HTML <mark> tag

The <mark> tag is one of the HTML5 elements. It marks a part of the text which has relevance. It can be used to highlight text for showing emphasis, highlight search terms in search results to provide context; or distinguish new content added by user showing it differently.

In the Chrome and Firefox the tag content is marked in yellow, but it can be changed with the CSS background-color property .

The <mark> tag doesn’t have semantic content. In order to show the importance of the marked text, use the <strong> or <em> tags.
Never use the <mark> tag for syntax highlighting. For this, you can use the HTML <span> tag with appropriate CSS properties.

The <mark> tag can be used for indicating a particular part of the content relevant to the current activity of the user, like indicating the words matching a search operation.


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

Example of the HTML <mark> tag:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Title of the document</title>
    <p>Learn HyperText markup language (HTML) on <mark></mark> website.</p>


The <mark> and other HTML tags

A list of some HTML elements that have similarities with the <mark> element is presented below. Let’s go through each of them.

The HTML <strong> tag

You can use the <strong> tag for indicating text or part of the text that is very important. For example an error or a warning. It will appear as bold.

The HTML <b> tag

The <b> tag has some similarities with <strong>. It appears as bold too. The main difference is that the <b> element doesn’t indicate any importance. It is used for design purposes.

The HTML <em> tag

We use the <em> tag to stress emphasis on a specific word. It appears as italics.


The <mark> tag supports the Global attributes and the Event Attributes.

How to style <mark> tag?

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

Browser support

6+ 4+ 5+ 11.1+

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