The <mi> MathML element indicates that the content should be rendered as an identifier, such as a function name, variable or symbolic constant.

By default <mi> elements that contain multiple characters are a rendered as normal text, while single character characters are rendered as italic: the same formatting behaviour as the CSS text-transform property with a value of math-auto. The mathvariant attribute with a value of normal can be used to reset a single character to the normal font.

In order to use a particular form of a character such as bold/italic, serif, sans-serif, script/calligraphy, monospaced, double-struck, and so on, you should use the appropriate Mathematical Alphanumeric Symbols.

Note: In a previous specification (MathML3), the mathvariant attribute was used to define logical classes that could apply the character formatting for mathematical alphanumeric symbols. The associated values are now deprecated, and expected to be removed from browsers in future releases.



The only value allowed in the current specification is normal (case insensitive):


Use default/normal rendering, removing automatic styling of single characters to italic.

Deprecated legacy values are:

bold Deprecated

Try and use bold characters e.g. "𝐀".

italic Deprecated

Try and use italic characters e.g. "𝐴".

bold-italic Deprecated

Try and use bold-italic characters e.g. "𝑨".

double-struck Deprecated

Try and use double-struck characters e.g. "𝔸".

bold-fraktur Deprecated

Try and use bold-fraktur characters e.g. "𝕬".

script Deprecated

Try and use script characters e.g. "𝒜".

bold-script Deprecated

Try and use bold-script characters e.g. "𝓐".

fraktur Deprecated

Try and use fraktur characters e.g. "𝔄".

sans-serif Deprecated

Try and use sans-serif characters e.g. "𝖠".

bold-sans-serif Deprecated

Try and use bold-sans-serif characters e.g. "𝗔".

sans-serif-italic Deprecated

Try and use sans-serif-italic characters e.g. "𝘈".

sans-serif-bold-italic Deprecated

Try and use sans-serif-bold-italic characters e.g. "𝘼".

monospace Deprecated

Try and use monospace characters e.g. "𝙰".

initial Deprecated

Try and use initial characters e.g. "𞸢".

tailed Deprecated

Try and use tailed characters e.g. "𞹂".

looped Deprecated

Try and use looped characters e.g. "𞺂".

stretched Deprecated

Try and use stretched characters e.g. "𞹢".

This element also accepts the global MathML attributes.


<math display="block">
  <!-- Multiple characters render as "normal" text -->
<hr />
<math display="block">
  <!-- Single characters render as italic by default (i.e. "A" renders as "𝐴") -->
<hr />
<math display="block">
  <!-- Use mathvariant="normal" to make single character render as normal text -->
  <mi mathvariant="normal">F</mi>
<hr />
<math display="block">
  <!-- To use a specific variant, such as "B" in Fraktur -->


MathML Core
# dfn-mi

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser