HTML <body> Tag

The HTML <body> tag is used for creating a 'body' element. This element represents the main content section of the HTML document.

Generally, most content displayed on a typical web page is contained within the <body> element. Therefore, the <body> element usually contains many other elements (given the amount of content on a typical web page). This usually results in the <body> start tag being closer to the top of the document, with the end tag near the bottom.

The <body> element is categorized as "sectioning root". Most elements contained within the <body> are categorized as "flow content".

HTML documents must have no more than one <body> element.


The <body> tag is written as <body></body> with the document's content inserted between the start and end tags. Any attributes can be inserted into the start tag (for example, <body onload="">). Note that there are 12 event handlers that are only available for the <body> element (and the <frameset> element in HTML 4 and earlier) — these are listed further down this page.

The <body> must be the second element in an <html> element.

Like this:


This example demonstrates how the <body> element appears within an HTML document. Notice that none of the content outside of the <body> element appear on the page.


Attributes can be added to an HTML element to provide more information about how the element should appear or behave.

The <body> element accepts the following attributes.

HTML5 introduced the following event handlers that can be used with the <body> element (and the <frameset> element in HTML 4 and earlier).

onafterprint afterprint event handler
onbeforeprint beforeprint event handler
onbeforeunload beforeunload event handler
onhashchange hashchange event handler. The hashchange event is fired when navigating to a session history entry whose URL differs from that of the previous one only in the fragment identifier.
onlanguagechange languagechange event handler.
onmessage message event handler.
onmessageerror messageerror event handler.
onoffline offline event handler.
ononline online event handler.
onpagehide pagehide event handler. The pagehide event is fired when traversing from a session history entry.
onpageshow pageshow event handler. The pageshow event is fired when traversing to a session history entry.
onpopstate popstate event handler. The popstate event is fired when navigating to a session history entry that represents a state object.
onrejectionhandled rejectionhandled event handler.
onstorage storage event handler.
onunhandledrejection unhandledrejection event handler.
onunload unload event handler.

These are also listed under the Event Handlers section below, along with all other event handler content attributes that can be used on all HTML elements.

Global Attributes

The following attributes are standard across all HTML elements. Therefore, you can use these attributes with the <body> tag , as well as with all other HTML tags.

For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 global attributes.

Event Handlers

Event handler content attributes enable you to invoke a script from within your HTML. The script is invoked when a certain "event" occurs. Each event handler content attribute deals with a different event.

Most event handler content attributes can be used on all HTML elements, but some event handlers have specific rules around when they can be used and which elements they are applicable to.

For more detail, see HTML event handler content attributes.