HTML <abbr> Tag

The HTML <abbr> tag creates the 'abbr' element, which represents an abbreviation or acronym.

It is not necessarily a requirement to use the <abbr> when presenting an abbreviation. It is simply a tag that can be useful in many cases when doing so (for example, using the title attribute to expand on the abbreviation, or using style sheets to apply to the <abbr> element).

Note that the (global) title attribute has special semantics on the <abbr> element. If used, it must provide an expansion of the abbreviation/acronym (but nothing else).

Syntax

The <abbr> tag is written as <abbr></abbr> with the abbreviation/acronym inserted between the start and end tags. You can add the title attribute to the first instance of the abbreviation to provide an expansion.

Like this:

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<abbr>HTML</abbr>

OR

<abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">HTML</abbr>

Examples

Basic tag usage

CodeResult

PMR

With Title Attribute

CodeResult

PMR

Plural

If an abbreviation or acronym is pluralized, the value of any title attribute must match any pluralization of the <abbr> contents.

In other words, if the plural is outside the <abbr> element, then the title attribute's value must be singular (i.e. not pluralized). If on the other hand, the plural is inside the <abbr> element, the title attribute's value must be plural.

Here's an example of the plural being outside the <abbr> element:

CodeResult

There are many PMRs

Here's an example of the plural being inside the <abbr> element:

CodeResult

There are many PMRs

Differences Between HTML 4 & HTML 5

None.

To see more detail on the two versions see HTML5 <abbr> Tag and HTML4 <abbr> Tag. Also check out the links to the official specifications below.

Template

Here's a template for the <abbr> tag with all available attributes for the tag (based on HTML5). These are grouped into attribute types, each type separated by a space. In many cases, you will probably only need one or two (if any) attributes. Simply remove the attributes you don't need.

Note that the <abbr> element does not actually have any local attributes (i.e. attributes that are specific to the element), but the following global attributes and event handlers are available to the element (and all other HTML elements).

For more information on attributes for this tag, see HTML5 <abbr> Tag and HTML4 <abbr> Tag.

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<abbr 
 accesskey=""
 class=""
 contenteditable=""
 contextmenu=""
 dir=""
 draggable=""
 dropzone=""
 hidden=""
 id=""
 itemid=""
 itemprop=""
 itemref=""
 itemscope=""
 itemtype=""
 lang=""
 spellcheck=""
 style=""
 tabindex=""
 title=""*
 translate=""

 onabort=""
 onautocomplete=""
 onautocompleteerror=""
 onblur=""
 oncancel=""
 oncanplay=""
 oncanplaythrough=""
 onchange=""
 onclick=""
 onclose=""
 oncontextmenu=""
 oncuechange=""
 ondblclick=""
 ondrag=""
 ondragend=""
 ondragenter=""
 ondragexit=""
 ondragleave=""
 ondragover=""
 ondragstart=""
 ondrop=""
 ondurationchange=""
 onemptied=""
 onended=""
 onerror=""
 onfocus=""
 oninput=""
 oninvalid=""
 onkeydown=""
 onkeypress=""
 onkeyup=""
 onload=""
 onloadeddata=""
 onloadedmetadata=""
 onloadstart=""
 onmousedown=""
 onmouseenter=""
 onmouseleave=""
 onmousemove=""
 onmouseout=""
 onmouseover=""
 onmouseup=""
 onmousewheel=""
 onpause=""
 onplay=""
 onplaying=""
 onprogress=""
 onratechange=""
 onreset=""
 onresize=""
 onscroll=""
 onseeked=""
 onseeking=""
 onselect=""
 onshow=""
 onsort=""
 onstalled=""
 onsubmit=""
 onsuspend=""
 ontimeupdate=""
 ontoggle=""
 onvolumechange=""
 onwaiting=""
	>
</abbr>

* The title attribute has special semantics on the <abbr> element. If used, it must provide an expansion of the abbreviation/acronym and nothing else.

Tag Details

For more details about the <abbr> tag, see HTML5 <abbr> Tag and HTML4 <abbr> Tag.

Specifications

Here are the official specifications for the <abbr> element.

What's the Difference?

W3C creates "snapshot" specifications that don't change once defined. So the HTML5 specification won't change once it becomes an official recommendation. WHATWG on the other hand, develops a "living standard" that is updated on a regular basis. In general, you will probably find that the HTML living standard will be more closely aligned to the current W3C draft than to the HTML5 specification.

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