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The HTML <template> element is a mechanism for holding client-side content that is not to be rendered when a page is loaded but may subsequently be instantiated during runtime using JavaScript.

Think of a template as a content fragment that is being stored for subsequent use in the document. While the parser does process the contents of the <template> element while loading the page, it does so only to ensure that those contents are valid; the element's contents are not rendered, however.

Content categories Metadata content, flow content, phrasing content, script-supporting element
Permitted content Metadata content, flow content, any valid HTML content that is permitted to occur within the <ol>, <dl>, <figure>, <ruby>, <object>, <video>, <audio>, <table>, <colgroup>, <thead>, <tbody>, <tfoot>, <tr>, <fieldset>, <select>, <details> elements and <menu> whose type attribute is in popup menu state.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents <body>, <frameset>, <head>, <dl> and <colgroup> without a span attribute
Permitted ARIA roles None
DOM interface HTMLTemplateElement

Attributes

This element only includes the global attributes.

Example

First we start with the HTML portion of the example.

<table id="producttable">
  <thead>
    <tr>
      <td>UPC_Code</td>
      <td>Product_Name</td>
    </tr>
  </thead>
  <tbody>
    <!-- existing data could optionally be included here -->
  </tbody>
</table>

<template id="productrow">
  <tr>
    <td class="record"></td>
    <td></td>
  </tr>
</template> 

First, we have a table into which we will later insert content using JavaScript code. Then comes the template, which describes the structure of an HTML fragment representing a single table row.

Now that the table has been created and the template defined, we use JavaScript to insert rows into the table, with each row being constructed using the template as its basis.

// Test to see if the browser supports the HTML template element by checking
// for the presence of the template element's content attribute.
if ('content' in document.createElement('template')) {

  // Instantiate the table with the existing HTML tbody
  // and the row with the template
  var t = document.querySelector('#productrow'),
  td = t.content.querySelectorAll("td");
  td[0].textContent = "1235646565";
  td[1].textContent = "Stuff";

  // Clone the new row and insert it into the table
  var tb = document.querySelector("tbody");
  var clone = document.importNode(t.content, true);
  tb.appendChild(clone);
  
  // Create a new row
  td[0].textContent = "0384928528";
  td[1].textContent = "Acme Kidney Beans";

  // Clone the new row and insert it into the table
  var clone2 = document.importNode(t.content, true);
  tb.appendChild(clone2);

} else {
  // Find another way to add the rows to the table because 
  // the HTML template element is not supported.
}

The result is the original HTML table, with two new rows appended to it via JavaScript:

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
WHATWG HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'template element' in that specification.
Living Standard  
HTML5
The definition of 'template element' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 26 13 22 (22) No support 15 7.1
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support ? (Yes) ? ? ? iOS 8

See also