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HTML div tag

Note: If you don't know what an element/tag is and/or how you must use it we recommend you read our HTML tags and attributes tutorial, which you can find in our HTML tutorials section.

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Description

The HTML div element is a block level container for other elements. By itself, it has no presentational or semantic meaning, except that, as a block level element, browsers will render a line break before and after its content.

HTML div elements acquire their potential when used together with Style Sheets, as they are very useful to assign a set of presentational attributes to entire blocks of content.

Another good use for it, and maybe the most important, is designing a document's layout. DIVs come to replace the old way of setting the layout of a document, that used tables to arrange the distribution of content. These table layouts mean a missuse of the HTML table element, which purpose is to represent tabular data.

The "align" attribute for this element has been formally deprecated in HTML 4.01. Therefore, its use is no longer recommended.

Examples

Next, there are some examples of use of the HTML div element, assigning presentational properties to other inline and block level elements.

Note how the first DIV is floating to the right of the content. This feature is very helpful when designing a page's layout.

Code
<div style="float: right;">Monday, 14th February 2011</div>
<div style="font-size: 2em;">HTML <em>div</em> element.</div>
<div style="color: green;">
<p>This element is very useful when designing tableless layouts.</p>
<p>Don't forget to check its reference on HTMLQuick.com.</p>
</div>
View
Monday, 14th February 2011
HTML div element.

This element is very useful when designing tableless layouts.

Don't forget to check its reference on HTMLQuick.com.

Attributes

id (name)

The "id" attribute assigns an identifier to the associated element. This identifier must be unique in the document and can be used to refer to that element in other instances (e.g., from client-side scripts).

<p id="paragraph1">This is the first paragraph, named "paragraph1". To dynamically change its properties use this identifier.</p>

class (cdata)

The "class" attribute assigns a class name (or a list of class names separated by spaces) to the container element. It is used together with style sheets and tells the browser the class (or classes) to which the element is associated.

A class gives presentational attributes to elements (read more at the Cascading Style Sheets tutorial).

<p class="references">This article is based on the book "Wind in the trees" by Jhon L. Brooks</p>
<p class="references important">This article is based on the book "Wind in the trees" by Jhon L. Brooks... and is more important than the one before.</p>

style (style)

This attribute is used to define presentational attributes for the containing element, and its value should be composed by style sheets properties. Although in some cases it can become useful, a better practice is to place presentational attributes in external files, relating them to elements with the "class" attribute. This way you keep the semantic and presentational parts of your document separated.

You can find more information about presentational attributes at the Cascading Style Sheets tutorial.

<p style="color: #0000FF; font-size: 12pt">This is a paragraph with a defined style.</p>
<p>And this is another text without style.</p>

title (text)

The purpose of this attribute is to provide a title for the element. Its value must be a short and accurate description of the element. Browsers usually render it as a "tool tip" when the user puts the mouse pointer over the element for a short period of time.

Code
<a title="HTMLQuick.com" href="http://www.htmlquick.com">HTML code</a>
View

lang (langcode)

Specifies the language of an element's content. The default value is "unknown".

When writing XHTML 1.0 documents, the attribute used to specify the language of an elements is "xml:lang". For forward and backward compatibility both attributes can be used simultaneously as in the example below. Note that in XHTML 1.1 the "lang" attribute has been completely replaced by "xml:lang" and its use is no longer valid.

<p lang="en" xml:lang="en">This is a paragraph in English.</p>
<p lang="es" xml:lang="es">Este es un párrafo en español.</p>

dir

This attribute indicates the direction in which the texts of the element must be read. This includes content, attribute values and tables. It has two possible values that are case-insensitive:

  • RTL: Right to left.
  • LTR: Left to right.
<q lang="he" dir="rtl">...an Hebrew quotation...</q>

align

This attribute has been deprecated in HTML 4.01. Therefore its use is no longer recommended.

It defines the horizontal alignment of its content. Possible values (case-insensitive) are:

  • left: Text is aligned to the left margin.
  • right: Text is aligned to the right margin.
  • center: Text is centered.
  • justify: Text is justified to both margins.
<div align="right">Text aligned to the right.</div>

Events

  • onclick
  • ondblclick
  • onmousedown
  • onmouseup
  • onmouseover
  • onmousemove
  • onmouseout
  • onkeypress
  • onkeydown
  • onkeyup

See a complete list and information about events in HTML

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