HTML <area> Tag

The HTML <area> tag creates the 'area' element, which represents an area in an image map.

An image map is an image with one or more areas that are hyperlinked. This means that the user can click on different areas within the image to be taken to a different URL.

Note that this tag must be nested within a <map> tag or a <template> tag.

Syntax

The <area> tag is typically written like this <area shape="" coords="" href="" alt=""> (no end tag) with the relevant attribute values inserted between the double quotes of the respective attributes.

You need to use the <area> element in conjunction with other elements, such as the <map> or <template> element, and an <img> element (to display the actual image).

Like this:

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<img src ="/image.png" alt="My image" usemap ="#my-map">
<map name="my-map">
  <area 
    shape="rect" 
    coords="50,50,100,100" 
    href="/box/" 
    alt="My rectangle box">
</map>

Examples

Maps

Geographical maps are a great candidate for applying an image map to. Using a graphic of a map, you can create clickable areas to indicate different geographical locations (eg, cities, provinces, or whole countries or continents).

The image below displays an image of two different countries. Each country is linked to a different URL. This is made possible by using an image map (i.e. <area> in conjunction with the <map> tag).

CodeResult

Map of Australia and New Zealand Australia New Zealand

Basic Shapes

The above map example uses a shape of poly to display a polygon. A polygon is more complex than a simple shape such as a rectangle or circle. You can specify a polygon using either polygon or poly as a value of the shape attribute.

You can also use shape names to draw a rectangle (rectangle or rect) or a circle (circle or circ).

Below is an example of an image map consisting of a rectangle, circle, and a polygon.

CodeResult

Funny Shapes Square Circle L shape

Differences Between HTML 4 & HTML 5

HTML5 introduced 2 new attributes for this tag: rel and hreflang.

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

Template

Here's a template for the <area> 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.

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

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<area  
 alt=""
 coords=""
 shape=""
 href=""
 target=""
 download=""
 rel=""
 hreflang=""
 type=""
 
 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=""
	>

Tag Details

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

Specifications

Here are the official specifications for the <area> 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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