microformats2 parsing specification

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Tantek Çelik (Editor)

microformats2 is a simple, open format for marking up data in HTML. The microformats2 parsing specification describes how to implement a microformats2 parser.

One of the goals of microformats2 is to greatly simplify parsing of microformats, in particular, by making parsing independent of any one vocabulary. This specification documents the microformats2 parsing algorithm for doing so.

Per CC0, to the extent possible under law, the editors have waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work. In addition, as of 2020-01-18, the editors have made this specification available under the Open Web Foundation Agreement Version 1.0.



parse a document for microformats

To parse a document for microformats, follow the HTML parsing rules and do the following:

 "items": [],
 "rels": {},
 "rel-urls": {}

Parsers may simultaneously parse the document for both class and rel microformats (e.g. in a single tree traversal).

parse an element for class microformats

To parse an element for class microformats:

parse an element for properties

parsing a p- property

To parse an element for a p-x property value:

parsing a u- property

To parse an element for a u-x property value:

parsing a dt- property

To parse an element for a dt-x property value:

parsing an e- property

To parse an element for a e-x property value:

parsing for implied properties

To imply properties: (where h-x is the root microformat element being parsed)

Note: The same markup for a property should not be causing that property to occur in both a microformat and one embedded inside - such a property should only be showing up on one of them. The parsing algorithm has details to prevent that, such as the :not[.h-*] tests above.

parse a hyperlink element for rel microformats

To parse a hyperlink element for rel microformats: (where * is the hyperlink element), use the following algorithm or an algorithm that produces equivalent results:

rel parse examples

Here are some examples to show how parsed rels may be reflected into the JSON (empty items key).

E.g. parsing this markup:

<a rel="author" href="http://example.com/a">author a</a>
<a rel="author" href="http://example.com/b">author b</a>
<a rel="in-reply-to" href="http://example.com/1">post 1</a>
<a rel="in-reply-to" href="http://example.com/2">post 2</a>
<a rel="alternate home"
   hreflang="fr">French mobile homepage</a>

Would generate this JSON:

  "items": [],
  "rels": { 
    "author": [ "http://example.com/a", "http://example.com/b" ],
    "in-reply-to": [ "http://example.com/1", "http://example.com/2" ], 
    "alternate": [ "http://example.com/fr" ], 
    "home": [ "http://example.com/fr" ] 
  "rel-urls": {
    "http://example.com/a": {
      "rels": ["author"], 
      "text": "author a"
    "http://example.com/b": {
      "rels": ["author"], 
      "text": "author b"
    "http://example.com/1": {
      "rels": ["in-reply-to"], 
      "text": "post 1"
    "http://example.com/2": {
      "rels": ["in-reply-to"], 
      "text": "post 2"
    "http://example.com/fr": {
      "rels": ["alternate", "home"],
      "media": "handheld", 
      "hreflang": "fr", 
      "text": "French mobile homepage"
  "alternates": [{
     "url": "http://example.com/fr", 
     "rel": "home", 
     "media": "handheld", 
     "hreflang": "fr",
     "text": "French mobile homepage"
⚠️ Warning: The "alternates" collection is likely to be dropped. Use "rel-urls" instead.

Another parse output example can be found here:

what do the CSS selector expressions mean

This section is non-normative.

Use SelectORacle to expand any of the above CSS selector expressions into longform English prose.


note HTML parsing rules

This section is non-normative.

microformats2 parsers are expected to follow HTML parsing rules, which includes for example:


See the FAQ:


See the issues page:


Main article: microformats2#Implementations

There are open source microformats2 parsers available for Javascript, node.js, PHP, Ruby and Python.

test suite


Ports to/for other languages encouraged.

see also


microformats2 parsing specification was last modified: Wednesday, December 31st, 1969