HTML <b> Tag

The HTML <b> tag is used to create a 'b' element, which represents bold text in an HTML document.

The <b> tag should be used to markup text as bold without conveying any extra importance, for example in article abstracts, where the beginning of an article is set in bold text. It should not be used to convey extra importance. To convey extra importance, use the <strong> tag. To emphasize text, use the <em> tag.


The <b> tag is written as <b></b> with the text to be bold inserted between the start and end tags.

Like this:


Product Names

Here's an example of using the <b> element to mark up product names in a review of two products.

Article Lede

Here's an example of using the <b> element to mark up the opening paragraph of an article.

An article lede (or lead) is typically used in conjunction with the headline or title. It precedes the main body of the article, and it gives the reader the main idea of what the story is about.

Journalistic ledes emphasize grabbing the attention of the reader, whereas, ledes in essays summarize the outline of the argument and conclusion that follows in the main body of the essay.

<b> vs <strong> vs <em>

Remember, the <b> should not be used to convey extra importance. To convey extra importance, use the <strong> tag.

Also, the <b> should not be used to convey emphasis. To convey emphasis, use the <em> tag.

Below are examples of the correct usage of each of these tags.


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

There are 3 kinds of attributes that you can add to your HTML tags: Element-specific, global, and event handler content attributes.

The <b> element accepts the following attributes.

Element-Specific Attributes

This table shows the attributes that are specific to the <b> tag/element.


Global Attributes

The following attributes are standard across all HTML5 elements. Therefore, you can use these attributes with the <b> tag , as well as with all other HTML tags.

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

Event Handler Content Attributes

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.

Below are the standard HTML5 event handler content attributes.

Again, you can use any of these with the <b> element, as well as any other HTML5 element.

For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 event handler content attributes.

Differences Between HTML 4 & HTML 5

HTML 4 (and previous versions of HTML) defined the <b> element in terms of presentation only - that the browser should display its contents in a bold typeface.

HTML 5 has given the <b> element a specific semantic purpose. That semantic purpose is to represent text offset from its surrounding content without conveying any extra emphasis or importance, and for which the conventional typographic presentation is bold text.

The HTML 5 specification states that the <b> element should only be used when no other element is appropriate - that the <b> element should be used as a last resort.

To see more detail on the two versions see HTML5 <b> Tag and HTML4 <b> Tag. Also check out the links to the official specifications below.


Here's a template for the <b> tag with all available attributes for the tag (based on HTML5). These are grouped into attribute types, each type separated by a space. In many cases, you will probably only need one or two (if any) attributes. Simply remove the attributes you don't need.

Note that the <b> element does not actually have any local attributes (i.e. attributes that are specific to the element), but the following global attributes and event handlers are available to the element (and all other HTML elements).

For more information on attributes for this tag, see HTML5 <b> Tag and HTML4 <b> Tag.

Tag Details

For more details about the <b> tag, see HTML5 <b> Tag and HTML4 <b> Tag.


Here are the official specifications for the <b> element.

What's the Difference?

W3C creates "snapshot" specifications that don't change once defined. So the HTML5 specification won't change once it becomes an official recommendation. WHATWG on the other hand, develops a "living standard" that is updated on a regular basis. In general, you will probably find that the HTML living standard will be more closely aligned to the current W3C draft than to the HTML5 specification.