Have a Need to Reference Ancillary Content – Guide to Using “aside” Tag in your HTML5 Pages

By Vipul Patel

8/21/13

The HTML5 specification introduces a new markup element to reference ancillary content, content which is tangentially related to the main content.

This new markup is the “aside” element. The HTML5 spec http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/sections.html#the-aside-element states the aside markup represents a portion of a web page which contains content which is tangentially related to the main content of the article.

The “aside” element is a flow element. The “aside” element can be typically used for

  • Sidebars and pull quotes,
  • Advertisements,
  • Grouping of “nav” elements,
  • Content considered separate from the main content of the page

 

The “aside” element can be used both within an “article” element and outside it.

Here is a simple page containing HTML5 marking using “aside” markup element.

//AsideSample01.html

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html>

<meta charset="utf-8">

<title>Article sample 1</title>

<body>

    <article>

        <header>

            <h1>Aside sample</h1>

            <p>HTML5 sample using aside markup element</p>

        </header>

        <aside>

            <p>Sample content in aside markup element inside an article element</p>

        </aside>

        <footer>

            <h1></h1>

            <p>HTML Goodies</p>

        </footer>

    </article>

    <aside>

        <p>Sample content in aside markup element outside an article element</p>

    </aside>

</body>

</html>

 

When this page is rendered in a HTML5 compatible browser like Google Chrome, you can see it is rendered as below.

 

We can see that in a typical web document, you can use “aside” markup element to reference contextual information.

 

Typical usage

A typical usage of the “aside” markup element would be to refer to advertisements and related articles to the current topic.

 

Summary

In this article, we learned about the “aside” markup element. I hope you have found the information useful.

 

About the author

Vipul Patel is a Program Manager currently working at Amazon Corporation. He has formerly worked at Microsoft in the Lync team and in the .NET team (in the Base Class libraries and the Debugging and Profiling team). He can be reached at vipul.patel@hotmail.com



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