The HTML Subscript element (
<sub>) specifies inline text which should be displayed as subscript for solely typographical reasons. Subscripts are typically rendered with a lowered baseline using smaller text.
|Content categories||Flow content and phrasing content|
|Permitted content||Phrasing content|
|Tag omission||None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.|
|Permitted parents||Any element that can contain phrasing content|
|Permitted ARIA roles||Any|
This element only includes the global attributes.
<sub> element should be used only for typographical reasons—that is, to change the position of the text because typographical conventions require doing so, rather than solely for the sake of presentation or appearance. For instance, using
<sub> to style the name of a company which uses altered baselines in their wordmark would not be appropriate; instead, CSS should be used (likely the
vertical-align property, such as
vertical-align: sub or, to more precisely control the baseline shift,
Appropriate use cases include (but aren't necessarily limited to) cases such as these:
- Marking up footnote numbers. See Footnote numbers for an example.
- Marking up the subscript in mathematical variable numbers (although you may also consider using a MathML formula for this). See Variable subscripts.
- Denoting the number of atoms of a given element within a chemical formula (such as every developer's best friend, C8H10N4O2, otherwise known as "caffeine"). See Chemical formulas.
Traditional footnotes are denoted using numbers which are rendered in subscript. This is a common use case for
<p>According to the computations by Nakamura, Johnson, and Mason<sub>1</sub> this will result in the complete annihilation of both particles.</p>
The result looks like this:
In mathematics, families of variables related to the same concept (such as distances along the same axis) are represented using the same variable name with a subscript following. For example:
<p>The horizontal coordinates' positions along the X-axis are represented as <var>x<sub>1</sub></var> ... <var>x<sub>n</sub></var>.</p>
The output is:
When writing a chemical formula, such as H20, the number of atoms of a given element within the described molecule is represented using a subscripted number; in the case of water, the subscripted "2" indicates that there are two atoms of hydrogen in the molecule.
<p>Almost every developer's favorite molecule is C<sub>8</sub>H<sub>10</sub>N<sub>4</sub>O<sub>2</sub>, which is commonly known as "caffeine."</p>
|HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<sub> and <sup>' in that specification.
The definition of '<sub> and <sup>;' in that specification.
|Feature||Android webview||Chrome for Android||Edge mobile||Firefox for Android||Opera Android||iOS Safari||Samsung Internet|
<sup>HTML element that produces superscript. Note that you cannot use them both at the same time and you need to use MathML to produce both a superscript directly above a subscript next to the chemical symbol of an element, representing its atomic number and its nuclear number.
- The CSS