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The footer element

From: HTML5: Structure, Syntax, and Semantics

Video: The footer element

Although people tend to lump the footer element into the discussions surrounding the header element, there are quite a few differences between the two elements, so let's go into the spec and learn a little bit more about the new footer element. Now, a couple of things I want point out here. Notice that it is not part of Sectioning content, so just like the header, it's not Sectioning content, like the nav, section, article, and aside elements are. Also, we have some restrictions. Notice in the Content model it can contain any Flow content, but it cannot contain a header or a footer, so you can't put a header or a footer inside of a footer.

The footer element

Although people tend to lump the footer element into the discussions surrounding the header element, there are quite a few differences between the two elements, so let's go into the spec and learn a little bit more about the new footer element. Now, a couple of things I want point out here. Notice that it is not part of Sectioning content, so just like the header, it's not Sectioning content, like the nav, section, article, and aside elements are. Also, we have some restrictions. Notice in the Content model it can contain any Flow content, but it cannot contain a header or a footer, so you can't put a header or a footer inside of a footer.

Now that's very similar to the header, because the header elements can also not contain a header or footer element. So let's read a little bit more about what type of content a footer represents. Notice that a footer typically contains information about its section, such as who wrote it, links to related documents, or copyright data, and things like that. Also notice that it says the footer element represents a footer, for its nearest ancestor sectioning content or sectioning root element. Now it's real easy in a specification to read something like that and go, hey! just look at it this way.

If you find the footer in the body tag and not inside of another element, it's the footer for the entire page. On the other hand, if you found the footer, for example, inside of an article element, then it would the footer for that article, so that's really kind of what that is saying here. If we scroll down a little bit, we notice that it says here something very interesting: "Footers don't necessarily have to appear in the end of the section, although they usually do." So, really footers can be used wherever they're appropriate. Footers can also contain sectioning content themselves, so you can place really complex structures inside of them.

Obviously, they can't have headers and footers of their own, but they could include entire sections inside of them. If you're going to do that, however, notice that it says, make sure that they will represent things like appendices, indexes, license agreements, things like that that really require that structure. We have a note here that says, hey, the footer element is not sectioning content, just like I was talking about a moment ago, and when we talk more about sectioning content, we'll define this further. And this last statement here, it's really kind of saying what I've said earlier, which is that if the footer doesn't have a parent element outside of the body tag, then it applies to the entire page.

Okay, so another thing that you can kind of tell from the examples here that is pretty interesting, look at the first example. Right off of the opening body tag, boom, there is a footer. All right, so it is showing you right off the bat that the footer does not have to show up at the bottom of the content. Another really curious thing here is that if we go down the page a little bit further, we can see there is another footer. So we have one here that says, "Back to index" and Back to index, those would be links, you know, back up to the table of contents on both the top and bottom portion here. So pages and sections can have multiple footers. You're not limited to just one footer. You can have footers for as many sections as you would like, and you can certainly have more than one footer within a section.

And if I scroll down a little bit, I can see a much more complex example of a page where this particular article has its own footer, and then we notice the page has its own footer. If we can scroll down a little bit, you can see that the page has its own footer, because it's not nested inside of an article, such as this one is. Okay, so that should give you a little bit greater understanding of what the footer element allows us to do. And now that we know that, let's go back in our HTML page and finish it up by adding a footer of its own. So here we are, back in html5.htm.

This is open from 02_08 directory. You've probably already guessed what we're going to do here. I'm going to scroll down, and down at the very bottom of the content I can see a div tag that has our copyright information in it. If you remember, as the spec said, this is a perfect usage of the footer element. So I'm just going to replace the div tag with the footer and remember to get the closing div tag as well. So, and then I'm just going to go ahead and save that. So now our new page here has a footer and is filled with all this rich HTML semantic goodness.

Now, note how by using these new structural tags available to us, we've not only identified content more clearly--so here's the headers, and articles and nav element, the footer-- but we've begun to establish relationships between content sections as well. Now, before you move on to a more detailed look in defining more complex page structures, it's important to explain the content models that I've been referencing, such as Flow content and Sectioning content, and we're going to do just that in our next movie.

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HTML5: Structure, Syntax, and Semantics

46 video lessons · 36448 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 2m 20s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 32s
  2. 18m 41s
    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 27s
  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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