<div>: The Content Division element

The HTML Content Division element (<div>) is the generic container for flow content. It has no effect on the content or layout until styled in some way using CSS (e.g. styling is directly applied to it, or some kind of layout model like Flexbox is applied to its parent element).

As a "pure" container, the <div> element does not inherently represent anything. Instead, it's used to group content so it can be easily styled using the class or id attributes, marking a section of a document as being written in a different language (using the lang attribute), and so on.

Content categories Flow content, palpable content.
Permitted content Flow content.
Or (in WHATWG HTML): If the parent is a <dl> element: one or more <dt> elements followed by one or more <dd> elements, optionally intermixed with <script> and <template> elements.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts flow content.
Or (in WHATWG HTML): <dl> element.
Implicit ARIA role No corresponding role
Permitted ARIA roles Any
DOM interface HTMLDivElement

Attributes

This element includes the global attributes.

Note: The align attribute is obsolete; do not use it anymore. Instead, you should use CSS properties or techniques such as CSS Grid or CSS Flexbox to align and position <div> elements on the page.

Usage notes

  • The <div> element should be used only when no other semantic element (such as <article> or <nav>) is appropriate.

Examples

A simple example

<div>
  <p>Any kind of content here. Such as
  &lt;p&gt;, &lt;table&gt;. You name it!</p>
</div> 

The result looks like this:

A styled example

This example creates a shadowed box by applying a style to the <div> using CSS. Note the use of the class attribute on the <div> to apply the style named "shadowbox" to the element.

HTML

<div class="shadowbox">
  <p>Here's a very interesting note displayed in a
  lovely shadowed box.</p>
</div>

CSS

.shadowbox {
  width: 15em;
  border: 1px solid #333;
  box-shadow: 8px 8px 5px #444;
  padding: 8px 12px;
  background-image: linear-gradient(180deg, #fff, #ddd 40%, #ccc);
}

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<div>' in that specification.
Living Standard No changes since the latest snapshot
HTML5
The definition of '<div>' in that specification.
Recommendation Obsoleted align
HTML 4.01 Specification
The definition of '<div>' in that specification.
Recommendation

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also