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The HTML <area> element defines a hot-spot region on an image, and optionally associates it with a hypertext link. This element is used only within a <map> element.

Content categories Flow content, phrasing content.
Permitted content None, it is an empty element.
Tag omission Must have a start tag and must not have an end tag.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts phrasing content. The <area> element must have an ancestor <map>, but it need not be a direct parent.
Permitted ARIA roles None
DOM interface HTMLAreaElement


This element's attributes include the global attributes.

accesskey HTML 4 only, Obsolete since Gecko 5.0
Specifies a keyboard navigation accelerator for the element. Pressing ALT or a similar key in association with the specified character selects the form control correlated with that key sequence. Page designers are forewarned to avoid key sequences already bound to browsers. This attribute is global since HTML5.
A text string alternative to display on browsers that do not display images. The text should be phrased so that it presents the user with the same kind of choice as the image would offer when displayed without the alternative text. In HTML4, this attribute is required, but may be the empty string (""). In HTML5, this attribute is required only if the href attribute is used.
A set of values specifying the coordinates of the hot-spot region. The number and meaning of the values depend upon the value specified for the shape attribute. For a rect or rectangle shape, the coords value is two x,y pairs: left, top, right, and bottom. For a circle shape, the value is x,y,r where x,y is a pair specifying the center of the circle and r is a value for the radius. For a poly or polygon shape, the value is a set of x,y pairs for each point in the polygon: x1,y1,x2,y2,x3,y3, and so on. In HTML4, the values are numbers of pixels or percentages, if a percent sign (%) is appended; in HTML5, the values are numbers of CSS pixels.
download HTML5
This attribute, if present, indicates that the author intends the hyperlink to be used for downloading a resource. See <a> for a full description of the download attribute.
The hyperlink target for the area. Its value is a valid URL. In HTML4, either this attribute or the nohref attribute must be present in the element. In HTML5, this attribute may be omitted; if so, the area element does not represent a hyperlink.
hreflang HTML5
Indicates the language of the linked resource. Allowed values are determined by BCP47. Use this attribute only if the href attribute is present.
name HTML 4 only, Obsolete since Gecko 5.0
Define a names for the clickable area so that it can be scripted by older browsers.
media HTML5
A hint of the media for which the linked resource was designed, for example print and screen. If omitted, it defaults to all. Use this attribute only if the href attribute is present.
nohref HTML 4 only, Obsolete since Gecko 5.0
Indicates that no hyperlink exists for the associated area. Either this attribute or the href attribute must be present in the element.

Usage note: This attribute is obsolete in HTML5, instead omitting the href attribute is sufficient.

A string indicating which referrer to use when fetching the resource:
  • "no-referrer" meaning that the Referer: header will not be sent.
  • "no-referrer-when-downgrade" meaning that no Referer: header will be sent when navigating to an origin without TLS (HTTPS). This is a user agent’s default behavior, if no policy is otherwise specified.
  • "origin" meaning that the referrer will be the origin of the page, that is roughly the scheme, the host and the port.
  • "origin-when-cross-origin" meaning that navigations to other origins will be limited to the scheme, the host and the port, while navigations on the same origin will include the referrer's path. 
  • "unsafe-url" meaning that the referrer will include the origin and the path (but not the fragment, password, or username). This case is unsafe because it can leak origins and paths from TLS-protected resources to insecure origins.
rel HTML5
For anchors containing the href attribute, this attribute specifies the relationship of the target object to the link object. The value is a comma-separated list of link types values. The values and their semantics will be registered by some authority that might have meaning to the document author. The default relationship, if no other is given, is void. Use this attribute only if the href attribute is present.
The shape of the associated hot spot. The specifications for HTML 5 and HTML 4 define the values rect, which defines a rectangular region; circle, which defines a circular region; poly, which defines a polygon; and default, which indicates the entire region beyond any defined shapes. Many browsers, notably Internet Explorer 4 and higher, support circ, polygon, and rectangle as valid values for shape; these values are .
tabindex HTML 4 only, Obsolete since Gecko 5.0
A numeric value specifying the position of the defined area in the browser tabbing order. This attribute is global in HTML5.
This attribute specifies where to display the linked resource. In HTML4, this is the name of, or a keyword for, a frame. In HTML5, it is a name of, or keyword for, a browsing context (for example, tab, window, or inline frame). The following keywords have special meanings:
  • _self: Load the response into the same HTML4 frame (or HTML5 browsing context) as the current one. This value is the default if the attribute is not specified.
  • _blank: Load the response into a new unnamed HTML4 window or HTML5 browsing context.
  • _parent: Load the response into the HTML4 frameset parent of the current frame or HTML5 parent browsing context of the current one. If there is no parent, this option behaves the same way as _self.
  • _top: In HTML4: Load the response into the full, original window, canceling all other frames. In HTML5: Load the response into the top-level browsing context (that is, the browsing context that is an ancestor of the current one, and has no parent). If there is no parent, this option behaves the same way as _self.
Use this attribute only if the href attribute is present.
type Obsolete since Gecko 5.1
This attribute specifies the media type in the form of a MIME type for the link target. Generally, this is provided strictly as advisory information; however, in the future a browser might add a small icon for multimedia types. For example, a browser might add a small speaker icon when type is set to audio/wav. For a complete list of recognized MIME types, see Use this attribute only if the href attribute is present.


<map name="primary">
  <area shape="circle" coords="75,75,75" href="left.html" alt="Click to go Left">
  <area shape="circle" coords="275,75,75" href="right.html" alt="Click to go Right">
<img usemap="#primary" src="" alt="350 x 150 pic">

Live Example


Under the HTML 3.2, 4.0, and 5 specifications, the closing tag </area> is forbidden.

The XHTML 1.0 specification requires a trailing slash: <area />.

The id, class, and style attributes have the same meaning as the core attributes defined in the HTML 4 specification, but only Netscape and Microsoft define them.

Netscape 1–level browsers do not understand the target attribute as it relates to frames.

HTML 3.2 defines only alt, coords, href, nohref, and shape.

HTML 5.1 defines obsolete the attribute type on this tag.


Specification Status Comment
Referrer Policy
The definition of 'referrerpolicy attribute' in that specification.
Editor's Draft Added the referrerpolicy attribute.
WHATWG HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<area>' in that specification.
Living Standard  
The definition of '<area>' in that specification.
HTML 4.01 Specification
The definition of '<area>' in that specification.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
referrerpolicy 51 No support 50 (50) No support No support No support
Feature Android Android Webview Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mini Opera Mobile Safari Mobile Chrome for Android
Basic support ? (Yes) (Yes) ? ? ? ? ? (Yes)
referrerpolicy No support No support No support 50.0 (50) No support No support No support No support No support