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Summary

The HTML <b> Element represents a span of text stylistically different from normal text, without conveying any special importance or relevance. It is typically used for keywords in a summary, product names in a review, or other spans of text whose typical presentation would be boldfaced. Another example of its use is to mark the lead sentence of each paragraph of an article.

Usage Notes :

  • Do not confuse the <b> element with the <strong>, <em>, or <mark> elements. The <strong> element represents text of certain importance, <em> puts some emphasis on the text and the <mark> element represents text of certain relevance. The <b> element doesn't convey such special semantic information; use it only when no others fit.
  • Similarly, do not mark titles and headings using the <b> element. For this purpose, use the <h1> to <h6> tags. Further, stylesheets can change the default style of these elements, with the result that they are not necessarily displayed in bold.
  • It is a good practice to use the class attribute on the <b> in order to convey additional semantic information (for example <b class="lead"> for the first sentence in a paragraph). This eases the development of several stylings of a web document, without the need to change its HTML code.
  • Historically, the <b> element was meant to make text boldface. Styling information has been deprecated since HTML4, so the meaning of the <b> element has been changed.
  • If there is no semantic purpose on using the <b> element, using css property font-weight with bold value would be a better choice for making text bold.
Content categories Flow content, phrasing content, palpable content.
Permitted content Phrasing content.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parent elements Any element that accepts phrasing content.
DOM interface HTMLElement Up to Gecko 1.9.2 (Firefox 4) inclusive, Firefox implements the HTMLSpanElement interface for this element.

Attributes

This element only includes the global attributes.

Example

<p>
  This article describes several <b>text-level</b> elements. It explains their usage in an <b>HTML</b> document.   
</p>
Keywords are displayed with the default style of the <b> element, likely in bold.

Result

This article describes several text-level elements. It explains their usage in an HTML document.

Keywords are displayed with the default style of the <b> element, likely in bold.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
WHATWG HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<b>' in that specification.
Living Standard  
HTML5
The definition of '<b>' in that specification.
Recommendation  
HTML 4.01 Specification
The definition of '<b>' in that specification.
Recommendation  

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes) 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) 1.0 (1.0) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

See also