Note : <DIR> is deprecated in HTML 4.0. Authors are encouraged to use <UL> instead.

A Directory List element can be used to present a list of items, which may be arranged in columns, typically 24 characters wide. Some browsers will attempt to optimise the column width as function of the widths of individual elements.

A directory list must begin with the <DIR> element which is immediately followed by a <LI> (list item) element:

E.g. :


Would render as:

  • A-H
  • I-M
  • M-R
  • S-Z
  • TITLE="informational ToolTip"
    The Internet Explorer 4.0 (and above) specific TITLE attribute is used for informational purposes. If present, the value of the TITLE attribute is presented as a ToolTip when the users mouse hovers over the <DIR> section. Note that <LI> element also support use of the TITLE attribute. The ToolTip presented to the user will be that set in the <DIR> element, if no <LI> element has a TITLE attribute.

    LANG="language setting"
    The LANG attribute can be used to specify what language the <DIR> (or <LI>) element is using. It accepts any valid ISO standard language abbreviation (for example "en" for English, "de" for German etc.) For more details, see the Document Localisation section for more details.

    LANGUAGE="Scripting language"
    The LANGUAGE attribute can be used to expressly specify which scripting language Internet Explorer 4.0 uses to interpret any scripting information used in the <DIR> (or <LI>) element. It can accept values of vbscript, vbs, javascript or jscript. The first two specify the scripting language as Visual Basic Script, the latter two specify it as using Javascript (the default scripting language used if no LANGUAGE attribute is set.

    CLASS="Style Sheet class name"
    The CLASS attribute is used to specify the <DIR> (or <LI>) element as using a particular style sheet class. See the Style Sheets topic for details.

    STYLE="In line style setting"
    As well as using previously defined style sheet settings, the <DIR> (or <LI>) element can have in-line stylings attached to it. See the Style Sheets topic for details.

    ID="Unique element identifier"
    The ID attribute can be used to either reference a unique style sheet identifier, or to provide a unique name for the <DIR> (or <LI>) element for scripting purposes. Any <DIR> (or <LI>) element with an ID attribute can be directly manipulated in script by referencing its ID attribute, rather than working through the All collection to determine the element. See the Scripting introduction topic for more information.

    Every <DIR> (or <LI>) element in a document is an object that can be manipulated through scripting. Note that scripting of the <DIR> and/or <LI> elements/objects is only supported by Internet Explorer 4.0 in its Dynamic HTML object model. Netscape does not support direct scripting of the <DIR> or <LI> elements at all.

    <DIR...> and <LI> Properties
    The <DIR...> elements support all of the standard Dynamic HTML properties (i.e. className, document, id, innerHTML, innerText, isTextEdit, lang, language, offsetHeight, offsetLeft, offsetParent, offsetTop, offsetWidth, outerHTML, outerText, parentElement, parentTextEdit, sourceIndex, style, tagName and title). Details of these can be found in the standard Dynamic HTML properties topics.

    <DIR...> and <LI> Methods
    The <DIR...> elements support all of the standard Dynamic HTML methods (i.e. click, contains, getAttribute, insertAdjacentHTML, insertAdjacentText, removeAttribute, scrollIntoView and setAttribute). Details of these can be found in the standard Dynamic HTML Methods topics.

    <DIR...> and <LI> Events
    The <DIR...> elements support all of the standard Dynamic HTML events (i.e. onclick, ondblclick, ondragstart, onfilterchange, onhelp, onkeydown, onkeypress, onkeyup, onmousedown, onmousemove, onmouseout, onmouseover, onmouseup and onselectstart). Details of these can be found in the standard Dynamic HTML events topics.