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4.6.4 The small element

Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The small element represents side comments such as small print.

Small print typically features disclaimers, caveats, legal restrictions, or copyrights. Small print is also sometimes used for attribution, or for satisfying licensing requirements.

The small element does not "de-emphasize" or lower the importance of text emphasized by the em element or marked as important with the strong element. To mark text as not emphasized or important, simply do not mark it up with the em or strong elements respectively.

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.

In this example, the small element is used to indicate that value-added tax is not included in a price of a hotel room:

 <dt>Single room
 <dd>199 € <small>breakfast included, VAT not included</small>
 <dt>Double room
 <dd>239 € <small>breakfast included, VAT not included</small>

In this second example, the small element is used for a side comment in an article.

<p>Example Corp today announced record profits for the
second quarter <small>(Full Disclosure: Foo News is a subsidiary of
Example Corp)</small>, leading to speculation about a third quarter
merger with Demo Group.</p>

This is distinct from a sidebar, which might be multiple paragraphs long and is removed from the main flow of text. In the following example, we see a sidebar from the same article. This sidebar also has small print, indicating the source of the information in the sidebar.

 <h1>Example Corp</h1>
 <p>This company mostly creates small software and Web
 <p>The Example Corp company mission is "To provide entertainment
 and news on a sample basis".</p>
 <p><small>Information obtained from <a
 href="http://example.com/about.html">example.com</a> home

In this last example, the small element is marked as being important small print.

<p><strong><small>Continued use of this service will result in a kiss.</small></strong></p>