Jens Oliver Meiert

HTML: The 16 Content Categories and Their Elements

Post from January 20, 2021, filed under .

HTML puts elements into categories, so-called content categories. The specification describes these in the sections on kinds of content and element content categories.

This article serves as a boring, brief, and updated overview over the broad and overlapping categories of HTML, and which elements fall into them (without going into detail on elements with exceptions):


  1. Metadata Content
  2. Flow Content
  3. Sectioning Content
  4. Heading Content
  5. Phrasing Content
  6. Embedded Content
  7. Interactive Content
  8. Sectioning Roots
  9. Form-Associated Elements
  10. Listed Elements
  11. Submittable Elements
  12. Resettable Elements
  13. Autocapitalize-Inheriting Elements
  14. Labelable Elements
  15. Palpable Content
  16. Script-Supporting Elements

Metadata Content

Flow Content

Sectioning Content

Heading Content

Phrasing Content

Embedded Content

Interactive Content

There are also the following categories:

Sectioning Roots

Form-Associated Elements

Listed Elements

Submittable Elements

Resettable Elements

Autocapitalize-Inheriting Elements

Labelable Elements

Palpable Content

Per the HTML specification, “palpable content” is content that makes an element non-empty by providing either some descendant non-empty text, or something else users can hear, see, or otherwise interact with.

Script-Supporting Elements

❧ These categories are useful, for example to identify all available but also the semantically fitting elements. They can inform sorting schemes, too, as with a standard order to sort CSS selectors by.

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Jens Oliver Meiert, on April 29, 2020.

I’m Jens Oliver Meiert, and I’m a web developer (engineering manager) and author. I love trying things, sometimes including philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on I share some of my views and experiences.

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Last update: January 20, 2021

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