1. 4.4 Grouping content
      1. 4.4.1 The p element
      2. 4.4.2 The hr element
      3. 4.4.3 The pre element
      4. 4.4.4 The blockquote element
      5. 4.4.5 The ol element
      6. 4.4.6 The ul element
      7. 4.4.7 The menu element
      8. 4.4.8 The li element
      9. 4.4.9 The dl element
      10. 4.4.10 The dt element
      11. 4.4.11 The dd element
      12. 4.4.12 The figure element
      13. 4.4.13 The figcaption element
      14. 4.4.14 The main element
      15. 4.4.15 The div element

4.4 Grouping content

4.4.1 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.
Tag omission in text/html:
A p element's end tag can be omitted if the p element is immediately followed by an address, article, aside, blockquote, details, div, dl, fieldset, figcaption, figure, footer, form, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, header, hgroup, hr, main, menu, nav, ol, p, pre, section, table, or ul element, or if there is no more content in the parent element and the parent element is an HTML element that is not an a, audio, del, ins, map, noscript, or video element, or an autonomous custom element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
[Exposed=Window,
 HTMLConstructor]
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 herself on a piece of
carpet. Later in her 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 realize 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 specification: 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.

4.4.2 The hr element

Categories:
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Nothing.
Tag omission in text/html:
No end tag.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
[Exposed=Window,
 HTMLConstructor]
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.

4.4.3 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.
Tag omission in text/html:
Neither tag is omissible.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
[Exposed=Window,
 HTMLConstructor]
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.

This element has rendering requirements involving the bidirectional algorithm.

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>

4.4.4 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.
Tag omission in text/html:
Neither tag is omissible.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
cite — Link to the source of the quotation or more information about the edit
DOM interface:
[Exposed=Window,
 HTMLConstructor]
interface HTMLQuoteElement : HTMLElement {
  [CEReactions] attribute USVString 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. To obtain the corresponding citation link, the value of the attribute must be parsed relative to the element's node document. User agents may allow users to follow such citation links, but they are primarily intended for private use (e.g., by server-side scripts collecting statistics about a site's use of quotations), not for readers.

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 "Jane ate the cracker. She then said she liked apples and fish."; it could be quoted as follows:

<blockquote>
 <p>[Jane] then said she 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.

The cite IDL attribute must reflect the element's cite content attribute.

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 Inquirer</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="https://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="https://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 possibility.</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.

4.4.5 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 and script-supporting elements.
Tag omission in text/html:
Neither tag is omissible.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
reversed — Number the list backwards
startStarting value of the list
type — Kind of list marker
DOM interface:
[Exposed=Window,
 HTMLConstructor]
interface HTMLOListElement : HTMLElement {
  [CEReactions] attribute boolean reversed;
  [CEReactions] attribute long start;
  [CEReactions] 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, ...).

Support: ol-reversedChrome for Android 61+Chrome 20+iOS Safari 6.0+UC Browser for Android 11.4+Firefox 18+Samsung Internet 4+IE NoneOpera Mini all+Safari 6.1+Edge NoneAndroid Browser 4.4+Opera 12.1+

Source: caniuse.com

The start attribute, if present, must be a valid integer. It is used to determine the starting value of the list.

An ol element has a starting value, which is an integer determined as follows:

  1. If the ol element has a start attribute, then:

    1. Let parsed be the result of parsing the value of the attribute as an integer.

    2. If parsed is not an error, then return parsed.

  2. If the ol element has a reversed attribute, then return the number of owned li elements.

  3. Return 1.

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. The type attribute represents the state given in the cell in the second column of the row whose first cell matches the attribute's value; if none of the cells match, or if the attribute is omitted, then the attribute represents the decimal state.

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. ...

User agents should render the items of the list in a manner consistent with the state of the type attribute of the ol element. Numbers less than or equal to zero should always use the decimal system regardless of the type attribute.

For CSS user agents, a mapping for this attribute to the 'list-style-type' CSS property is given in the rendering section (the mapping is straightforward: the states above have the same names as their corresponding CSS values).

It is possible to redefine the default CSS list styles used to implement this attribute in CSS user agents; doing so will affect how list items are rendered.

The reversed and type IDL attributes must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

The start IDL attribute must reflect the content attribute of the same name, with a default value of 1.

This means that the start IDL attribute does not necessarily match the list's starting value, in cases where the start content attribute is omitted and the reversed content attribute is specified.

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>

4.4.6 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 and script-supporting elements.
Tag omission in text/html:
Neither tag is omissible.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
[Exposed=Window,
 HTMLConstructor]
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>

4.4.7 The menu 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 and script-supporting elements.
Tag omission in text/html:
Neither tag is omissible.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
[Exposed=Window,
 HTMLConstructor]
interface HTMLMenuElement : HTMLElement {
};

The menu element represents a toolbar consisting of its contents, in the form of an unordered list of items (represented by li elements), each of which represents a command that the user can perform or activate.

The menu element is simply a semantic alternative to ul to express an unordered list of commands (a "toolbar").

In this example, a text-editing application uses a menu element to provide a series of editing commands:

<menu>
 <li><button onclick="copy()"><img src="copy.svg" alt="Copy"></button></li>
 <li><button onclick="cut()"><img src="cut.svg" alt="Cut"></button></li>
 <li><button onclick="paste()"><img src="paste.svg" alt="Paste"></button></li>
</menu>

Note that the styling to make this look like a conventional toolbar menu is up to the application.

4.4.8 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.
Tag omission in text/html:
An li element's end tag can be omitted if the li element is immediately followed by another li element or if there is no more content in the parent element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
If the element is not a child of an ul or menu element: valueOrdinal value of the list item
DOM interface:
[Exposed=Window,
 HTMLConstructor]
interface HTMLLIElement : HTMLElement {
  [CEReactions] 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.

The value attribute, if present, must be a valid integer. It is used to determine the ordinal value of the list item, when the li's list owner is an ol element.


Any element whose computed value of 'display' is 'list-item' has a list owner, which is determined as follows:

  1. If the element is not being rendered, return null; the element has no list owner.

  2. Let ancestor be the element's parent.

  3. If the element has an ol, ul, or menu ancestor, set ancestor to the closest such ancestor element.

  4. Return the closest inclusive ancestor of ancestor that produces a CSS box.

    Such an element will always exist, as at the very least the document element will always produce a CSS box.

To determine the ordinal value of each element owned by a given list owner owner, perform the following steps:

  1. Let i be 1.

  2. If owner is an ol element, let numbering be owner's starting value. Otherwise, let numbering be 1.

  3. Loop: If i is greater than the number of list items that owner owns, then abort this algorithm; all of owner's owned list items have been assigned ordinal values.

  4. Let item be the ith of owner's owned list items, in tree order.

  5. If item is an li element that has a value attribute, then:

    1. Let parsed be the result of parsing the value of the attribute as an integer.

    2. If parsed is not an error, then set numbering to parsed.

  6. The ordinal value of item is numbering.

  7. If owner is an ol element, and owner has a reversed attribute, decrement numbering by 1; otherwise, increment numbering by 1.

  8. Increment i by 1.

  9. Go to the step labeled loop.


The value IDL attribute must reflect the value of the value content attribute.

The element's value IDL attribute does not directly correspond to its ordinal value; it simply reflects the content attribute. For example, given this list:

<ol>
 <li>Item 1
 <li value="3">Item 3
 <li>Item 4
</ol>

The ordinal values are 1, 3, and 4, whereas the value IDL attributes return 0, 3, 0 on getting.

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">Црна мачка, бели мачор</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">Црна мачка, бели мачор</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>

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.

4.4.9 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:
Either: Zero or more groups each consisting of one or more dt elements followed by one or more dd elements, optionally intermixed with script-supporting elements.
Or: One or more div elements, optionally intermixed with script-supporting elements.
Tag omission in text/html:
Neither tag is omissible.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
[Exposed=Window,
 HTMLConstructor]
interface HTMLDListElement : HTMLElement {};

The dl element represents an association list consisting of zero or more name-value groups (a description list). A name-value group consists of one or more names (dt elements, possibly as children of a div element child) followed by one or more values (dd elements, possibly as children of a div element child), ignoring any nodes other than dt and dd element children, and dt and dd elements that are children of div element children. 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 order to annotate groups with microdata attributes, or other global attributes that apply to whole groups, or just for styling purposes, each group in a dl element can be wrapped in a div element. This does not change the semantics of the dl element.

The name-value groups of a dl element dl are determined using the following algorithm. A name-value group has a name (a list of dt elements, initially empty) and a value (a list of dd elements, initially empty).

  1. Let groups be an empty list of name-value groups.

  2. Let current be a new name-value group.

  3. Let seenDd be false.

  4. Let child be dl's first child.

  5. Let grandchild be null.

  6. While child is not null:

    1. If child is a div element, then:

      1. Let grandchild be child's first child.

      2. While grandchild is not null:

        1. Process dt or dd for grandchild.

        2. Set grandchild to grandchild's next sibling.

    2. Otherwise, process dt or dd for child.

    3. Set child to child's next sibling.

  7. If current is not empty, then append current to groups.

  8. Return groups.

To process dt or dd for a node node means to follow these steps:

  1. Let groups, current, and seenDd be the same variables as those of the same name in the algorithm that invoked these steps.

  2. If node is a dt element, then:

    1. If seenDd is true, then append current to groups, set current to a new name-value group, and set seenDd to false.

    2. Append node to current's name.

  3. Otherwise, if node is a dd element, then append node to current's value and set seenDd to true.

When a name-value group has an empty list as name or value, it is often due to accidentally using dd elements in the place of dt elements and vice versa. Conformance checkers can spot such mistakes and might be able to advise authors how to correctly use the markup.

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"). This example also uses the div element around the groups of dt and dd element, to aid with styling.

<dl>
 <div>
  <dt> Last modified time </dt>
  <dd> 2004-12-23T23:33Z </dd>
 </div>
 <div>
  <dt> Recommended update interval </dt>
  <dd> 60s </dd>
 </div>
 <div>
  <dt> Authors </dt>
  <dt> Editors </dt>
  <dd> Robert Rothman </dd>
  <dd> Daniel Jackson </dd>
 </div>
</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>

This example uses microdata attributes in a dl element, together with the div element, to annotate the ice cream desserts at a French restaurant.

<dl>
 <div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product">
  <dt itemprop="name">Café ou Chocolat Liégeois
  <dd itemprop="offers" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Offer">
   <span itemprop="price">3.50</span>
   <data itemprop="priceCurrency" value="EUR">€</data>
  <dd itemprop="description">
   2 boules Café ou Chocolat, 1 boule Vanille, sause café ou chocolat, chantilly
 </div>

 <div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product">
  <dt itemprop="name">Américaine
  <dd itemprop="offers" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Offer">
   <span itemprop="price">3.50</span>
   <data itemprop="priceCurrency" value="EUR">€</data>
  <dd itemprop="description">
   1 boule Crème brûlée, 1 boule Vanille, 1 boule Caramel, chantilly
 </div>
</dl>

Without the div element the markup would need to use the itemref attribute to link the data in the dd elements with the item, as follows.

<dl>
 <dt itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product" itemref="1-offer 1-description">
  <span itemprop="name">Café ou Chocolat Liégeois</span>
 <dd id="1-offer" itemprop="offers" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Offer">
  <span itemprop="price">3.50</span>
  <data itemprop="priceCurrency" value="EUR">€</data>
 <dd id="1-description" itemprop="description">
  2 boules Café ou Chocolat, 1 boule Vanille, sause café ou chocolat, chantilly

 <dt itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product" itemref="2-offer 2-description">
  <span itemprop="name">Américaine</span>
 <dd id="2-offer" itemprop="offers" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Offer">
  <span itemprop="price">3.50</span>
  <data itemprop="priceCurrency" value="EUR">€</data>
 <dd id="2-description" itemprop="description">
  1 boule Crème brûlée, 1 boule Vanille, 1 boule Caramel, chantilly
</dl>

The dl element is inappropriate for marking up dialogue. See some examples of how to mark up dialogue.

4.4.10 The dt element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Before dd or dt elements inside dl elements.
Before dd or dt elements inside div elements that are children of a dl element.
Content model:
Flow content, but with no header, footer, sectioning content, or heading content descendants.
Tag omission in text/html:
A dt element's end tag can be omitted if the dt element is immediately followed by another dt element or a dd element.
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>

4.4.11 The dd element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
After dt or dd elements inside dl elements.
After dt or dd elements inside div elements that are children of a dl element.
Content model:
Flow content.
Tag omission in text/html:
A dd element's end tag can be omitted if the dd element is immediately followed by another dd element or a dt element, or if there is no more content in the parent element.
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>

4.4.12 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.
Tag omission in text/html:
Neither tag is omissible.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The figure element represents some flow content, optionally with a caption, that is self-contained (like a complete sentence) and is typically referenced as a single unit from the main flow of the document.

"Self-contained" in this context does not necessarily mean independent. For example, each sentence in a paragraph is self-contained; an image that is part of a sentence would be inappropriate for figure, but an entire sentence made of images would be fitting.

The element can thus be used to annotate illustrations, diagrams, photos, code listings, etc.

When a figure is referred to from the main content of the document by identifying it by its caption (e.g. by figure number), it enables such content to be easily moved away from that primary content, e.g. to the side of the page, to dedicated pages, or to an appendix, without affecting the flow of the document.

If a figure element is referenced by its relative position, e.g. "in the photograph above" or "as the next figure shows", then moving the figure would disrupt the page's meaning. Authors are encouraged to consider using labels to refer to figures, rather than using such relative references, so that the page can easily be restyled without affecting the page's meaning.

The first 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.

A figure element's contents are part of the surrounding flow. If the purpose of the page is to display the figure, for example a photograph on an image sharing site, the figure and figcaption elements can be used to explicitly provide a caption for that figure. For content that is only tangentially related, or that serves a separate purpose than the surrounding flow, the aside element should be used (and can itself wrap a figure). For example, a pull quote that repeats content from an article would be more appropriate in an aside than in a figure, because it isn't part of the content, it's a repetition of the content for the purposes of enticing readers or highlighting key topics.

This example shows the figure element to mark up a code listing.

<p>In <a href="#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 that is the main content of the page (as in a gallery).

<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html lang="en">
<title>Bubbles at work — My Gallery™</title>
<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>
<nav><a href="19414.html">Prev</a> — <a href="19416.html">Next</a></nav>

In this example, we see an image that is not a figure, as well as an image and a video that are. The first image is literally part of the example's second sentence, so it's not a self-contained unit, and thus figure would be inappropriate.

<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>

The previous example could also be more succinctly written as follows (using title attributes in place of the nested figure/figcaption pairs):

<figure>
 <img src="castle1423.jpeg" title="Etching. Anonymous, ca. 1423."
      alt="The castle has one tower, and a tall wall around it.">
 <img src="castle1858.jpeg" title="Oil-based paint on canvas. Maria Towle, 1858."
      alt="The castle now has two towers and two walls.">
 <img src="castle1999.jpeg" title="Film photograph. Peter Jankle, 1999."
      alt="The castle lies in ruins, the original tower all that remains in one piece.">
 <figcaption>The castle through the ages: 1423, 1858, and 1999 respectively.</figcaption>
</figure>

The figure is sometimes referenced only implicitly from the content:

<article>
 <h1>Fiscal negotiations stumble in Congress as deadline nears</h1>
 <figure>
  <img src="obama-reid.jpeg" alt="Obama and Reid sit together smiling in the Oval Office.">
  <figcaption>Barack Obama and Harry Reid. White House press photograph.</figcaption>
 </figure>
 <p>Negotiations in Congress to end the fiscal impasse sputtered on Tuesday, leaving both chambers
 grasping for a way to reopen the government and raise the country's borrowing authority with a
 Thursday deadline drawing near.</p>
 ...
</article>

4.4.13 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.
Tag omission in text/html:
Neither tag is omissible.
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, if any.

4.4.14 The main element

Categories:
Flow content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Tag omission in text/html:
Neither tag is omissible.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The main element can be used as a container for the dominant contents of another element. It represents its children.

The main element is distinct from the section and article elements in that the main element does not contribute to the document outline.

There is no restriction as to the number of main elements in a document. Indeed, there are many cases where it would make sense to have multiple main elements. For example, a page with multiple article elements might need to indicate the dominant contents of each such element.

In this example, the author has used a presentation where each component of the page is rendered in a box. To wrap the main content of the page (as opposed to the header, the footer, the navigation bar, and a sidebar), the main element is used.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<title>RPG System 17</title>
<style>
 header, nav, aside, main, footer {
   margin: 0.5em; border: thin solid; padding: 0.5em;
   background: #EFF; color: black; box-shadow: 0 0 0.25em #033;
 }
 h1, h2, p { margin: 0; }
 nav, main { float: left; }
 aside { float: right; }
 footer { clear: both; }
</style>
<header>
 <h1>System Eighteen</h1>
</header>
<nav>
 <a href="../16/">← System 17</a>
 <a href="../18/">RPXIX →</a>
</nav>
<aside>
 <p>This system has no HP mechanic, so there's no healing.
</aside>
<main>
 <h2>Character creation</h2>
 <p>Attributes (magic, strength, agility) are purchased at the cost of one point per level.</p>
 <h2>Rolls</h2>
 <p>Each encounter, roll the dice for all your skills. If you roll more than the opponent, you win.</p>
</main>
<footer>
 <p>Copyright © 2013
</footer>
</html>

4.4.15 The div element

Categories:
Flow content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
As a child of a dl element.
Content model:
If the element is a child of a dl element: one or more dt elements followed by one or more dd elements, optionally intermixed with script-supporting elements.
If the element is not a child of a dl element: Flow content.
Tag omission in text/html:
Neither tag is omissible.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
[Exposed=Window,
 HTMLConstructor]
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. It can also be used in a dl element, wrapping groups of dt and dd 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>