<summary>: The Disclosure Summary element

The <summary> HTML element specifies a summary, caption, or legend for a <details> element's disclosure box. Clicking the <summary> element toggles the state of the parent <details> element open and closed.

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Permitted content Phrasing content or one element of Heading content
Tag omission None, both the start tag and the end tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents The <details> element.
Implicit ARIA role button
Permitted ARIA roles No role permitted
DOM interface HTMLElement

Attributes

This element only includes the global attributes.

Usage notes

The <summary> element's contents can be any heading content, plain text, or HTML that can be used within a paragraph.

A <summary> element may only be used as the first child of a <details> element. When the user clicks on the summary, the parent <details> element is toggled open or closed, and then a toggle event is sent to the <details> element, which can be used to let you know when this state change occurs.

Default label text

If a <details> element's first child is not a <summary> element, the user agent will use a default string (typically "Details") as the label for the disclosure box.

Default style

Per the HTML specification, the default style for <summary> elements includes display: list-item. This makes it possible to change or remove the icon displayed as the disclosure widget next to the label from the default, which is typically a triangle.

You can also change the style to display: block to remove the disclosure triangle.

See the Browser compatibility section for details, as not all browsers support full functionality of this element yet.

For Webkit-based browsers, such as Safari, it is possible to control the icon display through the non-standard CSS pseudo-element ::-webkit-details-marker. To remove the disclosure triangle, use summary::-webkit-details-marker { display: none }.

Examples

Below are some examples showing <summary> in use. You can find more examples in the documentation for the <details> element.

Basic example

A simple example showing the use of <summary> in a <details> element:

<details open>
  <summary>Overview</summary>
  <ol>
    <li>Cash on hand: $500.00</li>
    <li>Current invoice: $75.30</li>
    <li>Due date: 5/6/19</li>
  </ol>
</details>

Summaries as headings

You can use heading elements in <summary>, like this:

<details open>
  <summary><h4>Overview</h4></summary>
  <ol>
    <li>Cash on hand: $500.00</li>
    <li>Current invoice: $75.30</li>
    <li>Due date: 5/6/19</li>
  </ol>
</details>

This currently has some spacing issues that could be addressed using CSS.

Warning: Because the <summary> element has a default role of button (which strips all roles from child elements), this example will not work for users of assistive technologies such as screen readers. The <h4> will have its role removed and thus will not be treated as a heading for these users.

HTML in summaries

This example adds some semantics to the <summary> element to indicate the label as important:

<details open>
  <summary><strong>Overview</strong></summary>
  <ol>
    <li>Cash on hand: $500.00</li>
    <li>Current invoice: $75.30</li>
    <li>Due date: 5/6/19</li>
  </ol>
</details>

Specifications

Specification
HTML Standard
# the-summary-element

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also