HTML 5 <summary> Tag

The HTML <summary> tag specifies a summary/caption that can be used in conjunction with the HTML5 <details> tag. This summary/caption can be clicked on to expand/collapse the details as required.

The <summary> tag, if used, should be the first child of the <details> tag.

The <summary> tag was introduced in HTML 5.


Here is an example of the HTML code used to specify the <summary> element.

Note: At the time of writing, no browser supports the <summary> element. This example is based on the W3C HTML 5 Working Draft, and is solely to demonstrate the context of this tag.

Once browsers support the <summary> element, the word "Name" below should be a clickable heading that, when clicked on, expands to reveal the name "Homer J Simpson". If your browser doesn't support this tag, there will be no expand/collapse effect (all details will be shown anyway).


HTML tags can contain one or more attributes. Attributes are added to a tag to provide the browser with more information about how the tag should appear or behave. Attributes consist of a name and a value separated by an equals (=) sign, with the value surrounded by double quotes. Here's an example, style="color:black;".

There are 3 kinds of attributes that you can add to your HTML tags: Element-specific, global, and event handler content attributes.

The attributes that you can add to this tag are listed below.

Element-Specific Attributes

The following table shows the attributes that are specific to this tag/element.


Global Attributes

The following attributes are standard across all HTML 5 tags (although the tabindex attribute does not apply to dialog elements).

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

Event Handler Content Attributes

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.

For a full list of event handlers, see HTML 5 event handler content attributes.