<img>: The Image Embed element
<img> HTML element embeds an image into the document.
The above example shows usage of the
srcattribute is required, and contains the path to the image you want to embed.
altattribute holds a text description of the image, which isn't mandatory but is incredibly useful for accessibility — screen readers read this description out to their users so they know what the image means. Alt text is also displayed on the page if the image can't be loaded for some reason: for example, network errors, content blocking, or linkrot.
There are many other attributes to achieve various purposes:
- Referrer/CORS control for security and privacy: see
- Use both
heightto set the intrinsic size of the image, allowing it to take up space before it loads, to mitigate content layout shifts.
- Responsive image hints with
srcset(see also the
<picture>element and our Responsive images tutorial).
Supported image formats
The HTML standard doesn't list what image formats to support, so user agents may support different formats.
Note: The Image file type and format guide provides comprehensive information about image formats and their web browser support. This section is just a summary!
The image file formats that are most commonly used on the web are:
- APNG (Animated Portable Network Graphics) — Good choice for lossless animation sequences (GIF is less performant)
- AVIF (AV1 Image File Format) — Good choice for both images and animated images due to high performance.
- GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) — Good choice for simple images and animations.
- JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group image) — Good choice for lossy compression of still images (currently the most popular).
- PNG (Portable Network Graphics) — Good choice for lossless compression of still images (slightly better quality than JPEG).
- SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) — Vector image format. Use for images that must be drawn accurately at different sizes.
- WebP (Web Picture format) — Excellent choice for both images and animated images
Formats like WebP and AVIF are recommended as they perform much better than PNG, JPEG, GIF for both still and animated images. WebP is widely supported while AVIF lacks support in Edge.
SVG remains the recommended format for images that must be drawn accurately at different sizes.
Image loading errors
If an error occurs while loading or rendering an image, and an
onerror event handler has been set for the
error event, that event handler will get called. This can happen in several situations, including:
srcattribute is empty (
srcURL is the same as the URL of the page the user is currently on.
- The image is corrupted in some way that prevents it from being loaded.
- The image's metadata is corrupted in such a way that it's impossible to retrieve its dimensions, and no dimensions were specified in the
- The image is in a format not supported by the user agent.
This element includes the global attributes.
Defines an alternative text description of the image.
Note: Browsers do not always display images. There are a number of situations in which a browser might not display images, such as:
- Non-visual browsers (such as those used by people with visual impairments)
- The user chooses not to display images (saving bandwidth, privacy reasons)
- The image is invalid or an unsupported type
In these cases, the browser may replace the image with the text in the element's
altattribute. For these reasons and others, provide a useful value for
Setting this attribute to an empty string (
alt="") indicates that this image is not a key part of the content (it's decoration or a tracking pixel), and that non-visual browsers may omit it from rendering. Visual browsers will also hide the broken image icon if the
altis empty and the image failed to display.
This attribute is also used when copying and pasting the image to text, or saving a linked image to a bookmark.
Indicates if the fetching of the image must be done using a CORS request. Image data from a CORS-enabled image returned from a CORS request can be reused in the
<canvas>element without being marked "tainted".
crossoriginattribute is not specified, then a non-CORS request is sent (without the
Originrequest header), and the browser marks the image as tainted and restricts access to its image data, preventing its usage in
crossoriginattribute is specified, then a CORS request is sent (with the
Originrequest header); but if the server does not opt into allowing cross-origin access to the image data by the origin site (by not sending any
Access-Control-Allow-Originresponse header, or by not including the site's origin in any
Access-Control-Allow-Originresponse header it does send), then the browser blocks the image from loading, and logs a CORS error to the devtools console.
A CORS request is sent with credentials omitted (that is, no cookies, X.509 certificates, or
The CORS request is sent with any credentials included (that is, cookies, X.509 certificates, and the
Authorizationrequest header). If the server does not opt into sharing credentials with the origin site (by sending back the
Access-Control-Allow-Credentials: trueresponse header), then the browser marks the image as tainted and restricts access to its image data.
If the attribute has an invalid value, browsers handle it as if the
anonymousvalue was used. See CORS settings attributes for additional information.
Provides an image decoding hint to the browser. Allowed values:
Decode the image synchronously, for atomic presentation with other content.
Decode the image asynchronously, to reduce delay in presenting other content.
Default: no preference for the decoding mode. The browser decides what is best for the user.
Marks the image for observation by the
PerformanceElementTimingAPI. The value given becomes an identifier for the observed image element. See also the
Provides a hint of the relative priority to use when fetching the image. Allowed values:
Signals a high-priority fetch relative to other images.
Signals a low-priority fetch relative to other images.
Default: Signals automatic determination of fetch priority relative to other images.
The intrinsic height of the image, in pixels. Must be an integer without a unit.
widthenables the aspect ratio of the image to be calculated by the browser prior to the image being loaded. This aspect ratio is used to reserve the space needed to display the image, reducing or even preventing a layout shift when the image is downloaded and painted to the screen. Reducing layout shift is a major component of good user experience and web performance.
This Boolean attribute indicates that the image is part of a server-side map. If so, the coordinates where the user clicked on the image are sent to the server.
Indicates how the browser should load the image:
Loads the image immediately, regardless of whether or not the image is currently within the visible viewport (this is the default value).
Defers loading the image until it reaches a calculated distance from the viewport, as defined by the browser. The intent is to avoid the network and storage bandwidth needed to handle the image until it's reasonably certain that it will be needed. This generally improves the performance of the content in most typical use cases.
A string indicating which referrer to use when fetching the resource:
Refererheader will not be sent.
Refererheader will not be sent to origins without TLS (HTTPS).
origin: The sent referrer will be limited to the origin of the referring page: its scheme, host, and port.
origin-when-cross-origin: The referrer sent to other origins will be limited to the scheme, the host, and the port. Navigations on the same origin will still include the path.
same-origin: A referrer will be sent for same origin, but cross-origin requests will contain no referrer information.
strict-origin: Only send the origin of the document as the referrer when the protocol security level stays the same (HTTPS→HTTPS), but don't send it to a less secure destination (HTTPS→HTTP).
strict-origin-when-cross-origin(default): Send a full URL when performing a same-origin request, only send the origin when the protocol security level stays the same (HTTPS→HTTPS), and send no header to a less secure destination (HTTPS→HTTP).
unsafe-url: The referrer will include the origin and the path (but not the fragment, password, or username). This value is unsafe, because it leaks origins and paths from TLS-protected resources to insecure origins.
One or more strings separated by commas, indicating a set of source sizes. Each source size consists of:
- A media condition. This must be omitted for the last item in the list.
- A source size value.
Media Conditions describe properties of the viewport, not of the image. For example,
(max-height: 500px) 1000pxproposes to use a source of 1000px width, if the viewport is not higher than 500px.
Source size values specify the intended display size of the image. User agents use the current source size to select one of the sources supplied by the
srcsetattribute, when those sources are described using width (
w) descriptors. The selected source size affects the intrinsic size of the image (the image's display size if no CSS styling is applied). If the
srcsetattribute is absent, or contains no values with a width descriptor, then the
sizesattribute has no effect.
The image URL. Mandatory for the
<img>element. On browsers supporting
srcis treated like a candidate image with a pixel density descriptor
1x, unless an image with this pixel density descriptor is already defined in
srcset, or unless
One or more strings separated by commas, indicating possible image sources for the user agent to use. Each string is composed of:
- A URL to an image
- Optionally, whitespace followed by one of:
- A width descriptor (a positive integer directly followed by
w). The width descriptor is divided by the source size given in the
sizesattribute to calculate the effective pixel density.
- A pixel density descriptor (a positive floating point number directly followed by
- A width descriptor (a positive integer directly followed by
If no descriptor is specified, the source is assigned the default descriptor of
It is incorrect to mix width descriptors and pixel density descriptors in the same
srcsetattribute. Duplicate descriptors (for instance, two sources in the same
srcsetwhich are both described with
2x) are also invalid.
srcsetattribute uses width descriptors, the
sizesattribute must also be present, or the
srcsetitself will be ignored.
The user agent selects any of the available sources at its discretion. This provides them with significant leeway to tailor their selection based on things like user preferences or bandwidth conditions. See our Responsive images tutorial for an example.
The intrinsic width of the image in pixels. Must be an integer without a unit.
The partial URL (starting with
#) of an image map associated with the element.
Aligns the image with its surrounding context. Use the
vertical-alignCSS properties instead of this attribute. Allowed values:
The default, equivalent to
The width of a border around the image. Use the
borderCSS property instead.
The number of pixels of white space on the left and right of the image. Use the
marginCSS property instead.
A link to a more detailed description of the image. Possible values are a URL or an element
Note: This attribute is mentioned in the latest W3C version, HTML 5.2, but has been removed from the WHATWG's HTML Living Standard. It has an uncertain future; authors should use a WAI-ARIA alternative such as
A name for the element. Use the
The number of pixels of white space above and below the image. Use the
marginCSS property instead.
Styling with CSS
<img> is a replaced element; it has a
display value of
inline by default, but its default dimensions are defined by the embedded image's intrinsic values, like it were
inline-block. You can set properties like
height, etc. on an image.
<img> has no baseline, so when images are used in an inline formatting context with
: baseline, the bottom of the image will be placed on the text baseline.
You can use the
object-position property to position the image within the element's box, and the
object-fit property to adjust the sizing of the image within the box (for example, whether the image should fit the box or fill it even if clipping is required).
Depending on its type, an image may have an intrinsic width and height. For some image types, however, intrinsic dimensions are unnecessary. SVG images, for instance, have no intrinsic dimensions if their root
<svg> element doesn't have a
height set on it.
The following example embeds an image into the page and includes alternative text for accessibility.
<img src="favicon144.png" alt="MDN logo" />
This example builds upon the previous one, showing how to turn the image into a link. To do so, nest the
<img> tag inside the
<a>. You should make the alternative text describe the resource the link is pointing to, as if you were using a text link instead.
<a href="https://developer.mozilla.org"> <img src="favicon144.png" alt="Visit the MDN site" /> </a>
Using the srcset attribute
In this example we include a
srcset attribute with a reference to a high-resolution version of the logo; this will be loaded instead of the
src image on high-resolution devices. The image referenced in the
src attribute is counted as a
1x candidate in user agents that support
<img src="favicon72.png" alt="MDN logo" srcset="favicon144.png 2x" />
Using the srcset and sizes attributes
src attribute is ignored in user agents that support
w descriptors are included. When the
(max-width: 600px) media condition matches, the 200 pixel-wide image will load (it is the one that matches
200px most closely), otherwise the other image will load.
<img src="clock-demo-200px.png" alt="Clock" srcset="clock-demo-200px.png 200w, clock-demo-400px.png 400w" sizes="(max-width: 600px) 200px, 50vw" />
Note: To see the resizing in action, view the example on a separate page, so you can actually resize the content area.
Security and privacy concerns
<img> elements have innocent uses, they can have undesirable consequences for user security and privacy. See Referer header: privacy and security concerns for more information and mitigations.
Authoring meaningful alternate descriptions
alt attribute's value should clearly and concisely describe the image's content. It should not describe the presence of the image itself or the file name of the image. If the
alt attribute is purposefully left off because the image has no textual equivalent, consider alternate methods to present what the image is trying to communicate.
<img alt="image" src="penguin.jpg" />
<img alt="A Rockhopper Penguin standing on a beach." src="penguin.jpg" />
alt attribute is not present on an image, some screen readers may announce the image's file name instead. This can be a confusing experience if the file name isn't representative of the image's contents.
Identifying SVG as an image
Due to a VoiceOver bug, VoiceOver does not correctly announce SVG images as images. Include
role="img" to all
<img> elements with SVG source files to ensure assistive technologies correctly announce the SVG as image content.
<img src="mdn.svg" alt="MDN logo" role="img" />
The title attribute
title attribute is not an acceptable substitute for the
alt attribute. Additionally, avoid duplicating the
alt attribute's value in a
title attribute declared on the same image. Doing so may cause some screen readers to announce the description twice, creating a confusing experience.
title attribute should also not be used as supplemental captioning information to accompany an image's
alt description. If an image needs a caption, use the
The value of the
title attribute is usually presented to the user as a tooltip, which appears shortly after the cursor stops moving over the image. While this can provide additional information to the user, you should not assume that the user will ever see it: the user may only have keyboard or touchscreen. If you have information that's particularly important or valuable for the user, present it inline using one of the methods mentioned above instead of using
palpable content. If the element has a
|Permitted content||None; it is a void element.|
|Tag omission||Must have a start tag and must not have an end tag.|
|Permitted parents||Any element that accepts embedded content.|
|Implicit ARIA role||
|Permitted ARIA roles||
|HTML Standard |
BCD tables only load in the browser
- Images in HTML
- Image file type and format guide
- Responsive images
- Other image-related CSS properties: