i (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

<i>
</i>

Description

The i (short for italic) element styles the text it contains in italics, but offers no semantic meaning about the contained text.

While the i element isn’t deprecated—even in XHTML 1.1—its use is declining as, in many cases, it’s more appropriate to use either an emphasis (em) or strong emphasis (strong) element instead. However, there are instances where a suitable HTML alternative isn’t available, and i must be used.

Example

The correct usage of the i element is shown below, where it’s used to show that the text in a logo uses italics:

<p>The logo for the Left-Leaning organization uses italic text on
     the word leaning, as shown here: "left-<i>leaning</i>"</p>

Use This For …

This element should be applied to text that needs to be stylistically offset from the normal prose, but in a way that doesn’t confer any extra importance on that text. Such applications include:

  • the name of a boat
  • a technical term
  • an idiomatic phrase from another language
  • a thought

The i element should, therefore, be used only as a last resort when no other element is more appropriate. For the examples above, it’s preferable to use an i element rather than a span to which an italic style is applied via CSS.

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

It causes no compatibility issues, and has excellent support across all tested browsers.

User-contributed notes

Related Products