HTML and CSS Reference
The <small> element has been completely redefined, from a
generic presentational element to make text appear smaller
to actually representing “small print,” which “typically features
disclaimers, caveats, legal restrictions, or copyrights. Small print
is also sometimes used for attribution, or for satisfying licensing
Yo u m i g h t n o t n o t i c e t h i s r e d e i n i t i o n , a s y o u r b r o w s e r w i l l p r o b -
ably render the content in smaller type, just as before. But the
new semantic means that <small> also corresponds to the really
quickly spoken part at the end of radio advertisements, so a
screen reader might mimic that for its default aural rendering.
If the whole page is a “legalese” page, don't use <small> . In that
case, the legal text is the main content, so there is no need to use
an element to differentiate the legalese. It's only for short runs of
text. <small> has no bearing on <strong> or <em> elements.
The <strong> element represents strong importance for its con-
tents but, unlike <em> , it does not change the meaning of the
sentence. For example,
<p><strong>Warning! This banana is dangerous.</strong></p>
Yo u c a n n e s t strong elements to make them extra-important.
The <b> element “represents a span of text to which attention
is being drawn for utilitarian purposes without conveying any
extra importance and with no implication of an alternate voice
or mood, such as key words in a document abstract, product
names in a review, actionable words in interactive text-driven
software, or an article lede.”
<p>Remy never forgot his fifth birthday—feasting on
¬ <b>powdered toast</b> and the joy of opening his gift:
¬ a <b>Log from Blammo!</b>.</p>
The <u> element is another one that used to be presentational but
has now been given a New! Improved! semantic meaning, in what
feels more like a mopping-up exercise than a useful definition.