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In previous versions of HTML there were two basic categories of elements; Block Elements, to find areas of a document and Inline Elements would flow with text. In HTML5 this concept is expanded into several overlapping categories. Content models define what types of content are expected in certain contexts. A given element may only have content that matches the requirements of its content model. An element's content model may include zero or more categories of content, and an element may also belong to zero or more categories.
In HTML5 there are seven content models. These content models overlap each other, that is, some elements may belong to more than one Content model. Most elements that are used in the body of a document are Flow Content. This includes text, paragraphs, headings, lists, hyperlinks, images, embedded media, and well just about everything. You'll notice in our Venn diagram the Flow Bubble encompasses almost all the other bubbles except part of the metadata. Phrasing Content includes the text of the document as well as elements that markup that text.
This includes images, hyperlinks, form elements, text markup like B and I elements, and pretty much anything else you can put in a paragraph. Heading Content includes the heading elements, h1 through h6, and the new h group element. Sectioning Content includes the new sectioning elements; article, aside, nav, and section. Embedded Content is content that imports another resource into the document or content that is otherwise inserted into the document; this includes video, audio, flash, other plug-ins as well as images, canvas, and even math objects.
Interactive Content is content that is specifically intended for user interaction like hyperlinks, form elements, menus, and even media if it has the controls attribute. Metadata Content is content that sets up the presentation or behavior of the rest of the content, or that sets up the relationship of the document with other documents, or that conveys other out-of-band information. These seven content categories represent the bulk of the content models used in HTML5. Understanding these will help you to write conforming documents that'll be portable and maintainable well into the future.
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