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The HTML <small> element makes the text font size one size smaller (for example, from large to medium, or from small to x-small) down to the browser's minimum font size.  In HTML5, this element is repurposed to represent side-comments and small print, including copyright and legal text, independent of its styled presentation.

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.
Permitted ARIA roles Any
DOM interface HTMLElement

Attributes

This element only includes the global attributes.

Implementation note: up to Gecko 1.9.2 inclusive, Firefox implements the HTMLSpanElement interface for this element.

Examples

Example 1

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

Result

This is the first sentence. This whole sentence is in small letters.

Example 2 (CSS alternative)

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

Result

This is the first sentence. This whole sentence is in small letters.

Specifications

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

Notes

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 HTML5. Authors are encouraged to use their best judgement when determining whether to use <small> or CSS.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: sideshowbarker,