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The HTML <section> element represents a standalone section — which doesn't have a more specific semantic element to represent it — contained within an HTML document. Typically, but not always, sections have a heading.

As an example, a navigation menu should be wrapped in a <nav> element, but a list of search results and a map display and its controls don't have specific elements, and could be put inside a <section>.

Note: If the contents of the element would make sense syndicated as a standalone piece, the <article> element may be a better choice.

Content categories Flow content, Sectioning content, palpable content.
Permitted content Flow content.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts flow content. Note that a <section> element must not be a descendant of an <address> element.
Permitted ARIA roles alert, alertdialog, application, banner, complementary, contentinfo, dialog, document, feed, log, main, marquee, navigation, search, status, tabpanel
DOM interface HTMLElement

Attributes

This element only includes the global attributes.

Usage notes

  • Each <section> should be identified, typically by including a heading (<h1>-<h6> element) as a child of the <section> element.
  • If it makes sense to separately syndicate the content of a <section> element, use an <article> element instead.
  • Do not use the <section> element as a generic container; this is what <div> is for, especially when the sectioning is only for styling purposes. A rule of thumb is that a section should logically appear in the outline of a document.

Example

Before

<div>
  <h1>Heading</h1>
  <p>Bunch of awesome content</p>
</div>

After

<section>
  <h1>Heading</h1>
  <p>Bunch of awesome content</p>
</section>

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<section>' in that specification.
Living Standard
HTML 5.1
The definition of '<section>' in that specification.
Recommendation
HTML5
The definition of '<section>' in that specification.
Recommendation

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
sectionChrome Full support 5Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 4IE Full support 9Opera Full support 11.1Safari Full support 4.1WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support 11.1Safari iOS Full support 4.2Samsung Internet Android Full support Yes

Legend

Full support  
Full support

See also