← 4.7.1 The ins elementTable of contents4.8 Embedded content →
      1. 4.7.2 The del element
      2. 4.7.3 Attributes common to ins and del elements
      3. 4.7.4 Edits and paragraphs
      4. 4.7.5 Edits and lists

4.7.2 The del element

Flow content.
When the element only contains phrasing content: phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
When the element only contains phrasing content: where phrasing content is expected.
Otherwise: where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses the HTMLModElement interface.

The del element represents a removal from the document.

del elements should not cross implied paragraph boundaries.

The following shows a "to do" list where items that have been done are crossed-off with the date and time of their completion.

<h1>To Do</h1>
 <li>Empty the dishwasher</li>
 <li><del datetime="2009-10-11T01:25-07:00">Watch Walter Lewin's lectures</del></li>
 <li><del datetime="2009-10-10T23:38-07:00">Download more tracks</del></li>
 <li>Buy a printer</li>

4.7.3 Attributes common to ins and del elements

The cite attribute may be used to specify the address of a document that explains the change. When that document is long, for instance the minutes of a meeting, authors are encouraged to include a fragment identifier pointing to the specific part of that document that discusses the change.

If the cite attribute is present, it must be a valid URL potentially surrounded by spaces that explains the change.

The datetime attribute may be used to specify the time and date of the change.

If present, the datetime attribute's value must be a valid date string with optional time.

The ins and del elements implement the HTMLModElement interface:

interface HTMLModElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString cite;
           attribute DOMString dateTime;

The cite IDL attribute must reflect the element's cite content attribute. The dateTime IDL attribute must reflect the element's datetime content attribute.

4.7.4 Edits and paragraphs

Since the ins and del elements do not affect paragraphing, it is possible, in some cases where paragraphs are implied (without explicit p elements), for an ins or del element to span both an entire paragraph or other non-phrasing content elements and part of another paragraph. For example:

   This is a paragraph that was inserted.
  This is another paragraph whose first sentence was inserted
  at the same time as the paragraph above.
 This is a second sentence, which was there all along.

By only wrapping some paragraphs in p elements, one can even get the end of one paragraph, a whole second paragraph, and the start of a third paragraph to be covered by the same ins or del element (though this is very confusing, and not considered good practice):

 This is the first paragraph. <ins>This sentence was
 <p>This second paragraph was inserted.</p>
 This sentence was inserted too.</ins> This is the
 third paragraph in this example.
 <!-- (don't do this) -->

However, due to the way implied paragraphs are defined, it is not possible to mark up the end of one paragraph and the start of the very next one using the same ins or del element. You instead have to use one (or two) p element(s) and two ins or del elements, as for example:

 <p>This is the first paragraph. <del>This sentence was
 <p><del>This sentence was deleted too.</del> That
 sentence needed a separate &lt;del&gt; element.</p>

Partly because of the confusion described above, authors are strongly encouraged to always mark up all paragraphs with the p element, instead of having ins or del elements that cross implied paragraphs boundaries.

4.7.5 Edits and lists

The content models of the ol and ul elements do not allow ins and del elements as children. Lists always represent all their items, including items that would otherwise have been marked as deleted.

To indicate that an item is inserted or deleted, an ins or del element can be wrapped around the contents of the li element. To indicate that an item has been replaced by another, a single li element can have one or more del elements followed by one or more ins elements.

In the following example, a list that started empty had items added and removed from it over time. The bits in the example that have been emphasized show the parts that are the "current" state of the list. The list item numbers don't take into account the edits, though.

<h1>Stop-ship bugs</h1>
 <li><ins datetime="2008-02-12T15:20Z">Bug 225:
 Rain detector doesn't work in snow</ins></li>
 <li><del datetime="2008-03-01T20:22Z"><ins datetime="2008-02-14T12:02Z">Bug 228:
 Water buffer overflows in April</ins></del></li>
 <li><ins datetime="2008-02-16T13:50Z">Bug 230:
 Water heater doesn't use renewable fuels</ins></li>
 <li><del datetime="2008-02-20T21:15Z"><ins datetime="2008-02-16T14:25Z">Bug 232:
 Carbon dioxide emissions detected after startup</ins></del></li>

In the following example, a list that started with just fruit was replaced by a list with just colors.

<h1>List of <del>fruits</del><ins>colors</ins></h1>