This is easily the largest section in this reference, in terms of the number of elements that it includes. The text formatting elements listed here range from the extremely useful and oft-used
em (emphasis) and
strong (strong emphasis), through the peculiar and little-known Ruby markup elements (
rbc, and so on), to the deprecated elements from days long gone, which include
All the elements included here are Inline and Phrase Elements elements—they can’t be wrapped around any Block-level Elements (with the exception of
ins, whose properties allow them a special dispensation).
span element is also listed here. Strictly speaking, it’s not a text formatting element, as it doesn’t offer any semantic information on its own. That said, the
span can’t be wrapped around a block element, and is primarily used to surround text content for the purposes of styling or scripting. It is for this reason that it has been included in this index rather than in the Structural Elements.