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In which occasions you would like to use italics in web design? Because the use of bold fonts is quite obvious not sure about italics.

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ummm on Christmas :D in short when u want to grab user's attention just change the normal font to the styled one... – Jack Mar 17 '11 at 14:09

From a technical standpoint, you should use italics whenever writing titles of books or films. Things like that.

Italics are used for emphasis. When you want to draw attention to a word. Which is similar to bold, but italics doesn't seem to "jump out" as much. You should never italics a whole paragraph or other huge chunk of text. But you can use it as part of a layout. You could italicize your title, for instance.

Creatively, there's a lot of directions you could go in, in my opinion. But, don't overuse it either.

Here are some resources on topics for italics:

All in all, it's a personal aesthetic decision. If it looks good, keep it. If it doesn't, kill it.

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It is a little bit more than an aesthetic decision. Italics, especially when displayed on a computer monitor in a sans-serif typeface, are measurably more difficult to read. If your intention is to convey information, then avoid setting large blocks of text in italics. – horatio Mar 15 '11 at 17:52
When something is more difficult to read, that directly impacts the aesthetics because aesthetics is how things look. So if your type becomes unreadable, it's very much an aesthetic decision. – Johannes Mar 15 '11 at 20:37
Your definition of aesthetics is overly broad. – horatio Mar 15 '11 at 21:29
Is it though? "If it looks good, keep it. If it doesn't, kill it." I would assume that if a block of italics text is difficult to read, it also doesn't look good. Your eyes don't like it. In addition I also specifically mentioned that you shouldn't use italics on large blocks of text. So I'm a little confused as to what exactly your point is. – Johannes Mar 15 '11 at 21:33
My point is that a "personal aesthetic decision" should be more informed. Your "looks good" metric frequently fails (See: In the case of italics, there is a good reason not to use it /en mass/ which is not a purely aesthetic decision. Legibility falls outside of the definition of aesthetics. – horatio Mar 15 '11 at 21:43

I often use strong for keywords and keyphrases after reading somewhere that indexing bots take "strong" and "em" tags into account (I have not been able to tell if it is indeed the case. But it prompted me to take emphasis into account).

I use the two elements for different levels of emphasis. I like to think the strong-taged words to be relevant if you were to summarize the content. whereas em-taged words would come into play for a different kind of emphasis.

I used em once for names in texts which at the same time were links to profile pages of these people. So I use em for another kind of emphasis. This use however, might make more sense if

<em level="1"></em>
<em level="2"></em>

actually existed.

This has nothing to do with grammar or proper use of the language. It even might be wrong :) It's just my two cents on the matter. Hope this helps you anyway.

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<em> indicates emphasis, <strong> indicates stronger emphasis. So there are indeed two levels of emphasis. They are rendered as italics/oblique and bold by default respectively, but that is just convention. You might use colour instead; a speech browser might use volume/pitch. – e100 Feb 20 '12 at 16:45
I'll second the <em>/<strong> convention. I typically use <strong> for keywords and <em> for literary emphasis or for grammatic purposes (though <span class="title"> or, ironically, <i> may be more appropriate there semantically). There's really no need for <em level=...>. Semantically, it means nothing. Unlike headings, there are no absolute grades of emphasis. – Lèse majesté Feb 20 '12 at 17:17

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