<small>: the side comment element

The <small> HTML element represents side-comments and small print, like copyright and legal text, independent of its styled presentation. By default, it renders text within it one font-size smaller, such as from small to x-small.

Try it


This element only includes the global attributes.


Basic usage

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


CSS alternative

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



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 HTML. Authors are encouraged to use their best judgement when determining whether to use <small> or CSS.

Technical summary

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.
Implicit ARIA role generic
Permitted ARIA roles Any
DOM interface HTMLElement


HTML Standard
# the-small-element

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also