What is the difference between <b> and <strong>?

Both of them seem to result in the same effect on text. Are they interchangeable or should I use one or the other in specific cases?

Hello, and welcome to the forums!

Although they often appear the same with default styling, they have different meanings so it’s best to use the correct one.

Quick summary: <strong> indicates strong importance, urgency, or seriousness. <b> is used to draw attention, but not necessarily indicating importance.

Here’s a small write-up about it: The Strong Importance element - <b> vs <strong>

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One major difference between the two (and the same for <em/> vs. <i/>) is that STRONG and EM have a change of voice in a screen reader, meaning there is aural emphasis added for the benefit of the listener.

If all we wish to do is add a slight visual (only) indication, then don’t use <strong/> or <em/>. Use <b/> or <i/> instead.


We may periodically see <tag/> in some prose on the subject. It is a shorthand way to indicate the tag, not the official way. It’s a little less typing, is all.