small (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

<small>
</small>

Description

The small element is a text formatting control that reduces the size of the enclosed text by one size decrement (based on the old HTML font sizes 1 through 7). Each nested small element will further decrement the size.

This element is not deprecated, but is used less frequently now, as there are better methods for controlling text size (such as CSS), and because the small element provides no semantic value for any enclosed text—it simply states that the text needs to be smaller.

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

Figure 1. Displaying text to which small is applied Example of small element

Some people argue that small can be used to indicate content that’s less important than that nearby. While there is nothing in the current HTML specification to support it, the HTML5 draft proposal states that, “The small element represents small print (part of a document often describing legal restrictions, such as copyrights or other disadvantages), or other side comments.” As such, its meaning and usage appears to be changing.

Example

Here’s an example of the small element in use (nested):

<p>Mark tried to get out of buying a round of drinks by getting
    progressively quieter as he talked: "Right, I'm off to stretch my
    legs and then get a bag of peanuts ... <small>back in a minute ...
    <small>everyone OK for a drink?</small></small></p>

Use This For …

This element is used to affect text content of any kind.

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, small has full browser support.

User-contributed notes

Related Products