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The desc element (<desc>) provides a human readable description for container elements and graphics elements.

Overview Table

DOM Interface


In the following code example, the desc element is used to define a description of an element. This element can be read programatically to analyze SVG structure.

Copy this sample to a text file and save it with the .html file extension. Run it in Internet Explorer 9 to see a greenyellow ellipse.

The element will look like this:

    <svg width="400" height="400">
      <ellipse cx="150" cy="100" rx="100" ry="75" fill="greenyellow">
        <desc>This is the description of an ellipse.</desc>



Note: In addition to the attributes, properties, events, methods, and styles listed above, SVG elements also inherent core HTML attributes, properties, events, methods, and styles.

Standards information


The SVGDescElement object has these events:

  • onload: Occurs when the browser has fully parsed the element and all of its descendants.

The SVGDescElement object has these properties:

  • className: Gets the names of the classes that are assigned to this object.
  • focusable: Determines if an element can acquire keyboard focus (that is, receive keyboard events) and be a target for field-to-field navigation actions (such as when a user presses the Tab key).
  • ownerSVGElement: Gets the nearest ancestor svg element.
  • style: Gets a style object.
  • viewportElement: Gets the element that established the current viewport.
  • xmlbase: Gets or sets the base attribute on the element.
  • xmllang: Gets or sets a value that specifies the language that is used in the contents and attribute values of an element.
  • xmlspace: Gets or sets a value that indicates whether white space is preserved in character data.

Related specifications

SVG 1.1
W3C Recommendation
SVG Tiny 1.2
W3C Recommendation