Crownpeak (Retired)

Do not use italic <i> tags to emphasize text

Why is this important?

The italic text is intended for a number of puposes such as changing the tone of a statement or marking a reference to articles and notes. The issue with using a <i> tag is that it does not provide a semantic meaning and as such  screen readers normally dont announce an this information on words using this tag. Due to this certain users may not receive the same experience that was intended for the specific statement or text.
An exemption to this is when the <i> tag is used to set an icon in HTML 5.

How can I resolve this issue?

Instead of using the <i> tag, semantic markup such as <em> and <strong> can be used to mark emphasized or important text so that it can be programmatically determined. Some assistive technologies provide a mechanism for determining the characteristics of content that has been created using proper semantic markup.

What topics do this checkpoint affect?

  • Accessibility (WCAG 2.1 Level A, 1.3.1)

Can you explain how this checkpoint works?

The checkpoint examines the entire HTML source code of a page and reports if any <i> elements are found.


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