Highlight text with HTML <mark> tag

Highlight text with HTML <mark> tag

Highlight text with HTML <mark> tag

If you ever need to mark text within a paragraph, better use the <mark> tag. It's HTML version of a yellow highlighter. I've always used a <span> tag with some CSS styling sprinkled on it, not realizing this more semantic option existed. HTML5 is filled with all kind of goodies, am I right πŸ˜†

  text with HTML &lt;mark&gt; tag

Default <mark> styling

The default background color of <mark> is yellow.

  <mark>Default Yellow Highlight</mark>


Default Yellow Highlight

Custom Styling <mark> with CSS

Of course, like any text HTML tag, you can apply custom styling with CSS. You can think of it similarly to how you would style a <p> tag.

mark {
  background: red;
  color: white;


Custom Highlight

<mark> vs Other Text HTML Tags


<strong> is used to indicate text that has strong importance than the surrounding text, such as a warning or error. Semantically, its importance. It appears as bold


<b> is very similar to <strong> as it also appears as bold. However, unlike it, it doesn't really convey any importance and it's more a stylistic thing than semantics.


<em> is used to stress emphasis on a particular word. It appears as italics


<mark> merely highlights the relevance of a certain piece of text. Prior to the existence of this tag, many have used em or strong to give the highlighted content some semantic meaning. Well no more! If you need to highlight, use this tag 🌟

Why semantic HTML tag is important

The reason you don't just use <div> tags everywhere is because they are not semantic. You might be like me when I first started learning programming - who cares about being semantically-correct πŸ™„. Wrong ❌. In fact, search engines like Google do! Because semantics convey meaning about your site. When search robots crawl through your site, they'll know what's up. In other words, ding ding ding on your SEO or search engine optimization πŸ†

Another reason to be semantically-correct is for accessibility. A lot of the accessibility tools rely on the tags' semantics to convert your site into meaning to the human user using it (ie. screen readers). Here's an analogy. Remember back in the days, when we got the computer reading text from a site. It sounded super robotic and odd πŸ€–. Without the proper semantics, it's just like that. DDoes it work, sureβ€Š-β€Šbut the listening experience is terrible 😱. However, when you use proper semantics, it's like listening to Siri. It sounds way more human-y because it has all the different inflection, changes in pitch, and even know when to pause. And this is the similar type of better experience you can achieve when using semantically-correct HTML tags πŸ‘

HTML5 tag and SEO

I do want to point out one thing though.

Google's John Mueller mentioned this in a Twitter response:

It certainly makes sense to use HTML5 properly if you can, there's no SEO downside to doing so :).

Here's what I gather from this. Whether or not you use HTML5 tags, it won't hurt your Google search result ranking. However, does that mean you should use HTML5 tags. Not at all! The accessibility benefits are still there. And some HTML5 tags have really interesting browser behavior and it opens up your user to more advanced feature that it didn't before 🀩

Accessibility Concerns

Alright, hopefully, I have successfully conveyed to you the importance of semantic HTML tags. And you can now understand how <mark> is not simply to style texts, but it's semantically a good thing.

But! there is some concern with its accessibility. Unfortunately, the use of the <mark>tag is not announced by most screen readers in its default settings. But good news, there's is a way around it. You can use the CSS content property and pseudo-element to make an announcement.

mark::before {
  content: " [highlight start] ";

mark::after { content: " [highlight end] "; }

/* Hide the text created in the CSS content property */ mark::before, mark::after { clip-path: inset(100%); clip: rect(1px, 1px, 1px, 1px); height: 1px; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; white-space: nowrap; width: 1px; }

So what the screen reader will do here. When it encounters text that's wrapped in the <mark> tag, it will announce "highlight start" followed by the text within the tag. and then announce "highlight end" once the mark tag ends.


Please note: if you have a lot of these "announcement", it can be very verbose and add in sometimes annoying unnecessary information. Which can cause some screen reader users to turn off this feature. So, the lesson here is. "With great power comes great responsibility πŸ•·". Don't abuse this technique and ONLY apply it in instances where NOT knowing the highlighted content can adversely affect understanding for the user.

Use Case for <mark>

The fun part now! Let's take at some use cases for <mark>:

Use Case: Search Result

Here's a popular one. You can use it to highlight the term a user has searched for.

<p>Search Result for "Vue"</p>


<p><mark>Vue</mark> is a awesome JavaScript framework. <mark>Vue</mark> is awesome. Can you tell I really like <mark>Vue</mark> πŸ˜†</p>


Search Result for "Vue"
Vue is a awesome JavaScript framework. Vue is awesome. Can you tell I really like Vue πŸ˜†

Use Case: Quotes

It's great to provide highlights for quotation (<q>) and block quote (<blockquote>).

<p>According to Samantha, <q>Vue is <mark>AWESOME</mark></q></p>


According to Samantha, Vue is AWESOME

Originally published on https://www.samanthaming.com


What's new in Bootstrap 5 and when Bootstrap 5 release date?

How to Build Progressive Web Apps (PWA) using Angular 9

What is new features in Javascript ES2020 ECMAScript 2020

Deno Crash Course: Explore Deno and Create a full REST API with Deno

How to Build a Real-time Chat App with Deno and WebSockets

Convert HTML to Markdown Online

HTML entity encoder decoder Online

Random Password Generator Online

HTML Color Picker online | HEX Color Picker | RGB Color Picker

HTML Basics to Learn HTML for Web Development

HTML is the mark-up language most websites are written in. In this article, we will delve into the most basics of HTML like tags and elements that are of utmost importance while writing any code in HTML. These tags help in the structuring and display of content on the web pages.

HTML Introduction - HTML Tutorial For Beginners - DataFlair

HTML Introduction - Learn what is HTML, History of HTML, its benefits and limitations, HTML applications, HTML5 and its features, what's new in HTML5.

Learn Text Formatting in HTML

Learn HTML Text formatting and various tags for HTML formatting - HTML Headings, Strong, Bold, underline, superscript and subscript, Italicized, definition, grouping etc.

Top 20 Interview Questions from HTML and CSS in 2020

You can enlist these 20 questions in your bucket. So we are starting with HTML questions.

HTML Entities – A List of HTML Space and other HTML Symbols and Special Character Codes

Most ASCII characters have a special code you can use in HTML to make that character reliably appear. These HTML Entities are particularly helpful for, say, manually inserting whitespace into your HTML. Each of these codes starts with an ampersand and ends with a semicolon. You can use these anywhere in your HTML to reliably create that character. It should render the same regardless of which language your users' browsers are set to. Some of symbols these have easier-to-remember codes. For e