Funny enough, abbr is an HTML tag that is an abbreviation of "abbreviated form" (who made the word 'abbreviation' so long anyway?). This seldom used tag, allows user agents, spell checkers, text to speech applications, translation programs, and search engines to utilize and navigate your web pages easier.

See also: acronym.


While it technically does not have any required HTML attributes, it is fairly useless without the title attribute. The title attribute allows you to specify what the abbreviation stands for. Other attributes include:


To use the abbr tag, simply place opening and closing HTML tags around the abbreviation, and use the title attribute to specify the long description of the abbreviation (it's a good idea to also add the lang attribute). For example:

<abbr lang="en-us" title="">E2</abbr> is on the <abbr title="World Wide Web">WWW</abbr>.

On browsers that support this tag, this will cause a tooltip to appear containing the title attribute when the mouse is placed over the words "E2" or "WWW".

Everything2 Support?

E2 does provide limited support for the abbr tag. In addition to the tag itself, Everything2 allows the use of the "lang" and "title" attributes. It should be noted that there is a bug in how E2 parses the title attribute for some tags (including abbr), so if your title contains spaces, you may only see the first word. Below is how your browser displays the example above here on Everything2:

E2 is on the WWW.

If you would like to see how the example above would work without the E2 bug, copy and paste it into your Notelet Nodelet.

Common Browser Implementations*

Most web browsers support this tag, as it has been around for several years and is part of the W3C's HTML 4 specification. In addition to tooltips, Mozilla and Netscape display a dotted and colored line under the abbreviation. Opera provides a similar implementation. Apple's Safari displays the abbreviation in italics. Surprisingly enough, Internet Explorer does not provide any visual support.

Previous HTML Tag: a
Next HTML Tag: acronym
See Also: HTML tags and HTML attributes

* Please feel free to send me information about how other browsers implement this tag.
Thanks to Brontosaurus for info on Safari..

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