What Does Frameset Mean?

A frameset is an element in hypertext markup language (HTML) which contains the different frame elements. It is used to inform the browser of the division of the screen into different split windows, and prohibits any content inside the body associated with a page.


Techopedia Explains Frameset

A frameset can be divided into rows and columns. It is denoted by the <frameset> tag and makes use of a special frameset-specific doctype. The <frameset> tag provides the specification of number of columns and rows in the frameset and also space in pixels occupied by them. Frameset entries must have at least two columns or rows. Similar to other HTML elements, frameset also supports global attributes like cols which is used to specify the size and number of horizontal space in the frameset, and rows which is used to specify the size and number of vertical space in frameset. Nesting of a frameset inside a parent frameset is allowed.

If the frames are displayed incorrectly or are improperly loaded, then frameset is said to be broken. A broken frameset can be very detrimental to a website. A frameset can break due to non-support or improper support of frames by browsers, typos in websites, clicking on direct link to framed page or other browser troubles, either temporary or permanent, in handling frames.

One of the main disadvantages with frameset is the difficulty for the search engine to index pages properly with respect to the frames. Another disadvantage occurs when bookmarking a webpage having framesets. Printing pages is also difficult for websites utilizing framesets.

With the <iframe> tag currently preferred over frames, frameset use is declining. The <frameset> tag is not supported in HTML 5.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.