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HTML <em> tag

The HTML <em> element specifies emphasized text.

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Typically this element is displayed in italic type. However, it should not be used simply to apply italic styling; use the <i> element or CSS font-style property for that purpose.

<i> vs <em>

New developers are often confused at seeing multiple elements that produce similar results. <em> and <i> are a common example, since they both italicize text. What's the difference? Which should you use?

By default, the visual result is the same. However, the semantic meaning is different.

The <em> element represents stress emphasis of its contents, while the <i> element represents text that is set off from the normal prose, such a foreign word, fictional character thoughts, or when the text refers to the definition of a word instead of representing its semantic meaning.

Browser compatibility

The <em> element is fully supported by all browsers:

<em> yes yes yes yes yes

Standard Attributes

The <em> tag does not support any standard attributes. See HTML Standard Attributes Reference

Global Attributes

The <em> tag supports the global attributes described in HTML Global Attributes Reference

Event Attributes

The <em> tag supports the event attributes described in HTML Events Reference

Last updated: Friday 21 Sep, 2018