The <small> element makes the text font size one size smaller (for example, from large to medium, or from small to x-small) down to the browser's minimum font size. In HTML5, this element is repurposed to represent side-comments and small print, including copyright and legal text, independent of its styled presentation.

Content categories Flow content, phrasing content
Permitted content Phrasing content
Tag omission None, must have both a start tag and an end tag.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts phrasing content, or any element that accepts flow content.
Permitted ARIA roles Any
DOM interface HTMLElement


This element only includes the global attributes.

Implementation note: up to Gecko 1.9.2 inclusive, Firefox implements the HTMLSpanElement interface for this element.


Example 1

<p>This is the first sentence. <small>This whole sentence
  is in small letters.</small></p>


This is the first sentence. This whole sentence is in small letters.

Example 2 (CSS alternative)

<p>This is the first sentence.
  <span style="font-size:0.8em">This whole sentence is in small


This is the first sentence. This whole sentence is in small letters.



Although the <small> element, like the <b> and <i> elements, may be perceived to violate the principle of separation between structure and presentation, all three are valid in HTML5. Authors are encouraged to use their best judgement when determining whether to use <small> or CSS.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support Yes Yes 1 Yes Yes Yes
Feature Android webview Chrome for Android Edge mobile Firefox for Android IE mobile Opera Android iOS Safari
Basic support Yes Yes Yes 4 Yes Yes Yes

See also

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