Marking up side notes

In my HTML table, I have some labels that have side comments associated with them, for instance…

<th>Car Accidents (All)</th>

What is the best way to mark up [b](All)[/b]?

Should I use < small >?

Or maybe < span >?

Something else?

My first guess would have been < small >, but MDN makes it sound like it is reserved more for things like footnotes and legalese.

(emphasis my own)

Footnote indicators are actually probably better represented with <sub> elements, while actual footnote text should probably be rendered at the container (div) level.

MDN said it…"represents side-comments and small print, like copyright and legal text "
Nothing mentioned about being reserved for those examples only.

If you haven’t done so yet, look at the code examples and description of the small element at W3C

Ask yourself these questions about the text your considering for the small tag.

  1. Is it a side comment that will be suitable in small print ?
  2. Is it a short run of text (presumably one line or less) ?

If you satisfy those questions you may proceed with the small tag.

If you find yourself wanting to increase the font size of the small tag your should probably be using a span instead.

The small element represents side comments such as small print.

The small element should not be used for extended spans of text, such as multiple paragraphs, lists, or sections of text. It is only intended for short runs of text. The text of a page listing terms of use, for instance, would not be a suitable candidate for the small element: in such a case, the text is not a side comment, it is the main content of the page.

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Thanks, sensei Ray!

I need to get in the habit of referring to when I need a deeper answer than MDN offers.

In the example in my OP, yes, “(all)” in “Car Accidents (all)” would qualify as a side note.

Just wanted to be sure.

Thanks! :+1:

Dumb question, but if I go to, how in the world do I navigate to the HTML and CSS manuals?

Ironically, W3’s website is horribly difficult to navigate?!

W3C » Standards » Web Design and Applications » HTML & CSS

HTML 5.2
CSS Stan­dards & drafts

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I went to and then clicked on “Standards” in the menu bar, then “Web Design and Applications” and then “HTML & CSS”, but then where do I go from there?

(I’m trying t get to the HTML and CSS manuals that you have referred me to in other posts.)

Btw, the W3C HTML link above doesn’t work. Even so, I am trying to figure out how to navigate to the HTML manual and the CSS manual.

(I thought navigating MDN was a PITA, but this takes the cake?!)