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HTML <ruby> Tag

The <ruby> tag defines a ruby annotation. It is used in Japanese and East Asian languages. A ruby annotation is a small additional text linked to the main text for indicating the meaning or pronunciation of the equivalent characters. The basic text annotation is placed in the <rp> tag. It is displayed in a small print above the hieroglyphs.

The <ruby> tag is one of the HTML5 elements.

You can use the <ruby> tag with the <rp> and/or <rt> tags. The <ruby> tag consists of one or more characters that need pronunciation or explanation. The <rt> tag gives that information, and the <rp> tag defines an alternative text, which is displayed in the browser not supporting the <ruby> tag.


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

Example of the HTML <ruby> tag:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Title of the document</title>
    明日 <rp>(</rp><rt>Ashita</rt><rp>)</rp>


ruby tag example


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

How to style <ruby> tag?

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

Browser support

chrome firefox safari opera
5+ 38+ 5+ 15+
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