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The HTML <section> element represents a standalone section of functionality contained within an HTML document, typically with a heading, which doesn't have a more specific semantic element to represent it.

As an example, a navigation menu should be wrapped in a <nav> element, but a list of search results and a map display and its controls don't have specific elements, and could be put inside a <section>.

Content categories Flow content, Sectioning content, palpable content.
Permitted content Flow content.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts flow content. Note that a <section> element must not be a descendant of an <address> element.
Permitted ARIA roles alert, alertdialog, application, banner, complementary, contentinfo, dialog, document, feed, log, main, marquee, navigation, search, status, tabpanel
DOM interface HTMLElement

Attributes

This element only includes the global attributes.

Usage notes

  • Each <section> should be identified, typically by including a heading (<h1>-<h6> element) as a child of the <section> element.
  • If it makes sense to separately syndicate the content of a <section> element, use an <article> element instead.
  • Do not use the <section> element as a generic container; this is what <div> is for, especially when the sectioning is only for styling purposes. A rule of thumb is that a section should logically appear in the outline of a document.

Example 1

Before

<div>
  <h1>Heading</h1>
  <p>Bunch of awesome content</p>
</div>

After

<section>
  <h1>Heading</h1>
  <p>Bunch of awesome content</p>
</section>

Example 2

Before

<div>
  <h2>Heading</h2>
  <img src="bird.jpg" alt="bird">
</div>

After

<section>
  <h2>Heading</h2>
  <img src="bird.jpg" alt="bird">
</section>

Specifications

Specification Status Comments
HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<section>' in that specification.
Living Standard  
HTML 5.1
The definition of '<section>' in that specification.
Recommendation  
HTML5
The definition of '<section>' in that specification.
Recommendation  

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic Support5 (Yes)4911.14.1
FeatureAndroidChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidIE mobileOpera AndroidiOS Safari
Basic Support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)49114.2

See also