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The code element specifies a fragment of computer code.

Overview Table

DOM Interface HTMLElement

Content within a code element is used to indicate a selection of text that is computer programming code, for instance:

  • Filename
  • Element name
  • Function call
  • Database query
  • Input prompt

Or any string that a computer will parse.


This is a simple example of the code element to display a CSS snippet.


<p>Now let’s set the color to red: <code>color: #f00;</code>.</p>

This is another take on the example above, but includes a class to indicate the type of code being written.


<p>Now let’s set the color to red: 
<code class="language-css">color: #f00;</code>.</p>


 The code element is a phrasing-level element used to indicate a selection of code. It must not contain block-level elements, but it may contain other phrasing-level elements.

Often, authors will use a class attribute to indicate the language being used in the code element (see Example 2).


While the code element is often visually-presented in a monospace font like the pre element, unlike pre white space (spaces, tabs, etc.) inside a code element is **not preserved**.

When representing HTML code within a code element, remember to encode the reserved characters < and > with their HTML entity equivalents (&lt; and &gt;, respectively).

Related specifications

Specification Status Related Changes
HTML 5.1 W3C Working Draft
HTML 5 W3C Recommendation
HTML 4.01 W3C Recommendation

See also

Related articles


  • code


  • code

Related pages (MSDN)

  • samp


This article contains content originally from external sources.

Portions of this content come from the Microsoft Developer Network: [Windows Internet Explorer API reference Article]