HTML <main> Tag

The <main> tag is a new block-level element in the HTML5 specification. The tag specifies the dominant content of the document's <body>. The content of the <main> tag must be unique and do not duplicate blocks of the same type that are repeated in other documents, such as the header of a site, header, footer, menu, search, copyright information, etc.

The <main> element mustn’t be placed in the <article>, <aside>, <footer>, <header> or <nav> tags. A document must not have more than one <main> tag which does not have a specified hidden attribute.

This element doesn’t affect the DOM’s concept of the page’s structure, unlike such elements as <body>, <h2>, and others.

Assistive technology can use landmarks for quickly identifying and navigating to the document’s large sections. It is recommended to use the <main> element and not to declare role="main".

Assistive technology user can skip large sections of repeated content using “skipnav” technique. This allows the user to easily access a page’s main content. If you add an id attribute to the <main> element, it will be the target of a skip navigation link.

Syntax

The <main> tag comes in pairs. The content is written between the opening (<main>) and closing (</main>) tags.

Example of the HTML <main> tag:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <head>
    <title>Title of the document</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    <main>
      <h1>Programming languages</h1>
      <p>
        Languages HTML and CSS are intended for site layout.
      </p>
      <article>
        <h2>HTML</h2>
        <p>
          HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is a language of hypertext markup, which is used to create web pages.
        </p>
        <p>... </p>
        <p>... </p>
      </article>
      <article>
        <h2>CSS</h2>
        <p>
          CSS is a language of styles, defining the display of HTML documents.
        </p>
        <p>... </p>
      </article>
    </main>
  </body>
</html>

Result

Attributes

The <main>tag supports the Global Attributes and the Event Attributes.

How to style <main> tag?

Common properties to alter the visual weight/emphasis/size of text in <main> tag:

  • CSS font-style property sets the style of the font. normal | italic | oblique | initial | inherit.
  • CSS font-family property specifies a prioritized list of one or more font family names and/or generic family names for the selected element.
  • CSS font-size property sets the size of the font.
  • CSS font-weight property defines whether the font should be bold or thick.
  • CSS text-transform property controls text case and capitalization.
  • CSS text-decoration property specifies the decoration added to text, and is a shorthand property for text-decoration-line, text-decoration-color, text-decoration-style.

Coloring text in <main> tag:

  • CSS color property describes the color of the text content and text decorations.
  • CSS background-color property sets the background color of an element.

Text layout styles for <main> tag:

  • CSS text-indent property specifies the indentation of the first line in a text block.
  • CSS text-overflow property specifies how overflowed content that is not displayed should be signalled to the user.
  • CSS white-space property specifies how white-space inside an element is handled.
  • CSS word-break property specifies where the lines should be broken.

Other properties worth looking at for <main> tag:


Browser support

6+ 4+ 5+ 11.1+


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