<abbr>

Summary

The HTML <abbr> Element (or HTML Abbreviation Element) represents an abbreviation and optionally provides a full description for it. If present, the title attribute must contain this full description and nothing else.

Usage note: When present, the grammatical number of the text in the title attribute should match that of the content of the <abbr> element. This is also the case in languages with more than two grammatical numbers (for example, Arabic not only has singular and plural categories, but also a dual category).

Attributes

This element only includes the global attributes.

Use the title attribute to define the full description of the abbreviation. Many user agents present this as a tooltip.

Default styling

The purpose of this element is purely for the convenience of the author and all browsers display it inline (display: inline) by default, though its default styling varies from one browser to another:

  • Some browsers, like Internet Explorer, do not style it differently than a <span> element.
  • Opera, Firefox, and some others add a dotted underline to the content of the element.
  • A few browsers not only add a dotted underline, but also put it in small caps; to avoid this styling, adding something like font-variant: none in the CSS takes care of this case.

It is therefore strongly recommended that web authors not rely on the default styling. Note that this element is not supported by Internet Explorer prior to IE7. As these IE versions don't allow styling for unknown elements, the following script is necessary to allow it:

<!--[if lte IE 6]>
  <script>
    document.createElement("abbr");
  </script>
<![endif]-->

Example

<p>Tony Blair is the prime minister of the <abbr title="United Kingdom">UK</abbr></p>

Result

Image:Abbr.gif

Tony Blair is the prime minister of the UK

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
WHATWG HTML Living Standard Living Standard  
HTML5 Candidate Recommendation  
HTML 4.01 Specification Recommendation  

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support

2.0 or earlier

1.0 (1.7) or earlier

7.0

1.3 or earlier

(Yes)
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

See also

Attachments

File Size Date Attached by
e-resize.gif
88 bytes 2009-04-21 16:01:46 Jürgen Jeka
Abbr.gif
1814 bytes 2006-02-08 06:05:23 Rappo