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The HTML <main> element represents the dominant content of the <body> of a document. The main content area consists of content that is directly related to or expands upon the central topic of a document, or the central functionality of an application.

A document must not have more than one <main> element that does not have the hidden attribute specified

Content categories Flow content, palpable content.
Permitted content Flow content.
Tag omission None; both the starting and ending tags are mandatory.
Permitted parents Where flow content is expected, but only if it is a hierarchically correct main element.
Permitted ARIA roles The main role is applied to <main> by default, and the presentation role is permitted as well.
DOM interface HTMLElement

Attributes

This element only includes the global attributes.

Usage notes

The content of a <main> element should be unique to the document. Content that is repeated across a set of documents or document sections such as sidebars, navigation links, copyright information, site logos, and search forms should not be included unless the search form is the main function of the page.

<main> doesn't contribute to the document's outline; that is, unlike elements such as <body>, headings such as <h2>, and such, <main> doesn't affect the DOM's concept of the structure of the page. It's strictly informative.

Example

<!-- other content -->

<main>
  <h1>Apples</h1>
  <p>The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree.</p>
  
  <article>
    <h2>Red Delicious</h2>
    <p>These bright red apples are the most common found in many
    supermarkets.</p>
    <p>... </p>
    <p>... </p>
  </article>

  <article>
    <h2>Granny Smith</h2>
    <p>These juicy, green apples make a great filling for
    apple pies.</p>
    <p>... </p>
    <p>... </p>
  </article>
</main>

<!-- other content -->

Accessibility Concerns

Landmark

The <main> element behaves like a main landmark role. Landmarks can be used by assistive technology to quickly identify and navigate to large sections of the document. Prefer using the <main> element over declaring role="main", unless there are legacy browser support concerns.

Skip navigation

Skip navigation, also known as "skipnav", is a technique that allows an assistive technology user to quickly bypass large sections of repeated content (main navigation, info banners, etc.). This allows the user to access the main content of the page faster.

Adding an id attribute to the <main> element allows it to be a target of a skip navigation link.

<body>
  <a href="#main-content">Skip to main content</a>

  <!-- navigation and header content -->

  <main id="main-content">
    <!-- main page content -->
  </main>
</body>

Reader mode

Browser reader mode functionality will look for the presence of the main element, as well as heading and content sectioning elements when converting content into a specialized reader view.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<main>' in that specification.
Living Standard  
HTML 5.1
The definition of '<main>' in that specification.
Recommendation No change from HTML5.
HTML5
The definition of '<main>' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

The <main> element is widely supported. For Internet Explorer 11 and below, it is suggested that an ARIA role of "main" be added to the <main> element to ensure it is accessible (screen readers like JAWS, used in combination with older versions of Internet Explorer, will be able to understand the semantic meaning of the <main> element once this role attribute is included).

<main role="main">
  ...
</main>

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
Basic supportChrome Full support 26Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 21IE No support NoOpera Full support 16Safari Full support 7WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support 12Firefox Android Full support 21Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support 7.1Samsung Internet Android Full support Yes

Legend

Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support

See also