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What is the `picture` Element?

The picture element is a markup pattern that allows developers to declare multiple sources for an image. By using media queries, it gives developers control as to when and if those images are presented to the user.

The picture element is one part of the HTML specification.

Sample Markup for `picture`
  <source media="(min-width: 40em)"
    srcset="big.jpg 1x, big-hd.jpg 2x">
    srcset="small.jpg 1x, small-hd.jpg 2x">
  <img src="fallback.jpg" alt="">

What are the `srcset` and `sizes` attributes?

The srcset and sizes attributes extend the img and source elements to provide a list of available image sources and their sizes. Browsers can then use this information to pick the best image source.

Both srcset and sizes are part of the HTML specification and can used separately or in conjunction with the picture element.

Sample Markup for `srcset` and `sizes`
<img src="small.jpg"
     srcset="large.jpg 1024w, medium.jpg 640w, small.jpg 320w"
     sizes="(min-width: 36em) 33.3vw, 100vw"
     alt="A rad wolf">

What are the use cases for each?

The Use Cases and Requirements document outlines the goals, objectives, and potential issues for end users that must be solved by the picture and srcset extension specifications.

View the Use Cases and Requirements

Where can I learn more?

The RICG on GitHub
IRC Logs
Discussion List Archives

Implementation status

This list indicates the status of implementation in major browser engines. We always try to keep this up-to-date but please refer to the linked issues for the latest status.
In most bugtrackers you can vote for implementation in the linked bugs.

30 closed issues

Issue Description Author Last Modified
254 Allow adaption of <figcaption> based on chosen <source> 17 comments Boldewyn 19 days ago
251 SVG format not loading in native picture element when specified in source element with type="image/svg+xml" 1 comment bjankord 56 days ago
250 Update biblio.json mdmcginn 56 days ago
249 onerror when environment changed? 4 comments yoavweiss 44 days ago
248 naturalWidth/naturalHeight should maybe return null when no there's intrinsic size 1 comment zcorpan 79 days ago
245 Drop any candidate with a `type` descriptor if `type` is not supported 9 comments eeeps 83 days ago
244 Drop candidates with `w` descriptors if `w`is unsupported 3 comments eeeps 83 days ago
243 Empty source set should be allowed 11 comments yoavweiss 94 days ago
242 media attribute with invalid value not parsed correctly 1 comment zcorpan 97 days ago
241 Ban functions in sizes other than calc() 1 comment zcorpan 103 days ago
240 Using 'width' value to determine which resource to pick 3 comments igrigorik 113 days ago
239 Drop candidates with h without w 1 comment zcorpan 87 days ago
237 Editorial: missing xref for "<code>srcset</code>" zcorpan 136 days ago
236 Ref. #220 - Fixes missing `alt` attribute. 2 comments Wilto 141 days ago
235 Closes #234 - Clarify that percentage-based values are invalid in `sizes` 1 comment Wilto 141 days ago
234 Percentages not allowed in sizes="" 2 comments gregwhitworth 138 days ago
233 Missing "normalize the source densities" step for sources coming from `<img>` 1 comment tabatkins 148 days ago
232 Pipeline updates zcorpan 151 days ago
231 Preloading alternate images and switching sources 7 comments Nephyrin 166 days ago
229 Block insecure assets served via `picture`/`srcset` on TLS sites 13 comments Wilto 138 days ago
227 Should normalize the source densities for <img> zcorpan 136 days ago
226 Use media query instead of media-condition in sizes 11 comments zcorpan 171 days ago
225 Remove the requirement for descriptors to be a valid int/float 3 comments yoavweiss 175 days ago
224 Support `src` on `<source>` 18 comments yoavweiss 130 days ago
222 adding alt text advice to img section when picture used 11 comments stevefaulkner 141 days ago
221 picture acc mapping 1 comment stevefaulkner 178 days ago
220 feedback on empty alt used in some examples 3 comments stevefaulkner 93 days ago
219 Specify UA behavior when multiple candidates have same descriptors? 7 comments zcorpan 136 days ago
218 Shiny new “warning” flag. 2 comments Wilto 173 days ago
217 Avoid adding empty `src` to source set 3 comments yoavweiss 185 days ago