HTML <br> Tag

The HTML <br> tag is used for creating the 'br' element, which represents a line break in an HTML document.

The <br> element is classified as a "void element" as it has no content. This also means that no end tag is required (or allowed for that matter).

The <br> tag must be used only for line breaks that are actually part of the content, as in poems or addresses. It should not be used for separating thematic groups in a paragraph. To separate thematic groups, use multiple <p> tags instead.

Also see the <wbr> tag for specifying a line break opportunity.


The <br> tag is written as <br> at the point where the line break should occur.

Like this:



One good example where the <br> tag can be used is for presenting addresses (such as street addresses). This is because addresses usually have one or more line breaks as part of the content.


Another example of <br> usage is with poetry or song lyrics.

Line Breaks and CSS

Although it is used for creating a line break, the HTML5 specification allows for the <br> element to be styled in such a way that the browser does not render line breaks. In particular, it reads:

While line breaks are usually represented in visual media by physically moving subsequent text to a new line, a style sheet or user agent would be equally justified in causing line breaks to be rendered in a different manner, for instance as green dots, or as extra spacing. - HTML5 Specification

The <wbr> Tag

Also see the <wbr> tag for specifying a line break opportunity.


Attributes can be added to an HTML element to provide more information about how the element should appear or behave.

There are 3 kinds of attributes that you can add to your HTML tags: Element-specific, global, and event handler content attributes.

The <br> element accepts the following attributes.

Element-Specific Attributes

This table shows the attributes that are specific to the <br> tag/element.


Global Attributes

The following attributes are standard across all HTML5 elements. Therefore, you can use these attributes with the <br> tag , as well as with all other HTML tags.

For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 global attributes.

Event Handler Content Attributes

Event handler content attributes enable you to invoke a script from within your HTML. The script is invoked when a certain "event" occurs. Each event handler content attribute deals with a different event.

Below are the standard HTML5 event handler content attributes.

Again, you can use any of these with the <br> element, as well as any other HTML5 element.

For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 event handler content attributes.

Differences Between HTML 4 & HTML 5


It should be noted that in HTML5 the <br> element does not require a forward slash to close the element (like in XHTML). The forward slash is an XHTML convention, not an HTML5 convention. This is also true for all other void elements and other situations that do not require an end tag.

To see more detail on the two versions see HTML5 <br> Tag and HTML4 <br> Tag. Also check out the links to the official specifications below.


Here's a template for the <br> tag with all available attributes for the tag (based on HTML5). These are grouped into attribute types, each type separated by a space. In many cases, you will probably only need one or two (if any) attributes. Simply remove the attributes you don't need.

Note that the <br> element does not actually have any local attributes (i.e. attributes that are specific to the element), but the following global attributes and event handlers are available to the element (and all other HTML elements).

For more information on attributes for this tag, see HTML5 <br> Tag and HTML4 <br> Tag.

Tag Details

For more details about the <br> tag, see HTML5 <br> Tag and HTML4 <br> Tag.


Here are the official specifications for the <br> element.

What's the Difference?

W3C creates "snapshot" specifications that don't change once defined. So the HTML5 specification won't change once it becomes an official recommendation. WHATWG on the other hand, develops a "living standard" that is updated on a regular basis. In general, you will probably find that the HTML living standard will be more closely aligned to the current W3C draft than to the HTML5 specification.