
 <p>Fluffy was a cat who liked to play with yarn. She also liked to jump.</p>
 <aside><img src="fluffy.jpg" alt="" title="Fluffy"></aside>
 <p>She would play in the morning, she would play in the evening.</p>
</article>