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Subhead Element


Add a <subhead> element to identify multiple subheadings, such as subtitles, alternative titles, taglines, and bylines.


Real world examples gathered on the WHATWG wiki reflect the usefulness of an element to signify a subheading, subtitle, tagline and byline.

As a child of a heading

<h1>Dr. Strangelove <subhead>Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb</subhead></h1>

As a sibling of a header

<h1>Syrian town of Qusair falls to Hezbollah in breakthrough for Assad</h1>
<subhead>Rebels confirm they have pulled out of strategic town after three-week siege by Lebanese militia</subhead>

Difference from <hgroup>

Unlike the <hgroup> element, the <subhead> element does not force a grouping pattern upon the markup where none previously existed. And unlike <hgroup>, <subhead> addresses scenarios where a subtitle or byline element does not immediately follow the heading element.

Difference from <aside> and <small>

The <subhead> element is neither an inline or sectioning aside. Unlike <small>, it does not represent a side-comment or “small print”, like copyright and legal text. Unlike <aside>, it does not represent a section of tangentially related content to the title.



Positive Effects

  • <subhead> provides authors with a more flexible element to mark up exisiting content structures.
  • <subhead> provides a clear semantic structure to convey differences in content to users.

Negative Effects

Conformance Classes Changes

  • The use of subline will be conforming.


  • current advice in tutorials and books will require modification


See more examples of subheadings in the wild from Apple, MTV, The Christian Science Monitor, etc.