Summary

Use the epub:type attribute to enhance the user experience in EPUB user agents.

Techniques

No other uses of epub:type are known to provide user enhancements at this time. Please open an issue if any such arise.

Examples

Common note semantics
Footnote and reference
<p>lorum ipsum.<a epub:type="noteref" href="#fn01">1</a></p>
<aside epub:type="footnote">
   …
</aside>
Endnote and reference
<p>lorum ipsum.<a epub:type="noteref" href="#en01">1</a></p>
<aside epub:type="endnote">
   …
</aside>
Endnotes section
<section epub:type="endnotes">
   <h1>Endnotes</h1>
   
   <section>
     <h2>Chapter 1</h2>
     <aside epub:type="endnote">
       …
     </aside>
     …
   </section>
   …
</section>

Explanation

The enabling of specialized behaviors, such as the opening of footnotes, is directly predicated on content being properly identified.

The epub:type attribute can be attached to any element in the body of a document to add additional semantics. It accepts any of the terms defined in the EPUB Structural Semantics Vocabulary, but the attribute has limited adoption outside of pop-up footnotes.

Only certain semantics make sense to use on any given tag. Marking an aside element as a footnote is appropriate, for example, but marking a section as a footnote not as much. The Structural Semantics Vocabulary lists the common element(s) each semantic is intended to be used in conjunction with to facilitate this process (although exceptions to the rule may arise).

Note

The epub:type attribute only facilitates user agent behaviors. For more information about using semantic inflection to make documents more accessible, see the ARIA role attribute.

The epub:type attribute can be used in conjunction with the role attribute where both accessibility and enhanced user agent behaviors overlap.

EPUB

The epub:type attribute is used to identify structures in many EPUB 3 specifications. The lack of accessibility support for the attribute in HTML documents does not change the need to use this attribute when conformance to such specifications is required.

The epub:type attribute is specific to EPUB 3. It serves no function outside this standard.

References