HTML <b> Tag: Use and Examples

By Cristian G. Guasch •  Updated: 09/25/23 •  9 min read

If you’ve ever wondered about the role of the HTML <b> tag in web development, I’m here to shed some light on it for you. This simple yet powerful tool is essential when you’re looking to make certain text elements stand out on your webpage. Used correctly, it can greatly enhance the user experience by drawing attention to key points or areas of interest.

The HTML <b> tag is all about making text bold without implying any extra importance or strong emphasis. It’s important to note that this element doesn’t alter the meaning of the enclosed text; its purpose is purely cosmetic. In other words, it’s a way of saying “Hey, look at me!” without shouting too loudly or disturbing the overall flow of information on your page.

Over the next few paragraphs, we’ll delve into how this tag works, explore its attributes and provide examples for better understanding. Whether you’re a seasoned coder or a beginner just dipping your toes into web development waters, I’ve got you covered!
Diving headfirst into HTML can feel overwhelming at first. But don’t worry! I’m here to help you understand the <b> tag and how it works. This little piece of code can make a big difference in your web design journey.

Now, let’s talk about what exactly the <b> tag is. In HTML coding language, the <b> tag stands for “bold”. It’s used to highlight text by making it bold without adding any extra importance or strong emphasis. Just remember, though, while this tag makes text stand out visually, search engines don’t place any special significance on it.

<p>This is a paragraph with some <b>bold</b> text.</p>

In this simple example above, only the word “bold” will appear bold on your webpage.

While using the <b> tag seems straightforward enough, there are certain nuances that newbies often overlook. One common mistake is confusing it with the <strong> tag. While both make text bold, they serve different purposes semantically speaking – meaning search engines interpret them differently.

<p>This is a sentence with a <strong>critical point</strong>.</p>

In the snippet above, not only does “critical point” appear bold to viewers but also signals to search engines that this bit of information carries weightier significance compared to other text.

Just like every other HTML element out there, our trusty little friend – the <b> tag – has its own set of attributes too! However, in standard HTML5 usage today these are few and far between due to its stylistic function primarily rather than structural or semantic nature.

It’s important to note that while we’ve focused on understanding how best to use this handy tool for highlighting text in your webpages; always remember: content is king! So continue honing those skills and soon you’ll be creating stunning websites with ease.

Key Attributes of HTML <b> Tag

Diving into the world of HTML, we’ll find that the bold tag (<b>) has a simple yet powerful function – it makes your text bold. But what are its key attributes? Let’s take a closer look.

Honestly, there aren’t any specific attributes exclusive to the <b> tag. It’s pretty straightforward and doesn’t have any unique attributes of its own. However, you can utilize global attributes – common to all HTML elements – with this tag too.

In terms of Global Attributes, there are quite a few that could be used with our friend, the <b> tag:

Here’s how these global attributes might appear in code:

<b class="highlight">This is some highlighted text.</b>
<b id="specialText">This part has been given a special ID!</b>
<b style="color: red;">And now we've got some text in red using inline styling.</b>

Active developers should remember not overusing the <b> tag just because it’s easy. There’s often debate among web designers about whether or not they should use this tag at all! The reason being that while it does make your text bold, it doesn’t provide any semantic meaning like other similar tags do (like <strong>). SEO-wise, search engines don’t place extra emphasis on words enclosed within <b> tags.

Despite these debates and potential drawbacks, I’m sure many beginners will find themselves reaching for this handy little tag when starting out their journey in coding. It remains one of those go-to tools that offer quick results when you’re testing things out or learning how certain aspects of HTML work.

Effective Usage of the HTML <b> Tag

Diving right into it, let’s unpack how to effectively use the HTML <b> tag. This tag serves a specific purpose in web development – to draw attention to text without giving it any extra importance. This might seem a bit puzzling at first, but I’ll break it down for you.

Imagine you’re writing an article and want certain words or phrases to stand out. That’s where the <b> tag comes in handy. By wrapping text within this tag, like so: <b>Your Text Here</b>, you can make your content visually distinct. However, unlike the <strong> tag which semantically emphasizes its enclosed text, the <b> merely changes its appearance.

A common misstep that some developers make is using the <b> and <strong> tags interchangeably because they both result in bolded text. But remember- search engines interpret these tags differently! The former doesn’t signal crucial content while the latter does.

Let me illustrate with some code examples:

Example 1:

<p>The quick <b>brown fox</b> jumps over the lazy dog.</p>

In this example, “brown fox” will appear bold on your webpage but won’t be emphasized by search engines.

Example 2

<p>The quick <strong>brown fox</strong> jumps over the lazy dog.</p>

Here “brown fox” will not only appear bold but carry semantic emphasis as well.

To maximize your SEO efforts and user experience, ensure you’re using these tags appropriately depending on your goal: visual distinction or semantic emphasis? That’s something worth considering when coding your next project!
Diving right into it, let’s take a look at some real-world examples of HTML <b> tag implementation. Let’s say you’re creating a webpage and want to highlight an important line of text. Using the <b> tag could be your go-to solution! Here’s how that might look in your code:

<p>This is an example of using the <b>Bold Tag</b>.</p>

This would render as: This is an example of using the Bold Tag.

But remember, there are variations as well. The <strong> tag can also be used to make text bold, but its usage implies semantic importance rather than just visual emphasis like the <b> tag does. So if you wanted to use this instead, here’s what it may look like:

<p>This is an example of using the <strong>Strong Tag</strong>.</p>

And this would display as: This is an example of using the Strong Tag.

Often times though, I’ve noticed folks mixing up these tags or forgetting about their different implications altogether. Remember, while both tags will visually bolden your text, they communicate different things to web crawlers and assistive technologies.

Another common mistake I see is that people sometimes try to nest these tags within each other like so:

<b><strong>This Is Not Recommended</strong></b>

While this won’t necessarily break your page or cause any severe issues, it’s redundant and unnecessary – one tag will do just fine!

Lastly, don’t forget that these tags can be applied to more than just paragraphs; headings, list items and even table cells can all benefit from a little bolding too!

Conclusion: Mastering the Art of Using HTML <b> Tag

We’ve come a long way in our journey to understand and effectively use the HTML <b> tag. It’s clear that this seemingly simple tag has more than meets the eye.

Firstly, I’d like to re-emphasize its primary usage. The <b> tag is primarily employed for stylistic changes without conveying any significant importance or emphasis. Remember, it doesn’t alter the semantic meaning of your text.

Let’s revisit an example:

<p>The sky is <b>blue</b>.</p>

In this snippet, ‘blue’ will display as bold text, but it doesn’t hold any additional importance semantically.

Secondly, we chatted about attributes. While there are no specific attributes for the <b> tag itself, you can always utilize global ones such as class, id, or even style. Here’s how:

<b class="highlight">This is highlighted text.</b>

It’s critical to recognize common pitfalls while using the <b> tag:

Mastering HTML requires understanding each element deeply – including when its usage is appropriate and when it isn’t. While our focus was on the humble <b> tag today, these lessons apply across all tags.

Remember that learning never stops! Keep practicing and coding until using tags like these become second nature. Happy coding!

Cristian G. Guasch

Hey! I'm Cristian Gonzalez, I created HTML Easy to help you learn HTML easily and fast.

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