The Comprehensive HTML Cross Reference


Character Formatting Tags

This document describes tags that change the formatting of a set of characters and do not cause a line break.

Click here to skip over the explanatory material at the top of the page and jump straight to the tags.

This table:

Support: HTML:2.0, 3.0, 3.2  Netscape:1.1+  MS Explorer:1.0+
and these icons:
(HTML 3.0 Only) (HTML 3.2 Only) (Netscape Extension) (Microsoft Extension) (Microsoft Extension 3.0)

alert you to tags and attributes that are not supported by all browsers. The support page explains the table and the icons in detail.

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Finding your way around...

Not all HTML tags are in this single file. The comprehensive list has been split into the following eight categories:

We have also provided several indexes to help you navigate through this reference. In addition to our main indexes (the compact index and the complete index), there are four other indexes that list the tags according to the standards and browsers that support them.

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The Comprehensive HTML Cross Reference was created as a service to the Internet community. It represents a joint effort of Scott Williams of CDI Corporate Education Services and Kate Gregory of Gregory Consulting and is fully protected by Copyright © 1995 - 2001. Please report any errors or omissions to Kate Gregory.

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Address


<ADDRESS> text </ADDRESS>
(HTML 3.0 Only) <ADDRESS NOWRAP> text </ADDRESS>

The address tag defines text that gives an address or other contact information. It is typically displayed in italics, slightly indented, and is used by automatic indexers. The NOWRAP attribute stops the browser from wrapping except where <BR>'s are.

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Big Text
Support: HTML:3.2 Netscape:2.0+ MS Explorer:3.0+


<BIG> text </BIG>

The big text tag defines text that should be displayed in a larger font than usual.

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Bold


<B> text </B>

The bold tag defines text that should be shown in boldface. It can be nested with other idiomatic or typographic tags but some browsers will respect only the innermost tag.

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Citation


<CITE> text </CITE>

The citation tag defines text that cites a book or other work -- most browsers will display it in italics. It can be nested with other idiomatic or typographic tags but some browsers will respect only the innermost tag.

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Code


<CODE> text </CODE>

The code tag defines text that should be shown in a fixed width font. It can be nested with other idiomatic or typographic tags but some browsers will respect only the innermost tag. Many browsers use the same font for the KBD, SAMP, TT and CODE tags. For many lines of fixed width text, with the line breaks and other whitespace specified by the page author, use the PRE tag.

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Definition
Support: HTML:3.2 Netscape:No Support MS Explorer:2.0+


<DFN> text </DFN>

The definition tag defines text that defines a term -- many browsers will display it in italics, though others will ignore it. It can be nested with other idiomatic or typographic tags but some browsers will respect only the innermost tag.

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Emphasized


<EM> text </EM>

The emphasized tag defines text that should be emphasized -- most browsers will display it in italics. It can be nested with other idiomatic or typographic tags but some browsers will respect only the innermost tag.

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Example


<XMP> text </XMP>

The example tag introduces example text. Because of the way this tag handles embedded tags, it should no longer be used. PRE or SAMP are better choices.

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Font
Support: HTML:3.2 Netscape:1.1+ MS Explorer:2.0+


<FONT SIZE=number>
<FONT COLOR="#RRGGBB">
<FONT COLOR="colorname">
(Microsoft Extension)(Netscape Extension) <FONT FACE="facename1, facename2...">

The font tag defines text with a smaller or larger font than usual. The normal font size corresponds to 3; smaller values of number will produce a smaller font, and larger values of number will produce a larger font. If number has a sign (for example +1), the font will be changed relative to the BASEFONT.

The COLOR attribute allows you to change the colour of the text. rrggbb is a six digit hexadecimal number with the first two digits specifying the red value, the middle two the green value, and the last two the blue value. Some sample colour values:

red
FF0000
green
00FF00
blue
0000FF
black
000000
white
FFFFFF
grey
888888
yellow
FFFF00
cyan
00FFFF


Colour names can also be used in the COLOR attribute. Valid colours are: Aqua, Black, Blue, Fuchsia, Gray, Green, Lime, Maroon, Navy, Olive, Purple, Red, Silver, Teal,Yellow, and White.

(Microsoft Extension)(Netscape Extension) The FACE attribute specifies the face to be used, such as Arial or Courier. If multiple names are specified, the first one listed that is installed on the client machine is used.

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Italic


<I> text </I>

The italic tag defines text that should be shown in italics. It can be nested with other idiomatic or typographic tags but some browsers will respect only the innermost tag.

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Keyboard


<KBD> text </KBD>

The keyboard tag defines text that should be shown in a fixed width font. It can be nested with other idiomatic or typographic tags but some browsers will respect only the innermost tag. Many browsers use the same font for the KBD, SAMP, TT and CODE tags. For many lines of fixed width text, with the line breaks and other whitespace specified by the page author, use the PRE tag.

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Listing


<LISTING> text </LISTING>

The listing tag introduces a program listing. Because of the way this tag handles embedded tags, it should no longer be used. PRE is a better choice.

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Sample


<SAMP> text </SAMP>

The sample tag defines text that should be shown as literal characters in a fixed width font. It can be nested with other idiomatic or typographic tags but some browsers will respect only the innermost tag. Many browsers use the same font for the KBD, SAMP, TT and CODE tags. For many lines of fixed width text, with the line breaks and other whitespace specified by the page author, use the PRE tag.

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Small Text
Support: HTML:3.2 Netscape:2.0+ MS Explorer:3.0+


<SMALL> text </SMALL>

The small text tag defines text that should be displayed in a smaller font than usual.

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Strikethrough


<STRIKE> text </STRIKE>

The strikethrough tag defines text that should be shown with a horizontal line through it. It can be nested with other idiomatic or typographic tags but some browsers will respect only the innermost tag.

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Strong


<STRONG> text </STRONG>

The strong tag defines text that should be strongly emphasized -- most browsers will display it in boldface. It can be nested with other idiomatic or typographic tags but some browsers will respect only the innermost tag.

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Subscript
Support: HTML:3.2 Netscape:2.0+ MS Explorer:3.0+


<SUB> text </SUB>

The subscript tag defines text that should be displayed in a smaller font than usual, lower on the line than usual.

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Superscript
Support: HTML:3.2 Netscape:2.0+ MS Explorer:3.0+


<SUP> text </SUP>

The superscript tag defines text that should be displayed in a smaller font than usual, higher on the line than usual.

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Teletype


<TT> text </TT>

The teletype tag defines text that should be shown in a fixed width font. It can be nested with other idiomatic or typographic tags but some browsers will respect only the innermost tag. Many browsers use the same font for the KBD, SAMP, TT and CODE tags. For many lines of fixed width text, with the line breaks and other whitespace specified by the page author, use the PRE tag.

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Underlined


<U> text </U>

The underlined tag defines text that should be shown with a line underneath it. It can be nested with other idiomatic or typographic tags but some browsers will respect only the innermost tag. Many browsers, including some versions of Netscape, do not support this tag.

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Variable


<VAR> text </VAR>

The variable tag defines text that represents a variable-- most browsers will display it in italics. It can be nested with other idiomatic or typographic tags but some browsers will respect only the innermost tag.