The IMG (Image) Element
Permitted Context: %text
Content Model: Empty!
The <IMG> tag is used to incorporate in-line graphics
(typically icons or small graphics) into an HTML document. This element
is NOT intended for embedding other HTML text. For large figures with
captions and text flow see FIG element.
<IMG SRC="tajmahal.gif" ALT="The Taj Mahal">
Browsers that cannot display in-line images ignore the IMG element
unless it contains the ALT attribute. Note that some browsers can
display (or print) linked graphics but not in-line graphics. If the
graphic is essential, you may want to create a link to it rather than
to put it in-line. If the graphic is essentially decorative, then IMG
- An SGML identifier used as the target for hypertext
links or for naming particular elements in associated style sheets.
Identifiers are NAME tokens and must be unique within the scope of the
- This is one of the ISO standard language abbreviations,
e.g. "en.uk" for the variation of English spoken in the United Kingdom.
It can be used by parsers to select language specific choices for
quotation marks, ligatures and hypenation rules etc. The language
attribute is composed from the two letter language code from ISO 639,
optionally followed by a period and a two letter country code from ISO
- This a space separated list of SGML NAME tokens and is
used to subclass tag names. By convention, the class names are
interpreted hierarchically, with the most general class on the left and
the most specific on the right, where classes are separated by a
period. The CLASS attribute is most commonly used to attach a different
style to some element, but it is recommended that where practical class
names should be picked on the basis of the element's semantics, as this
will permit other uses, such as restricting search through documents by
matching on element class names. The conventions for choosing class
names are outside the scope of this specification.
- SRC (Source)
- The SRC attribute specifies the URI for the image
to be embedded. Its syntax is the same as that of the HREF attribute of
the <A> tag. SRC is mandatory.
- Specifies a message digest or cryptographic checksum for the
associated graphic specified by the SRC attribute. It is used when you
want to be sure that the image is indeed the same one that the
author intended, and hasn't been modified in any way. For instance,
MD="md5:jV2OfH+nnXHU8bnkPAad/mSQlTDZ", which specifies an MD5 checksum
encoded as a base64 character string. The MD attribute is generally
allowed for all elements which support URI based links.
- Optional suggested width for the image. By default, this
is given in pixels.
- Optional suggested height for the image. By default, this
is given in pixels.
- This optional attribute specifies the units for the width
and height attributes. It is one of: units=pixels (the default)
or units=en (half the point size).
- Take values TOP or MIDDLE or BOTTOM, defining
whether the top or middle or bottom of the graphic should be aligned
with the baseline for the text line in which the IMG element appears.
With ALIGN=LEFT, the graphic will float down and over to the current
left margin, and subsequent text will wrap around the right hand side of the
graphic. Likewise for ALIGN=RIGHT, the graphic aligns with the current
right margin and, and text wraps around the left. It is inappropriate to
use this feature for larger graphics as these are best represented with
the FIG element.
- ALT (Alternate text)
- Optional alternative text as an
alternative to the graphics for display in text-only environments.
The alt text can contain entities e.g. for accented characters or
special symbols, but it can't contain markup. The latter is possible,
however, with the FIG element.
- An image map is a graphical map by which users can
navigate transparently from one information resource to another. The
ISMAP attribute identifies an image as an image map. The IMG element
can then be used as part of the label for a hypertext link (see the
anchor element). When the user clicks on the image the location clicked
is sent to the server designated by the hypertext link.
<IMG SRC="sample.gif" ISMAP></A>
Note: There are drawbacks from having the server process
clicks on images: the delay in getting feedback and the inability to
change the pointer cursor on the fly as it moves over hotzones.
Client-side processing of events is possible if one of the following
- The server may allow the image map to be downloaded and processed
locally. This should work with legacy documents produced using earlier
versions of HTML.
- Using an image format that includes image hotzones as part of the
- The FIG element provides for client-side image maps as a unified part
of the figure description. It offers a number of advantages over IMG,
including captions, markup in alt text and text flow around figures.