Global attributes are attributes common to all HTML elements; they can be used on all elements, though the attributes may have no effect on some elements.

Global attributes may be specified on all HTML elements, even those not specified in the standard. That means that any non-standard elements must still permit these attributes, even though using those elements means that the document is no longer HTML5-compliant. For example, HTML5-compliant browsers hide content marked as <foo hidden>...<foo>, even though <foo> is not a valid HTML element.

In addition to the basic HTML global attributes, the following global attributes also exist:

  • xml:lang and xml:base — these are inherited from the XHTML specifications and deprecated, but kept for compatibility purposes.
  • The multiple aria-* attributes, used for improving accessibility.
  • The event handler attributes: onabort, onautocomplete, onautocompleteerror, onblur, oncancel, oncanplay, oncanplaythrough, onchange, onclick, onclose, oncontextmenu, oncuechange, ondblclick, ondrag, ondragend, ondragenter, ondragexit, ondragleave, ondragover, ondragstart, ondrop, ondurationchange, onemptied, onended, onerror, onfocus, oninput, oninvalid, onkeydown, onkeypress, onkeyup, onload, onloadeddata, onloadedmetadata, onloadstart, onmousedown, onmouseenter, onmouseleave, onmousemove, onmouseout, onmouseover, onmouseup, onmousewheel, onpause, onplay, onplaying, onprogress, onratechange, onreset, onresize, onscroll, onseeked, onseeking, onselect, onshow, onsort, onstalled, onsubmit, onsuspend, ontimeupdate, ontoggle, onvolumechange, onwaiting.

Description

accesskey
Provides a hint for generating a keyboard shortcut for the current element. This attribute consists of a space-separated list of characters. The browser should use the first one that exists on the computer keyboard layout.
class
Is a space-separated list of the classes of the element. Classes allows CSS and JavaScript to select and access specific elements via the class selectors or functions like the method Document.getElementsByClassName().
contenteditable
Is an enumerated attribute indicating if the element should be editable by the user. If so, the browser modifies its widget to allow editing. The attribute must take one of the following values:
  • true or the empty string, which indicates that the element must be editable;
  • false, which indicates that the element must not be editable.
contextmenu
Is the id of an <menu> to use as the contextual menu for this element.
data-*
Forms a class of attributes, called custom data attributes, that allow proprietary information to be exchanged between the HTML and its DOM representation that may be used by scripts. All such custom data are available via the HTMLElement interface of the element the attribute is set on. The HTMLElement.dataset property gives access to them.
dir
Is an enumerated attribute indicating the directionality of the element's text. It can have the following values:
  • ltr, which means left to right and is to be used for languages that are written from the left to the right (like English);
  • rtl, which means right to left and is to be used for languages that are written from the right to the left (like Arabic);
  • auto, which let the user agent decides. It uses a basic algorithm as it parses the characters inside the element until it finds a character with a strong directionality, then apply that directionality to the whole element.
draggable
Is an enumerated attribute indicating whether the element can be dragged, using the Drag and Drop API. It can have the following values:
  • true, which indicates that the element may be dragged
  • false, which indicates that the element may not be dragged.
dropzone
Is an enumerated attribute indicating what types of content can be dropped on an element, using the Drag and Drop API. It can have the following values:
  • copy, which indicates that dropping will create a copy of the element that was dragged
  • move, which indicates that the element that was dragged will be moved to this new location.
  • link, will create a link to the dragged data.
hidden
Is a Boolean attribute indicates that the element is not yet, or is no longer, relevant. For example, it can be used to hide elements of the page that can't be used until the login process has been completed. The browser won't render such elements. This attribute must not be used to hide content that could legitimately be shown.
id
Defines a unique identifier (ID) which must be unique in the whole document. Its purpose is to identify the element when linking (using a fragment identifier), scripting, or styling (with CSS).
itemid
itemprop
itemref
itemscope
itemtype
These attributes are related to the WHATWG HTML Microdata feature.
lang
Participates in defining the language of the element, the language that non-editable elements are written in or the language that editable elements should be written in. The tag contains one single entry value in the format defines in the Tags for Identifying Languages (BCP47) IETF document. xml:lang has priority over it.
spellcheck
Is an enumerated attribute defines whether the element may be checked for spelling errors. It may have the following values:
  • true, which indicates that the element should be, if possible, checked for spelling errors;
  • false, which indicates that the element should not be checked for spelling errors.
style
Contains CSS styling declarations to be applied to the element. Note that it is recommended for styles to be defined in a separate file or files. This attribute and the <style> element have mainly the purpose of allowing for quick styling, for example for testing purposes.
tabindex
Is an integer attribute indicates if the element can take input focus (is focusable), if it should participate to sequential keyboard navigation, and if so, at what position. It can takes several values:
  • a negative value means that the element should be focusable, but should not be reachable via sequential keyboard navigation;
  • 0 means that the element should be focusable and reachable via sequential keyboard navigation, but its relative order is defined by the platform convention;
  • a positive value which means should be focusable and reachable via sequential keyboard navigation; its relative order is defined by the value of the attribute: the sequential follow the increasing number of the tabindex. If several elements share the same tabindex, their relative order follows their relative position in the document).
title
Contains a text representing advisory information related to the element it belongs to. Such information can typically, but not necessarily, be presented to the user as a tooltip.
translate
Is an enumerated attribute that is used to specify whether an element's attribute values and the values of its Text node children are to be translated when the page is localized, or whether to leave them unchanged. It can have the following values:
  • empty string and "yes", which indicates that the element will be translated.
  • "no", which indicates that the element will not be translated.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
WHATWG HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'Global attributes' in that specification.
Living Standard From latest snapshot, HTML5.1, itemid, itemprop, itemref, itemscope, and itemtype have been added.
HTML5.1
The definition of 'Global attributes' in that specification.
Working Draft Snapshot of WHATWG HTML Living Standard. From HTML5, spellcheck, draggable, and dropzone have been added.
HTML5
The definition of 'Global attributes' in that specification.
Recommendation Snapshot of WHATWG HTML Living Standard. From HTML 4.01 Specification, the concept of global attributes is introduced and the dir, lang, style, id, class, tabindex, accesskey, and title are now true global attributes.
xml:lang which was initially part of XHTML, is now also part of HTML.
hidden, data-*, contextmenu, contenteditable, and translate have been added.
HTML 4.01 Specification Recommendation There are no global attributes defined. Several attributes that will become global attributes in subsequent specifications are defined on a subset of elements.
class and style are supported on all elements but <base>, <basefont>, <head>, <html>, <meta>, <param>, <script>, <style>, and <title>.
dir is supported on all elements but <applet>, <base>, <basefont>, <bdo>, <br>, <frame>, <frameset>, <iframe>, <param>, and <script>.
id is supported on all elements but <base>, <head>, <html>, <meta>, <script>, <style>, and <title>.
lang is supported on all elements but <applet>, <base>, <basefont>, <br>, <frame>, <frameset>, <iframe>, <param>, and <script>.
tabindex is only supported on <a>, <area>, <button>, <object>, <select>, and <textarea>.
accesskey is only supported on <a>, <area>, <button>, <input>, <label>, <legend> and <textarea>.
title is supported on all elements but <base>, <basefont>, <head>, <html>, <meta>, <param>, <script>, and <title>.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
accesskey (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
class (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
contenteditable (Yes) 3.0 (1.9) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
contextmenu Not supported 9 (9) Not supported Not supported Not supported
data-* (Yes) 6 (6) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
dir (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
draggable (Yes) 2.0 (1.8.1) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
dropzone ? Not supported ? ? ?
hidden (Yes) 4.0 (2) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
id (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
itemid, itemprop, itemref, itemscope, itemtype ? (Yes) ? ? ?
lang (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
spellcheck (Yes) 2.0 (1.8.1) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
style (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
tabindex (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
title (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
accesskey (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
class (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
contenteditable (Yes) (Yes) 1.0 (1.9) (Yes) (Yes) ?
contextmenu Not supported Not supported Not supported Not supported Not supported Not supported
data-* (Yes) (Yes) 6.0 (6) (Yes) (Yes) ?
dir (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) ?
draggable (Yes) (Yes) 1.0 (1.8.1) (Yes) (Yes) ?
dropzone ? ? Not supported ? ? ?
hidden (Yes) (Yes) 4.0 (2) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
id (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
itemid, itemprop, itemref, itemscope, itemtype ? ? (Yes) ? ? ?
lang (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
spellcheck (Yes) (Yes) 1.0 (1.8.1) (Yes) (Yes) ?
style (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
tabindex (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
title (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

See also