The <u> Tag in HTML

Note: Contrary to the reports on other web sites and blogs, the <u> tag is not deprecated in HTML 5 and later. See Changes in HTML 5 below.

The <u> tag is used to visually highlight some content, without imparting any audible emphasis to it. Browsers will normally underline the text inside the u element, which draws the text with a solid underscore line.

In some languages the underline has a special meaning. In Chinese for example, a single straight underline is used to indicate a proper name, which can allow distinguishing one name from others marked in the same manner, and a wavy underline is similarly used to indicate the title of a book or other work of literature.

Here is a demo of HTML code for an entry in a bibliography:

  • Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged. New York: Random House, 1957; New York: Plume, 1999.

This is an actual working example of the <u> tag example code below.

In other contexts, use of the u element is discouraged for a number of reasons:

  1. underlined text that is not clickable can easily be confused with a hypertext link, especially in circumstances when their color cannot be used to distinguish between them
  2. for the separation of style and content, style information should be put into Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

Therefore, the <u> tag should be avoided when possible. In most cases there are other HTML tags that would be more appropriate:

Text can also be underlined using the CSS text-decoration: underline property.