<main>

The HTML <main> element represents the dominant content of the <body> of a document. The main content area consists of content that is directly related to or expands upon the central topic of a document, or the central functionality of an application.

A document mustn't have more than one <main> element that doesn't have the hidden attribute specified.

Content categories Flow content, palpable content.
Permitted content Flow content.
Tag omission None; both the starting and ending tags are mandatory.
Permitted parents Where flow content is expected, but only if it is a hierarchically correct main element.
Implicit ARIA role main
Permitted ARIA roles No role permitted
DOM interface HTMLElement

Attributes

This element only includes the global attributes.

Usage notes

The content of a <main> element should be unique to the document. Content that is repeated across a set of documents or document sections such as sidebars, navigation links, copyright information, site logos, and search forms shouldn't be included unless the search form is the main function of the page.

<main> doesn't contribute to the document's outline; that is, unlike elements such as <body>, headings such as <h2>, and such, <main> doesn't affect the DOM's concept of the structure of the page. It's strictly informative.

Example

<!-- other content -->

<main>
  <h1>Apples</h1>
  <p>The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree.</p>

  <article>
    <h2>Red Delicious</h2>
    <p>These bright red apples are the most common found in many
    supermarkets.</p>
    <p>... </p>
    <p>... </p>
  </article>

  <article>
    <h2>Granny Smith</h2>
    <p>These juicy, green apples make a great filling for
    apple pies.</p>
    <p>... </p>
    <p>... </p>
  </article>
</main>

<!-- other content -->

Accessibility concerns

Landmark

The <main> element behaves like a main landmark role. Landmarks can be used by assistive technology to quickly identify and navigate to large sections of the document. Prefer using the <main> element over declaring role="main", unless there are legacy browser support concerns.

Skip navigation

Skip navigation, also known as "skipnav", is a technique that allows an assistive technology user to quickly bypass large sections of repeated content (main navigation, info banners, etc.). This lets the user access the main content of the page faster.

Adding an id attribute to the <main> element lets it be a target of a skip navigation link.

<body>
  <a href="#main-content">Skip to main content</a>

  <!-- navigation and header content -->

  <main id="main-content">
    <!-- main page content -->
  </main>
</body>

Reader mode

Browser reader mode functionality looks for the presence of the <main> element, as well as heading and content sectioning elements when converting content into a specialized reader view.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<main>' in that specification.
Living Standard
HTML 5.1
The definition of '<main>' in that specification.
Recommendation No change from HTML5.
HTML5
The definition of '<main>' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

To support Internet Explorer 11 and lower, you can add an ARIA role of "main" to the <main> element. But understand that the ARIA in HTML specification states that role="main" shouldn't actually be used with the <main> element, and the W3C validator will report a warning for it. However, Internet Explorer 11 and lower will otherwise not correctly expose the <main> element to screen readers such JAWS unless the element also has a role="main" attribute.

See also