More Text Tags

The following tags can be used to format the text in the body of an HTML document.

<big> ... </big>

This will make the text one size larger than the current font.

<p>This is normal <big>this is bigger</big>.</p>

This is normal this is bigger.

<small> ... </small>

This will make the text one size smaller than the current font.

<p>This is normal <small>this is smaller</small>.</p>

This is normal this is smaller.

size="+1" or
size="-1"

Used to modify a <font> tag. "+1" will increase the size of the text by one size, "-1" will decrease the size of the text by one size.

<p>This is normal <font size="+1">this is plus one size</font>.</p>

This is normal this is plus one size.

<strong> ... </strong>

Place around text to make it strong instead of <b> </b>.

<em> ... </em>

Place around text for emphasis instead of <i> </i>.

<abbr> ... </abbr>

Place around an abbreviation, like HTML.

If the page is being read by a screen reader this tag will alert the program and the person listening that the text is an abbreviation. It would also help if you add the title attribute and show the full text of the abbreviation so that when you hover the mouse over the abbreviation the title text appears, like the alt text for an image.

The <abbr> tag does not work in Internet Explorer.

<abbr title="HyperText Mark-up Language">HTML</abbr>

<acronym> ... </acronym>

Place around an acronym, like RADAR.

If the page is being read by a screen reader this tag will alert the program and the person listening that the text is not a proper word. It would also help if you add the title attribute and show the full text of the acronym so that when you hover the mouse over the acronym the title text appears, like the alt text for an image.

<acronym title="Radio Detection And Ranging">RADAR</acronym>

Browsers display <abbr> and <acronym> tags differently, as shown in the table below (unless you style the tags using Cascading Style Sheets).

Browser <abbr> <acronym>
Microsoft Internet Explorer v6 tag not recognised no effect
Microsoft Internet Explorer v7 no effect no effect
Microsoft Internet Explorer v8 no effect no effect
FireFox 2 dotted underline dotted underline
Safari 4 no effect no effect
  • An abbreviation is any shortened version of a word or series of words, like HTML or BBC, where the individual letters have to be spelled out when spoken. If the abbreviation can be read out like a conventional word (RADAR, LASER) then it is considered to be an acronym.