Tips for HTML5, part 4: New tags

Continuing with this series of brief posts about the future of HTML (and what our students will need to know about it), I’m going to list the HTML tags that are new in HTML5. These are subject to change, of course, because the specification isn’t finished yet.

For short definitions of all valid tags for HTML5 tags, see the one-page HTML 5 Tag Reference at W3schools.

<canvas> See this post for an introduction.
<command> See note 1 below.
<details> See note 1 below.
<embed> See note 2 below.
<menu> See note 1 below.
<summary> See note 1 below.
<video> See this post for details.

Note 1: These four tags are categorized as “interactive elements,” explained further at WHATWG.

Note 2: The <embed> tag is new in HTML5, even though we have used an <embed> tag for many years. Its attributes are src, type, height, and width. It is used for plug-in content, but it is different from the new <video> and <audio> tags. The <object> tag does not go away. Both <embed> and <object> use MIME types.

In addition, there are three tags specifically related to ruby annotations, “primarily used in East Asian typography as a guide for pronunciation or to include other annotations” (and not at all related to Ruby,* an open-source programming language):


* Thanks very much to the commenters who pointed this out to me! I had it wrong in my original post.

These tags were part of the HTML5 working draft for some time, but now they have been removed:


For related posts, check out the “code” category here in this blog.

3 Comments on “Tips for HTML5, part 4: New tags

  1. has nothing to do with the programming language:

    Quote (
    The tag defines a ruby annotation (Chinese notes or characters).

    Used in East Asia, to show the pronunciation of East Asian characters.

    Use together with the and/or the tags:

    The ruby element consists of one or more characters (that needs an explanation/pronunciation), and a rt element that gives that information, and optionally a rp element that defines what to show browsers that do not support the “ruby” tag.

  2. Thanks very much for the correction, Juston and Richard! I have corrected my error. And I should have looked it up instead of just assuming.

    Justin: Wondering about Python support (which I did) should have raised a red flag. I mean, it there were support only for Ruby, there might be a programmer war!

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