HTML <template> Tag

The HTML <template> tag allows you to declare fragments HTML fragments that can be cloned and inserted into the document by script.

The <template> tag allows you to declare HTML fragments that are not used when the document loads, but can be used later (upon a given user action for example).

The contents of the <template> element are not part of the document until you use it. Therefore, until you use it, none of its contents are downloaded, and you can't reference it via the DOM.

When the contents of the <template> element are used, they are cloned and inserted into the DOM. Therefore, you can use it multiple times, and you can even add to its contents.


The <template> tag is written as <template></template> with the template content between the start and end tags.

The global id attribute can be used so that scripts can refer to the element.

Like this:


Basic Usage

Here's an example of the <template> element being used in conjunction with JavaScript. Clicking the button will clone the contents of the <template> element and insert it into the DOM.

Add Table Rows

Here's an example of adding rows to an editable table using the <template> tag.


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 <template> element accepts the following attributes.

Element-Specific Attributes

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


Global Attributes

The following attributes are standard across all HTML5 elements. Therefore, you can use these attributes with the <template> 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 <template> 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 <template> element is new in HTML5.

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


Here's a template for the <template> 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 <template> 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 <template> Tag.

Tag Details

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


Here are the official specifications for the <template> 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.