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HTML5: Structure, Syntax, and Semantics
Illustration by Don Barnett

Using the mark element


From:

HTML5: Structure, Syntax, and Semantics

with James Williamson

Video: Using the mark element

The mark element is a brand-new element in HTML5 that is designed to help authors highlight page content, usually for reference purposes. So let's take a look at what the spec has to say about this new element. So here I am in the author view HTML5 specification, and I've navigated to the mark element. And I am just going to scroll down a little bit so we can read the description of this. "The mark element represents a run of text in one document marked or highlighted for reference purposes, due to its relevance in another context.
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  1. 2m 20s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 32s
  2. 19m 7s
    1. A brief overview of HTML5
      3m 57s
    2. What's in the HTML5 specification?
      8m 17s
    3. Why do we need new structural elements?
      6m 53s
  3. 50m 33s
    1. Defining HTML5 documents
      5m 5s
    2. HTML5 syntax
      9m 14s
    3. The header element
      5m 22s
    4. The nav element
      4m 55s
    5. The section element
      4m 51s
    6. The article element
      4m 48s
    7. The aside element
      4m 13s
    8. The footer element
      4m 17s
    9. Content model overview
      7m 48s
  4. 35m 28s
    1. Understanding the outline algorithm
      3m 17s
    2. Creating document sections
      8m 25s
    3. Using headings properly
      9m 1s
    4. Using hgroup to override sectioning
      4m 17s
    5. Properly nesting structure
      7m 17s
    6. Sectioning roots
      3m 11s
  5. 58m 30s
    1. Organizing content
      4m 41s
    2. Planning document structure
      5m 47s
    3. Choosing the right structural element
      4m 43s
    4. Checking document outlines
      5m 27s
    5. Coding initial page structure
      5m 28s
    6. Using class and ID attributes
      5m 31s
    7. Structuring headers
      13m 13s
    8. Building navigation
      7m 1s
    9. Structuring footers
      6m 39s
  6. 1h 27m
    1. Working with figure and figcaption
      7m 12s
    2. Grouping content with asides
      3m 46s
    3. Using divs in HTML5
      5m 0s
    4. Working with lists in HTML5
      7m 10s
    5. The return of bold and italic
      5m 52s
    6. Citing works semantically
      6m 32s
    7. Using the address element
      5m 24s
    8. Using the small element
      4m 24s
    9. Using the mark element
      5m 16s
    10. Working with date and time
      11m 55s
    11. Creating block-level links
      8m 53s
    12. Understanding link relationships
      9m 28s
    13. Defining link relationships
      6m 23s
  7. 17m 22s
    1. Current browser support
      7m 38s
    2. Ensuring block-level display
      4m 3s
    3. Adding support for elements in older browsers
      5m 41s
  8. 3m 46s
    1. Additional Resources
      3m 46s

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HTML5: Structure, Syntax, and Semantics
4h 34m Beginner May 31, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Gain a deeper understanding of HTML5 and learn how to create richer, more meaningful web pages with structural tags and descriptive attributes. In this course, author James Williamson presents an overview of HTML5 and its development, defines the new tags and attributes, and discusses how browsers parse and display HTML5 content. The course also includes step-by-step instructions for constructing an HTML5 document with a header and footer, navigation, content groups, and formatting.

Topics include:
  • Defining basic elements
  • Exploring the content model
  • Creating document sections
  • Using hgroup to override sectioning
  • Using the proper nesting structure
  • Choosing the right structural element
  • Using class and ID attributes
  • Building navigation
  • Grouping content with asides
  • Using divs in HTML5
  • Creating block level links
  • Defining link relationships
  • Understanding current browser support
  • Adding support for elements in older browsers
Subjects:
Developer Web Web Design Web Foundations Programming Languages Web Development
Software:
HTML
Author:
James Williamson

Using the mark element

The mark element is a brand-new element in HTML5 that is designed to help authors highlight page content, usually for reference purposes. So let's take a look at what the spec has to say about this new element. So here I am in the author view HTML5 specification, and I've navigated to the mark element. And I am just going to scroll down a little bit so we can read the description of this. "The mark element represents a run of text in one document marked or highlighted for reference purposes, due to its relevance in another context.

When used in a quotation or other block of text referred to from the prose, it indicates a highlight that was not originally present." That's the important part, 'not originally present', "but which has been added to bring the reader's attention to a part of the text that might not have been considered important by the original author." So if you're quoting somebody and you want to take a part of that quote and emphasize it for the reader, and it wasn't originally emphasized, then the mark element is perfect for that. And also it has other uses as well. And I am going to scroll down, and I notice here that we have a note that says, "Another example of the mark element is highlighting parts of a document that are matching some search string." So let's say you search a book for a specific phrase or term, what you could do is you could have the search engine not only return the content that somebody searched for, but you could have it wrap the text that they were looking for in the mark element as well to indicate that this is the content that they're looking for.

Although the final version of our Trail Guide file doesn't really use the mark element, nothing is stopping us from experimenting with it. So I am going to go back into our trails file and have a little bit of fun with the mark element to show you guys what it's capable of. All right! So let's come back right into here. Okay. So if you are following along with me, go ahead and open up the trails.htm from the 05_09 folder. And this is actually the finished file, so you might see some content that you didn't see before. All right! So I am going to scroll down a little bit into our trail review for the Northridge Loop, and what I want to look for is the second paragraph right here on line 55. So there are a total of six trailheads.

This is the line that I'm interested in: "Hiking is permitting along all trails." So what I am going to do is I am going to take that section and I am going to wrap that with a mark tag. Now, one of the reasons why I want to do this is I want to show you right off the bat how user agents, browsers, and things like that are essentially implementing the mark tag. Now, our styles don't contain any rules that pertain to the mark tag at all. So all the styling that you are about to see is coming directly from the browser. So I am going to go ahead and save that and preview that in one of my browsers.

And if I scroll down and take a look at the content, it's pretty easy to find where our mark tag is. Now, again, this yellow highlighting is how most browsers are dealing with the mark tag. This is typical. They essentially highlight it using that sort of yellow highlight, just like somebody has come along and highlighted it in a book. Now, that's very nice. It makes it stand out, it emphasizes it, but it's also nonconforming use. I'm not citing another work. I'm not emphasizing a quote, and I'm not showcasing any search results.

So actually, this would be incorrect use. And I am pointing this out because once people see this they're like, oh cool, anytime I need to highlight some text, I'll just use the mark tag, and that is not how you're supposed to use it. That would be semantically incorrect. So I am going to go back into my code and get rid of that. And let's take a look at how we might use this correctly. So since we don't have any search results that we're referencing, we're going to go down to our quote. So in our blockquote where it says, "Northridge Loop is easily the best loop in Ojai! You'll kick yourself if you miss it!" What I am going to do here is I am going to surround the text 'best loop in Ojai!' So that wasn't really emphasized by the original author, but we want to make sure people know that, hey, this person is saying it's the best loop in Ojai.

So that is actually a correct usage for the mark element. So I am going to go ahead and save that and preview that in our browser as well. Now, as I scroll down, I can see in my blockquote, that's really standing out, 'the best loop in Ojai!' there. Now, if you don't like the way that the browser is styling that, you can go ahead and change that. You can just italicize the text. You can choose different background colors for it. You can take the background color off. It's totally up to you in terms of how the mark element is presented. I just wanted to make you familiar with the default presentation in almost all the browsers that are implementing the mark element.

Now, honestly, it hasn't been used a lot yet. It's brand new in HTML5, browsers are implementing it, but I haven't seen a lot of authors using it. In the end, my guess is that we're going to see the mark element being used a good bit in search results. It's a great way to show a visitor exactly where the phrase or the words that they were searching for are in the actual text itself. It's also a great way, as we are using it here, to reference quotes or passages and draw the attention of the reader to a specific part of the passage that wasn't emphasized originally.

Just remember how most browsers style the mark element, and determine for yourself if you want to overwrite the selling with something more consistent with your own site.

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