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Bold and Italic Text

At first glance, HTML seems a little dippy here because there are different elements that seem to do the same thing. The bold element and strong element both render text in bold type in most browsers. The italic element and emphasis element both render text in italics in most browsers.

Why? So guys like me can get paid the big bucks explaining it to good folks like you!

Seriously though, without getting bogged down in too many details, the bold element is intended as a visual element while the strong element is intended to be aural. In other words, a bold element should be displayed in bold text, but won’t necessarily be read aloud by screen readers any differently than normal text; whereas a strong element is supposed to be aurally stressed more than normal text by screen readers. The same applies to italic text (visual) and emphasized text (aural).

Here are some examples of usage:

boldWe must <b>never</b> drive while blindfolded.
strongJoe was <strong>that</strong> close to winning the lottery.
italicI was <i>not</i> the one that fed the monkey caviar.
emphasisI saw them leave town on a <em>mule</em>!

You can see the HTML code snippets (shown in red text) used to achieve bold or italic text, along with the results those tags produce. Just use those tags wherever you want bold or italic text. What more could you possibly want, Mrs. Wootlesnooper?

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