<canvas>: The Graphics Canvas element

Use the HTML <canvas> element with either the canvas scripting API or the WebGL API to draw graphics and animations.

Content categories Flow content, phrasing content, embedded content, palpable content.
Permitted content Transparent but with no interactive content descendants except for <a> elements, <button> elements, <input> elements whose type attribute is checkbox, radio, or button.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts phrasing content.
Implicit ARIA role No corresponding role
Permitted ARIA roles Any
DOM interface HTMLCanvasElement


This element's attributes include the global attributes.

The height of the coordinate space in CSS pixels. Defaults to 150.
moz-opaque This API has not been standardized. This deprecated API should no longer be used, but will probably still work.
Lets the canvas know whether or not translucency will be a factor. If the canvas knows there's no translucency, painting performance can be optimized. This is only supported by Mozilla-based browsers; use the standardized canvas.getContext('2d', { alpha: false }) instead.
The width of the coordinate space in CSS pixels. Defaults to 300.

Usage notes

Alternative content

You may (and should) provide alternate content inside the <canvas> block. That content will be rendered both on older browsers that don't support canvas and in browsers with JavaScript disabled. Providing a useful fallback text or sub DOM helps to make the canvas more accessible.

Required </canvas> tag

Unlike the <img> element, the <canvas> element requires the closing tag (</canvas>).

Sizing the canvas using CSS versus HTML

The displayed size of the canvas can be changed using CSS, but if you do this the image is scaled during rendering to fit the styled size, which can make the final graphics rendering end up being distorted.

It is better to specify your canvas dimensions by setting the width and height attributes directly on the <canvas> elements, either directly in the HTML or by using JavaScript.

Maximum canvas size

The maximum size of a <canvas> element is very large, but the exact size depends on the browser. The following is some data we've collected from various tests and other sources (e.g. Stack Overflow):

Browser Maximum height Maximum width Maximum area
Chrome 32,767 pixels 32,767 pixels 268,435,456 pixels (i.e., 16,384 x 16,384)
Firefox 32,767 pixels 32,767 pixels 472,907,776 pixels (i.e., 22,528 x 20,992)
Safari 32,767 pixels 32,767 pixels 268,435,456 pixels (i.e., 16,384 x 16,384)
IE 8,192 pixels 8,192 pixels ?

Note: Exceeding the maximum dimensions or area renders the canvas unusable — drawing commands will not work.



This code snippet adds a canvas element to your HTML document. A fallback text is provided if a browser is unable to render the canvas, or if can't read a canvas.

<canvas width="300" height="300">
  An alternative text describing what your canvas displays.


Then in the JavaScript code, call HTMLCanvasElement.getContext() to get a drawing context and start drawing onto the canvas:

const canvas = document.querySelector('canvas');
const ctx = canvas.getContext('2d');
ctx.fillStyle = 'green';
ctx.fillRect(10, 10, 100, 100);


Accessibility concerns

Alternative content

The <canvas> element on its own is just a bitmap and does not provide information about any drawn objects. Canvas content is not exposed to accessibility tools as semantic HTML is. In general, you should avoid using canvas in an accessible website or app. The following guides can help to make it more accessible.


Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also