This is an experimental technology
Because this technology's specification has not stabilized, check the compatibility table for usage in various browsers. Also note that the syntax and behavior of an experimental technology is subject to change in future versions of browsers as the specification changes.

The HTML <menu> element represents a group of commands that a user can perform or activate. This includes both list menus, which might appear across the top of a screen, as well as context menus, such as those that might appear underneath a button after it has been clicked.

The <menu> and <ul> elements both represent an unordered list of items. The key difference is that <ul> primarily contains items for display, whilst <menu> is intended for interactive items, to act on.

An  HTML menu can be used to create context menus (typically activated by right-clicking another element) or toolbars.

Context menus consist of a <menu> element which contains <menuitem> elements for each selectable option in the menu, <menu> elements for submenus within the menu, and <hr> elements for separator lines to break up the menu's content into sections. Context menus are then attached to the element they're activated from using either the associated element's contextmenu attribute or, for button-activated menus attached to <button> elements, the menu attribute.

Toolbar menus consist of a <menu> element whose content is described in one of two ways: either as an unordered list of items represented by <li> elements (each representing a command or option the user can utilize), or (if there are no <li> elements), flow content describing the available commands and options.

This element was deprecated in HTML4, but reintroduced in HTML5.1  and the HTML living standard. This document describes the current Firefox implementation. Type 'list' is likely to change to 'toolbar' according to HTML5.1.

Content categories Flow content. Additionally, if in the list menu state, palpable content. (list menu is the default state, unless the parent element is a <menu> in the context menu state.)
Permitted content If the element is in the list menu state: flow content, or alternatively, zero or more occurrences of <li>, <script>, and <template>.
If the element is in the context menu state: zero or more occurrences, in any order, of <menu> (context menu state only), <menuitem>, <hr>, <script>, and <template>.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parent elements Any element that accepts flow content.
DOM interface HTMLMenuElement

Attributes

This element includes the global attributes.

label
The name of the menu as shown to the user. Used within nested menus, to provide a label through which the submenu can be accessed. Must only be specified when the parent element is a <menu> in the context menu state.
type
This attribute indicates the kind of menu being declared, and can be one of two values.
  • context: Indicates the popup menu state, which represents a group of commands activated through another element. This might be as a button menu referenced by a menu attribute of a <button> element, or as context menu for an element with a contextmenu attribute. This value is the default if the attribute is missing and the parent element is also a <menu> element.
  • toolbar: Indicates the toolbar state, which represents a toolbar consisting of a series of commands for user interaction. This might be in the form of an unordered list of <li> elements, or, if the element has no <li> element children, flow content describing available commands. This value is the default if the attribute is missing.

Examples

Context menu

HTML content

<!-- A <div> element with a context menu -->
<div contextmenu="popup-menu">
  Right-click to see the adjusted context menu
</div>

<menu type="context" id="popup-menu">
  <menuitem>Action</menuitem>
  <menuitem>Another action</menuitem>
  <hr>
  <menuitem>Separated action</menuitem>
</menu>

CSS content

div {
  width: 300px;
  height: 80px;
  background-color: lightgreen;
}

Result

Menu buttons haven't been implemented in any known browsers yet.

HTML content

<!-- A button, which displays a menu when clicked. -->
<button type="menu" menu="popup-menu">
  Dropdown
</button>

<menu type="context" id="popup-menu">
  <menuitem>Action</menuitem>
  <menuitem>Another action</menuitem>
  <hr>
  <menuitem>Separated action</menuitem>
</menu>

Result

Toolbar

Toolbar menus haven't been implemented in any known browsers yet.

HTML content

<!-- A context menu for a simple editor,
    containing two menu buttons. -->
<menu type="toolbar">
  <li>
    <button type="menu" menu="file-menu">File</button>
    <menu type="context" id="file-menu">
      <menuitem label="New..." onclick="newFile()">
      <menuitem label="Save..." onclick="saveFile()">
    </menu>
  </li>
  <li>
    <button type="menu" menu="edit-menu">Edit</button>
    <menu type="context" id="edit-menu">
      <menuitem label="Cut..." onclick="cutEdit()">
      <menuitem label="Copy..." onclick="copyEdit()">
      <menuitem label="Paste..." onclick="pasteEdit()">
    </menu>
  </li>
</menu>

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
WHATWG HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<menu>' in that specification.
Living Standard  
HTML5.1
The definition of '<menu>' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Edge Internet Explorer Opera Safari
type="context" (Yes)[1] 8 (8)[2] (Yes) No support (Yes)[3] No support
type="toolbar" No support No support ? No support No support No support
Menu buttons No support No support ? No support No support No support
<hr> to create separators ? 51 (51) ? No support ? No support
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
type="context" No support (Yes) (Yes)[4] No support No support No support
type="toolbar" No support ? No support No support No support No support
Menu buttons No support ? No support No support No support No support
<hr> to create separators No support ? 51 (51) No support No support No support

[1] This is implemented behind the preference Experimental Web Platform features and only works as context menu, not as button menu.

[2] Only works as context menu, not as button menu.

[3] This is implemented behind the preference Enable experimental Web Platform features and works as context menu, not as button menu.

[4] Nested menus are not supported.

See also