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Old 03-30-2010, 06:46 AM   #1
ghostyjack
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<em> or <i> & <strong> or <b>

I know some prefer to use <i> and <b> instead of <em> and <strong>, but as far as I can see they are rendered the same.

Can someone explain to me what is the difference between them and why I should use one or the other.

Also, are there any circumstances where you would mix their use?
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Old 03-30-2010, 07:16 AM   #2
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<em> and <strong> are semantic, <i> and <b> are presentational. <em> means emphasized, and while the default is having emphasized text displayed in italics, you could choose to have it underlined, or red, or in a different font... <i> means italic, and while it is possible to change its appearance with CSS, it would be weird to have an <i> element that's not italic. It's basically a matter of style, with the content and presentation separation encouraged by HTML+CSS, semantic markup is preferred.
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Old 03-30-2010, 07:37 AM   #3
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That makes sense, thanks Jellby.

If I didn't apply any style to <em> and <strong>, I take it that they would used defaults of italic and bold for their behaviour?
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:01 AM   #4
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The semantic tags <em> and <strong> are preferred for general html because they work better with audio browsers and other text-to-speech systems. They should default to italic and bold respectively, so there's no practical difference unless you want your content to work well with TTS.
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