HTML span tag and element

1. HTML span element is a container for holding other inline elements or content directly (text, image).

2. Usually span element is used to group inline elements together to implement style (using id or class attributes) or language information or JavaScript DOM(using id or class attributes), when no other element is found suitable to form that group.

3. The element can contain a piece of text or an image directly. So, when it is required to wrap a run of text (or an image) to be styled or manipulated and no other element is found suitable, the span is used.


<span>other inline elements or text or image </div> 


HTML span element is part of the global structure of an HTML page. It is an inline element.

Whether both start and end tags are required

Both start and end tags are required.

Can contain

HTML span element can contain other inline as well as block level elements.

Can reside within

HTML span element can reside within inline elements.

DOCTYPE support

HTML 4.01 Strict, HTML 4.01 Transitional, HTML 4.01 Frameset.


Attributes specific to this element



id and class.

language information and text direction

lang, dir.






align attribute defines the alignment of text written within a div element. Values may be left for aligning the text left, right for aligning the text right and center for aligning the text center.


onclick, ondblclick, onmousedown, onmouseup, onmouseover, onmousemove, onmouseout, onkeypress, onkeydown, onkeyup.

Example of using HTML span element

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<title>html span tag example</title>
<style type="text/css">
.demo {
background-color: aliceblue;
color: maroon;
font-family: arial;
font-weight: bold; 
border: 1px solid silver;


<p>We are learning <span class="demo">HTML span element</span>.</p>


html span tag and element


We have set some styles for a run of text, and enclosed those elements within a span element. class="demo" assigns the style to the span.

View this example in a separate browser window

HTML span tag example.

Pictorial presentation

html span tag

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