HTML <i> Tag

The HTML <i> tag represents text in an alternate voice or mood, or otherwise offset from the normal prose.

Prior to HTML5, the <i> element was used for presentational purposes only (i.e. to style text in italics), however, HTML5 gave a specific semantic purpose to the element. Although browsers typically still style <i> elements in italics, you should not use the <i> tag specifically for this purpose. To style text in italics, you should use the CSS font-style property.

Also, the <i> should not be used to convey stress emphasis. To markup text with stress emphasis, you should use the <em>.


The <i> tag is written as <i></i> with the text inserted between the start and end tags.

Like this:


The HTML5 specification suggests that examples of <i> usage could include taxonomic designation, a technical term, an idiomatic phrase from another language, transliteration, a thought, or a ship name in Western texts.

Taxonomic Designation

In this example, the <i> tag is being used to mark up a taxonomic designation.

Technical Term

In this example, the <i> tag is being used to mark up a technical term.

A Thought

In this example, the <i> tag is being used to mark up a thought.

Ship Name

In this example, the <i> tag is being used to mark up two ship names.


Attributes can be added to an HTML element to provide more information about how the element should appear or behave.

The <i> element accepts the following attributes.


Global Attributes

The following attributes are standard across all HTML elements. Therefore, you can use these attributes with the <i> tag , as well as with all other HTML tags.

For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 global attributes.

Event Handlers

Event handler content attributes enable you to invoke a script from within your HTML. The script is invoked when a certain "event" occurs. Each event handler content attribute deals with a different event.

Most event handler content attributes can be used on all HTML elements, but some event handlers have specific rules around when they can be used and which elements they are applicable to.

For more detail, see HTML event handler content attributes.