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HTML5 Browser Support


You can teach older browsers to handle HTML5 correctly.


HTML5 Browser Support

HTML5 is supported in all modern browsers.

In addition, all browsers, old and new, automatically handle unrecognized elements as inline elements.

Because of this, you can "teach" older browsers to handle "unknown" HTML elements.

Note You can even teach IE6 (Windows XP 2001) how to handle unknown HTML elements.


Define HTML5 Elements as Block Elements

HTML5 defines eight new semantic HTML elements. All these are block-level elements.

To secure correct behavior in older browsers, you can set the CSS display property to block:

header, section, footer, aside, nav, main, article, figure {
    display: block;
}

Adding New Elements to HTML

You can also add any new element to HTML with a browser trick.

This example adds a new element called <myHero> to HTML, and defines a display style for it:

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <title>Creating an HTML Element</title>
  <script>document.createElement("myHero")</script>
  <style>
  myHero {
      display: block;
      background-color: #ddd;
      padding: 50px;
      font-size: 30px;
  }
  </style>
</head>
<body>

<h1>My First Heading</h1>

<p>My first paragraph.</p>

<myHero>My First Hero</myHero>

</body>
</html>
Try it Yourself »

The JavaScript statement document.createElement("myHero") is added, only to satisfy IE.


Problem With Internet Explorer

You could use the solution described above, for all new HTML5 elements, but:

Note Internet Explorer 8 and earlier, does not allow styling of unknown elements.

Thankfully, Sjoerd Visscher created the "HTML5 Enabling JavaScript", "the shiv":

<!--[if lt IE 9]>
  <script src="http://html5shiv.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/html5.js"></script>
<![endif]-->

The code above is a comment, but versions previous to IE9 will read it (and understand it).


The Complete Shiv Solution

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <title>Styling HTML5</title>
  <!--[if lt IE 9]>
  <script src="http://html5shiv.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/html5.js"></script>
  <![endif]-->
</head>
<body>

<h1>My First Article</h1>

<article>
London is the capital city of England. It is the most populous city in the United Kingdom, with a metropolitan area of over 13 million inhabitants.
</article>

</body>
</html>
Try it Yourself »

The link to the shiv code must be placed in the <head> element, because Internet Explorer needs to know about all new elements before reading them.


An HTML5 Skeleton

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<title>HTML5 Skeleton</title>
<meta charset="utf-8">

<!--[if lt IE 9]>
<script src="http://html5shiv.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/html5.js">
</script>
<![endif]-->

<style>
body {font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size:0.8em;}
header,nav, section,article,footer
{border:1px solid grey; margin:5px; padding:8px;}
nav ul {margin:0; padding:0;}
nav ul li {display:inline; margin:5px;}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<header>
  <h1>HTML5 SKeleton</h1>
</header>

<nav>
<ul>
  <li><a href="html5_semantic_elements.asp">HTML5 Semantic</a></li>
  <li><a href="html5_geolocation.asp">HTML5 Geolocation</a></li>
  <li><a href="html5_canvas.asp">HTML5 Graphics</a></li>
</ul>
</nav>

<section>

<h1>Famous Cities</h1>

<article>
<h2>London</h2>
<p>London is the capital city of England. It is the most populous city in the United Kingdom,
with a metropolitan area of over 13 million inhabitants.</p>
</article>

<article>
<h2>Paris</h2>
<p>Paris is the capital and most populous city of France.</p>
</article>

<article>
<h2>Tokyo</h2>
<p>Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area,
and the most populous metropolitan area in the world.</p>
</article>

</section>

<footer>
<p>&copy; 2014 W3Schools. All rights reserved.</p>
</footer>

</body>
</html>
Try it Yourself »