Introduction To HTML
Formatting Tags

HTML has a number of tags that change the way that text is displayed. We call these formatting tags. As with headings and paragraphs, the information that they provide is structural as well as visual.

Text Formatting Tags

<b>bold text
<big>big text
<del>deleted text (normally strikethrough)
<em>emphasized text (like italic)
<i>italic text
<ins>inserted text (where additions have been made to the page)
<small>small text
<strong>strong text (like bold)
<sub>subscripted text (just below the line)
<sup>superscripted text (just above the line)

If you choose to use the <strong> and <em> tags, the user can set their browser to display these marks as they see fit. The tags, therefore, indicate the status of the text within the page.

Notice that there is no tag for underlining. Such a tag does exist but its use is no longer considered valid. Hyperlinks are the only thing that it is reasonable to underline on a web page. Underlining anything else can cause confusion and rarely looks good anyway.

Other Formatting Tags

<abbr>an abbreviation
<acronym>an acronym
<address>an address element
<blockquote>a long quotation
<cite>a citation
<code>computer code text
<pre>pre-formatted text (preserves spaces and line breaks in the orginal text file
<q>a short quotation

Exercise 3

Have a mess with the tags on this page.