title

The title global attribute contains text representing advisory information related to the element it belongs to.

Some typical uses:

  • Labeling <iframe> elements for assistive technology
  • Providing a programmatically associated label for an <input> element as a fallback for a real <label>
  • Labeling controls in data tables

Additional semantics are attached to the title attributes of the <link>, <abbr>, <input>, and <menuitem> elements.

Multiline titles

The title attribute may contain several lines. Each U+000A LINE FEED (LF) character represents a line break. Some caution must be taken, as this means the following renders across two lines:

HTML

<p>Newlines in <code>title</code> should be taken into account,
like <abbr title="This is a
multiline title">example</abbr>.</p>

Result

Title attribute inheritance

If an element has no title attribute, then it inherits it from its parent node, which in turn may inherit it from its parent, and so on.

If this attribute is set to the empty string, it means its ancestors' titles are irrelevant and shouldn't be used in the tooltip for this element.

HTML

<div title="CoolTip">
  <p>Hovering here will show “CoolTip”.</p>
  <p title="">Hovering here will show nothing.</p>
</div>

Result

Accessibility concerns

Use of the title attribute is highly problematic for:

  • People using touch-only devices
  • People navigating with keyboards
  • People navigating with assistive technology such as screen readers or magnifiers
  • People experiencing fine motor control impairment
  • People with cognitive concerns

This is due to inconsistent browser support, compounded by the additional assistive technology parsing of the browser-rendered page. If a tooltip effect is desired, it is better to use a more accessible technique that can be accessed with the above browsing methods.

Specifications

Specification
HTML Standard (HTML)
# the-title-attribute

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also