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This feature is obsolete. Although it may still work in some browsers, its use is discouraged since it could be removed at any time. Try to avoid using it.

The obsolete HTML Directory element (<dir>) is used as a container for a directory of files and/or folders, potentially with styles and icons applied by the user agent. Do not use this obsolete element; instead, you should use the <ul> element for lists, including lists of files.

Usage note: Do not use this element. Though present in early HTML specifications, it has been deprecated in HTML 4, and has since been removed entirely. No major browsers support this element.

DOM interface

This element implements the HTMLDirectoryElement interface.


Like all other HTML elements, this element supports the global attributes.

This Boolean attribute hints that the list should be rendered in a compact style. The interpretation of this attribute depends on the user agent and it doesn't work in all browsers.
Usage note: Do not use this attribute, as it has been deprecated: the <dir> element should be styled using CSS. To give a similar effect as that achieved with the compact attribute, the CSS property line-height can be used with a value of 80%.

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support No No No No No No
compact No No No No No No
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support No No No No No No No
compact No No No No No No No

See also

  • Other list-related HTML Elements: <ol>, <ul>, <li>, and <menu>;
  • CSS properties that may be specially useful to style the <dir> element:
    • The list-style property, useful to choose the way the ordinal is displayed.
    • CSS counters, useful to handle complex nested lists.
    • The line-height property, useful to simulate the deprecated compact attribute.
    • The margin property, useful to control the indent of the list.

Document Tags and Contributors

Contributors to this page: Sheppy, teoli, mfluehr, charmander, kscarfone, tregagnon, Nickolay, ethertank, cers
Last updated by: Sheppy,