The <span> is a generic inline container for phrasing content, which does not inherently represent anything. It can be used to group elements for styling purposes (using the class or id attributes), or because they share attribute values, such as lang. It should be used only when no other semantic element is appropriate. <span> is very much like a <div> element, but <div> is a block-level element whereas a <span> is an inline element.

Content categories Flow content, phrasing content.
Permitted content Phrasing content
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts phrasing content, or any element that accepts flow content.
Permitted ARIA roles Any
DOM interface HTMLSpanElement (before HTML 5, the interface was HTMLElement)


This element only includes the global attributes.

Example 1

<p><span>Some text</span></p>


Some text

Example 2

    <a href="portfolio.html" target="_blank">See my portfolio</a>


li span {
background: gold;


Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support Yes Yes 1 Yes Yes Yes
Feature Android webview Chrome for Android Edge mobile Firefox for Android Opera Android iOS Safari Samsung Internet
Basic support Yes Yes Yes 4 Yes Yes ?

See also

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