HTML <embed> Tag

The HTML <embed> tag is used for embedding an external application or interactive content into an HTML document.

Note that the <embed> element is an empty element (no closing tag is used).

The <embed> tag was introduced in HTML 5.


The <embed> tag is written as <embed type="" source=""> (no closing tag), with the object type inserted between the double quotes of the type attribute, and the URL of the object provided in the source attribute.

A width and height attribute can also be provided if so desired.

Like this:


Basic tag usage

Here we use the <embed> element to display a Quicktime movie that the user can interact with.


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 <embed> element accepts the following attributes.

Element-Specific Attributes

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

srcSpecifies the location of the external file. Its value must be the URI of the resource being embedded.
typeSpecifies the type of the embedded content. If specified, the value must be a MIME type.

widthSpecifies the width, in pixels, to display the external content.

Possible values:

[Non-negative integer] (for example, 300)

heightSpecifies the height, in pixels, to display the external content.

Possible values:

[Non-negative integer] (for example, 150)

Global Attributes

The following attributes are standard across all HTML5 elements. Therefore, you can use these attributes with the <embed> 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 <embed> 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

The <embed> element was introduced in HTML5.

Note that, although it was introduced in HTML5, the <embed> tag has been around for a long time. Most browsers supported the <embed> element even though it was never in any HTML specifications. It has finally made it into an official HTML specifications document with the HTML5 specifications (and the HTML Living Standard).

For more details on the element, see HTML5 <embed> Tag. Also check out the links to the official specifications below.


Here's a template for the <embed> 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.

For more information on attributes for this tag, see HTML5 <embed> Tag.

* As well as the attributes listed above, the <embed> element can also accept any namespace-less attribute other than name, align, hspace, and vspace, so long as its name is XML-compatible and contains no uppercase ASCII letters. These attributes are then passed as parameters to the plugin.

Tag Details

For more details about the <embed> tag, see HTML5 <embed> Tag.


Here are the official specifications for the <embed> 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.