The <i> represents a range of text that is set off from the normal text for some reason. Some examples include technical terms, foreign language phrases, or fictional character thoughts. It is typically displayed in italic type.

Content categories Flow content, phrasing content, palpable content.
Permitted content Phrasing content.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts phrasing content.
Permitted ARIA roles Any
DOM interface HTMLElement Up to Gecko 1.9.2 (Firefox 4) inclusive, Firefox implements the HTMLSpanElement interface for this element.


This element only includes the global attributes.

Usage Notes

  • Use the <i> element for text that is set off from the normal prose for readability reasons. This would be a range of text with different semantic meaning than the surrounding text.
  • In earlier versions of the HTML specification, the <i> element was merely a presentational element used to display text in italics, much like the <b> element was used to display text in bold letters. This is no longer true, as these tags now define semantics rather than typographic appearance. A browser will typically still display the contents of the <i> element in italic type, but is, by definition, no longer required to.
  • Typically this element is displayed in italic type. However, it should not be used simply to apply italic styling; use the CSS font-style property for that purpose.
  • Be sure the text in question is not actually more appropriate for another element.
    • Use <em> to indicate stress emphasis.
    • Use <strong> to indicate stronger importance.
    • Use <mark> to indicate relevance.
    • Use <cite> to mark the name of a work, such as a book, play, or song.
    • Use <dfn> to mark the defining instance of a term.
  • It is a good idea to use the class attribute to identify why the element is being used, so that if the presentation needs to change at a later date, it can be done selectively with style sheets.


This example demonstrates using the <i> element to mark text that is in another language.

<p>The Latin phrase <i class="latin">Veni, vidi, vici</i> is often
mentioned in music, art, and literature.</p>


The Latin phrase Veni, vidi, vici is often mentioned in music, art, and literature.


Browser compatibilityUpdate compatibility data on GitHub

Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 1 Yes 1 Yes Yes Yes
Android webview Chrome for Android Edge Mobile Firefox for Android Opera for Android iOS Safari Samsung Internet
Basic support Yes Yes Yes 4 Yes Yes Yes

See also

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