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Creating Italics

Italics are often used to set off quotations, emphasized text, foreign words, magazine names and much more.

Figure 10.8. In this example, I've made the .emph class display in italics.

To create italics:

Type font-style:.

Type italic for italic text, or oblique for oblique text.

Figure 10.9. Remember that in the (X)HTML code, the word faith is marked with the emph class.

To remove italics:

Type font-style: normal.


  • It used to be that the italic version of a font was created by a font designer from scratch, while the oblique version was created by the computer, by simply slanting the letters, especially of sans-serif fonts, on the fly. This distinction has blurred somewhat, but generally holds.

  • If you set the font style as italic and there is no italic style available, the browser should try to display the text as oblique.

    Figure 10.10. Palatino Linotype has a true italic font as you can see here in the third line. The letter a in particular is clearly not just slanted.

  • One reason you might want to remove italics is to emphasize some text in a paragraph that has inherited italic formatting from a parent tag. For more details about inheritance, consult The Cascade: When Rules Collide on page 122.

  • You can also use the i or em tags in the (X)HTML code to create italics. For details, see page 70.

  • The font-style property is inherited.

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