The HTML Bring Attention To element (<b>)  is used to draw the reader's attention to the element's contents, which are not otherwise granted special importance. This was formerly known as the Boldface element, and most browsers still draw the text in boldface. However, you should not use <b> for styling text; instead, you should use the <strong> element or the CSS font-weight property to create boldface text.

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.

Attributes

This element only includes the global attributes.

Usage notes

  • Use the <b> for cases like keywords in a summary, product names in a review, or other spans of text whose typical presentation would be boldfaced (but not including any special importance).
  • 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> element in order to convey additional semantic information as needed (for example <b class="lead"> for the first sentence in a paragraph). This makes it easier to manage multiple use cases of <b> if your stylistic needs change, without the need to change all of its uses in the HTML.
  • 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 to using the <b> element, you should use the CSS font-weight property with the value "bold" instead in order to make text bold.

Example

<p>
  This article describes several <b class="keywords">text-level</b> elements.
  It explains their usage in an <b class="keywords">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
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

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support Yes Yes1 Yes Yes Yes
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidIE mobileOpera AndroidiOS Safari
Basic support Yes Yes Yes4 Yes Yes Yes

See also