HTML <ul> Tag

The HTML <ul> tag is used for specifying an unordered list, which groups a collection of items having no numerical order. When changing the order of list items, the meaning does not change. Usually, the items of an unordered list are displayed with a bullet. It can be of different forms such as a circle, a dot, or a square.

Each element of an unordered list is declared inside the <li> tag.

The <ul> tag is a block-level element, and occupies all available horizontal space. Its height depends on the content within the container. An unordered list is typically rendered as a bulleted list.

The <ol> tag also represents a list of items and creates an ordered list. But it differs from <ul>, as the order in the <ol> tag is meaningful. By default, the items of an ordered list are displayed with numbers.

The <ul> and <ol> tags can be nested as deeply as you want. The nested lists can alternate between <ul> and <ol>.

It is possible to change the list item marker with CSS. However, the semantic meaning expressed by the choice of a list type cannot be changed with CSS.

Syntax

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

Example of the HTML <ul> tag:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <head>
    <title>Title of the document</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    <ul>
      <li>List item</li>
      <li>List item</li>
      <li>List item</li>
    </ul>
  </body>
</html>

Result


You can use type attribute to change the default bullet style for the list items.

Example of the HTML <ul> tag with the type attribute:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <head>
    <title>Title of the document</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    <ul type="circle">
      <li>List item </li>
      <li>List item</li>
      <li>List item</li>
    </ul>
    <ul type="square">
      <li>List item</li>
      <li>List item</li>
      <li>List item</li>
    </ul>
  </body>
</html>

You can also use CSS list-style-type or list-style-image property to define the type of a list item element.

Example of the HTML <ul> tag used with the CSS list-style-type property:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <head>
    <title>Title of the document</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    <h2>Examples of unordered lists:</h2>
    <ul style="list-style-type: square">
      <li>Cold Drinks</li>
      <li>Hot Drinks</li>
      <li>Ice-Creams</li>
    </ul>
    <ul style="list-style-type: disc">
      <li>Coca-Cola</li>
      <li>Fanta</li>
      <li>Ice Tea</li>
    </ul>
    <ul style="list-style-type: circle">
      <li>Coca-Cola</li>
      <li>Fanta</li>
      <li>Ice Tea</li>
    </ul>
  </body>
</html>

Attributes

Attribute Value Description
compact compact Specifies that the list should be rendered in a compact style.
Not supported in HTML 5.
type disc
square
circle
Sets the type of marker.
Not supported in HTML 5.

The <ul> tag also supports the Global attributes and the Event Attributes.

How to style <ul> tag?

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


Browser support



Do you find this helpful?

Related articles