em (HTML element)

Spec
Depr. Empty Version
No No HTML 2
Browser support (more…)
IE5.5+ FF1+ SA1.3+ OP9.2+ CH2+
Full Full Full Full Full

Syntax

<em>
</em>

Description

The em element is used to emphasize text content, and displays in italics in all current browsers. It provides semantic meaning about the text it contains, effectively saying, “this text is slightly more important than other text here.” This differentiates em from the i element, which merely sets the font to italics. In most cases, em is the preferred element to use.

The example code above would render as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Displaying text marked up with em in the browser Example of em element

The em element shouldn’t be used simply to italicize text; the fact that emphasized text is rendered in italics is coincidental. If you have a burning desire to make text italic, but not for the purposes of emphasis, use CSS instead.

Example

This example shows the em element in action:

<p>Do you <em>really</em> need to buy those expensive jeans? I mean,
    is it really <em>that</em> important to you to look like some kind
    of circus freak?</p>

Use This For …

This element is used to mark up text content of any kind that needs moderate emphasis.

Compatibility

Internet Explorer Firefox Safari Opera Chrome
5.5 6.0 7.0 8.0 1.0 1.5 2.0 3.0 3.5 1.3 2.0 3.1 4.0 9.2 9.5 10.0 2.0
Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full

As one of the earliest formatting elements, em has full browser support.

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