A 5 Minute Overview of All New HTML5 Markup Elements

By Vipul Patel




With the announcement of the recommended specification of HTML5, we are even closer than ever to the announcement of the final specification of HTML5 (which can happen at any moment). HTML5 introduces a bunch of new markup elements as well as support for programmatic APIs which can be used with JavaScript to build web pages which can act as web applications.

In this article, we will do a quick rundown of all the new markup elements new in HTML5.

  • Article - The article element is a new sectional element and is used to represent a self-contained entry in a document, page, application or site.
  • Aside - The aside element is used to represent content which is tangentially related to the content which is around aside element, sometimes, represented as sidebars.
  • audio - The audio element is a type of media element used to represent an audio stream.
  • canvas - The canvas element is used for rendering graphs, game graphics, art images or other visual images using a resolution dependent bitmap canvas.
  • command - The command element represents a command which can be invoked by a user. It can be part of a menu element (explicitly part of a context menu or toolbar); alternately it can be placed anywhere else on the page to define a keyboard shortcut or to define other commands.
  • datalist - The datalist element is used to represent a set of option elements which can act as options of other controls. datalist elements are wired to input elements using the list attribute on the input element.
  • details - The details element is used to represent an area where users can go to obtain additional information. The details element in an interactive element represented as a widget.
  • embed - The embed element is used to represent an integration point for a non-HTML application or interactive content.
  • summary - The summary element is an interactive element used to represent a summary or legend for the rest of the content.
  • Figure - The figure element is a grouping element is used to group content that is self-contained and is typically referenced as a single unit from the main flow of the document.
  • Figcaption - The figcaption element represents the caption for a figure element.
  • Footer - The footer element is used to represent a footer of the preceding sectional content.
  • Header - The header element is used to represent a header for the succeeding sectional content.
  • keygen - The keygen element is used to represent a key pair generator control which is used to store the private key in the local keystore and send the public key to the server when the form is submitted. The keygen element is a form element.
  • mark - The mark element is used to highlight a range of text in a document for reference purpose. It is equivalent of using a highlighter to highlight a bunch of text.
  • meter - The meter element is used to represent a scalar measurement within a known range, for example, how many respondents were male with kids. It should not be used to indicate progress.
  • nav - The nav element is a section with navigation links and represents a section of page that links to other pages.
  • output - The output element is used to represent the result of a calculation or user action. It supports representation of explicit relationship between itself and the elements that represent the values that went into the calculation of the output value.
  • progress - The progress element is used to represent the progress of a task. It supports both indeterminate situations as well as determinate situations.
  • Ruby - The ruby element is used to support one or more spans of content to be marked with ruby annotations.
  • rt - The rt element is used to mark the ruby text component for a ruby annotation.
  • rp - The rp element is used to provide parenthesis around a ruby text component of a ruby annotation.
  • Section - The section element is used to represent a generic section of a document or application, usually containing a heading. E.g. chapters in a book.
  • Source - The source element is used to specify to alternate media resources for media elements. It is not supposed to be dynamically modified, as that will have no effect.
  • Summary- The summary element is an interactive element which is used to represent a summary, or caption for a details element.
  • Time - The time element represents datetime attribute contents in a machine readable form (limited to various kinds of dates, times, time-zone offsets, and durations).
  • Video - The video element is a type of media element used to represent a video stream.
  • wbr - The wbr element is used to represent a line break in a web page.


In this article, we learned about all the new markup elements in HTML5. I hope you have found this information useful. In upcoming articles, we will review these new markup elements in more detail.

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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