Media Object


An external file that holds a media object, such as an animation or a movie

The “content” of the <media> element is not the object itself, but merely information about the object. The external file that contains the object is named by the xlink:href attribute.


Although, in theory, the position attribute of this element may be used to indicate whether this element must be anchored at its exact location within the text or whether it may float, it is usually good practice to anchor media objects. For media objects inside figures, tables, etc., the object should be anchored, although the outer structure (figure, boxed-text) may be allowed to float.

Display component elements, such as <alt-text>, should always be used at the highest possible level; in other words, if a <media> element is inside a <fig>, the <alt-text>, <long-desc>, <attrib>, etc., should be part of the <fig>, not part of the <media>. Use a <alt-text> (or similar display component elements) on a <media> only when the media object is not enclosed in any other structure or when a figure contains multiple media objects, each of which must have its own <alt-text>. For similar reasons, the position attribute should be set to “anchor” for a <media> element that is inside a larger display container such as a <fig>.


alternate-form-of Alternate Form of Graphic, Media Object, Etc.
content-type Type of Content
id Identifier
mime-subtype Mime Subtype
mimetype Mime Type
position Position
xlink:actuate Actuating the Link
xlink:href Href (Linking Mechanism)
xlink:role Role of the Link
xlink:show Showing the Link
xlink:title Title of the Link
xlink:type Type of Link
xmlns:xlink XLink Namespace Declaration

Related Elements

This Suite contains several elements to describe non-XML material: <graphic>, <inline-graphic>, <media>, and <supplementary-material>. The elements <graphic> and <inline-graphic> are used for “still” images, i.e., photographs, diagrams, etc. The distinction between the two other elements is more subtle. The element <media> should be used for movies, audio clips, or media in other formats which is intrinsic to the document’s content, that is, the media object is discussed within the document. The element <supplementary-material> should be used for films, audio clips, or other material which enhances a document, but which is not discussed as part of the document.

Tag media objects which should not have any generated label (such as "Figure 1") as <media>s rather than <fig>s. A common test to determine whether an object is a <fig> versus a <media> is to ask, “If there were a ‘List of Figures’ for this article, should this object appear in that list?”

Model Information

Content Model

<!ELEMENT  media        %graphic-model;                              >


The following, in order:

This element may be contained in:

<app> Appendix; <body> Body of the Article; <boxed-text> Boxed Text; <chem-struct> Chemical Structure (Display); <chem-struct-wrapper> Chemical Structure Wrapper; <disp-formula> Formula, Display; <fig> Figure; <named-content> Named Special (Subject) Content; <p> Paragraph; <sec> Section; <table-wrap> Table Wrapper; <td> Table Data Cell (XHTML table model); <th> Table Header Cell (XHTML table model)

Tagged Example

No sample is available at this time.