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The <i> tag is used to define a part of the text in a different voice. The text placed within the <i> tag is usually displayed in italic. This tag is used to define technical terms, phrases from foreign languages, etc.

The <i> tag is an element of a physical markup, that is, the embedded text differs only visually and is not perceived as important by browsers and search engines.

In the earlier specification, the <i> tag was just a presentational element that was used to show a text in italic. But now it defines the semantics and not the typographic display. If not defined, browsers can still display the content of the <i> tag in italic. If you want to style the content in italic, it’s better to use the CSS font-style property instead of <i>.

Sometimes you may need to use other, more appropriate elements:

If you want to highlight an important text, then use the semantic markup tag <em> instead of the <i> tag.


The <i> tag comes in pairs. The content is written between the opening (<i>) and closing (</i>) tags.

Example of the HTML <i> tag:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Title of the document</title>
    <p>Before the end of the week <i>it is vital to</i> finish all the work.</p>


italic text example


The <i> tag supports the Global Attributes and the Event Attributes.

How to style <i> tag?

Common properties to alter the visual weight/emphasis/size of text in <i> tag:

  • CSS font-style property sets the style of the font. normal | italic | oblique | initial | inherit.
  • CSS font-family property specifies a prioritized list of one or more font family names and/or generic family names for the selected element.
  • CSS font-size property sets the size of the font.
  • CSS font-weight property defines whether the font should be bold or thick.
  • CSS text-transform property controls text case and capitalization.
  • CSS text-decoration property specifies the decoration added to text, and is a shorthand property for text-decoration-line, text-decoration-color, text-decoration-style.

Coloring text in <i> tag:

  • CSS color property describes the color of the text content and text decorations.
  • CSS background-color property sets the background color of an element.

Text layout styles for <i> tag:

  • CSS text-indent property specifies the indentation of the first line in a text block.
  • CSS text-overflow property specifies how overflowed content that is not displayed should be signalled to the user.
  • CSS white-space property specifies how white-space inside an element is handled.
  • CSS word-break property specifies where the lines should be broken.

Other properties worth looking at for <i> tag:

Browser support

chrome edge firefox safari opera
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