HTML <var> Tag

The <var> tag describes variable in a mathematical expression or a programming context. Its content is usually presented in an italicized version of the current typeface.

Other elements that are used for describing technical parts of the documents in the contexts in which <var> is generally used include:

  • the <code> tag which defines a piece of computer code,
  • the <samp> tag which defines sample output from a script or computer program,
  • the <kbd> tag which defines keyboard output.

If there is a code where the <var> tag is mistakenly used for stylistic purposes and not for semantic ones, you must use either a <span> with appropriate CSS, or an appropriate semantic tag among the following: <q>, <em>,<i> .

The <var> tag is not deprecated, but you can achieve better effects with CSS.


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

Example of the HTML <var> tag:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Title of the document</title>
    Example <var>This is a variable</var>


var tag example


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

How to style <var> tag?

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

Browser support

chrome edge firefox safari opera

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