HTML <figure> Tag

The HTML <figure> tag represents flow content that is self-contained and is typically referenced as a single unit from the main flow of the document.

The <figure> tag can be used for annotating illustrations, diagrams, photos, code listings, etc.

The HTML5 specification advises:

Self-contained in this context does not necessarily mean independent. For example, each sentence in a paragraph is self-contained; an image that is part of a sentence would be inappropriate for figure, but an entire sentence made of images would be fitting.


The <figure> tag is written as <figure></figure> with the caption inserted between the start and end tags.

You can use the <figcaption> element to provide a caption for the contents of a <figure> element.

If used, the <figcaption> tag is placed either as the first child or last child of its parent <figure> tag.

Like this:

Or this:


Basic tag usage

Here, the <figure> tag is used to markup a fragment of sample code. In this instance, the <figcaption> tag is placed as the first child of the <figure> element.


You can also use the <figure> to markup images. But not just any image. If the image is self-contained, then it is suitable for use within the <figure> element. For example, the main image in an image gallery is an ideal candidate for the <figure> element. Charts or diagrams are also good candidates for use with the <figure> tag, as long as they're part of the normal flow of the content.

It's OK to place more than one image into a <figure> element, as long as the whole group is self-contained content.

Here's an example of marking up an image with the <figure> tag:


Poems and lyrics could also be marked up with the <figure> tag. Notice that the <cite> element is inside the <figcaption> element.


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

The <figure> element accepts the following attributes.


Global Attributes

The following attributes are standard across all HTML elements. Therefore, you can use these attributes with the <figure> 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.