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From Wikimania


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The Strong template makes it faster and easier to apply the <strong>...</strong> importance, seriousness, or urgency HTML element to text, and more importantly to indicate to human editors and Wikipedia bots they should not use '''...''' or <b>...</b> typographic boldfacing to replace the intentional and semantically meaningful <strong>. The <strong>...</strong> element is usually rendered visually in a bold (heavy) typeface by default on graphical browsers, but can be parsed and acted upon in customizable ways with style sheets, apps and text-to-speech screen readers. It is said to be semantic markup, i.e. markup that conveys meaning or context, not just visual appearance.

Simple boldfacing ('''...''' or <b>...</b>) is purely typographic and is semantically meaningless. Boldface (<b>...</b>) is most often used for headings, but has a few other uses (such as for book or film titles and the like, which are usually italicized, when they appear in an already-italicized passage). The average reader, and average editor, do not and need not care about this distinction most of the time, but it can be important and editors who understand it can use this template as a baseline insurance against accidental or uninformed replacement by bots and human editors, as well as to add web accessibility.

{{strong|important text}}

or, if the important text contains an equals sign:

{{strong|1=important text}}

These both render as:

important text

This template puts intentional and explicit <strong>...</strong> (importance, seriousness, or urgency) HTML markup around the text provided as the first parameter. It is safest to always use the |1= syntax.

Optional parameters

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Advanced HTML values can be passed through the template to the HTML code:

  • |role= takes a WAI-ARIA role; adds role="rolename" to the HTML code
  • |class= takes a class name (or multiple class names, separated by spaces); adds class="classname[s]" to the HTML code
  • |style= takes inline CSS input; adds style="CSS directive[s]" to the HTML code
  • |id= takes a valid, unique HTML id (must begin with an alphabetic letter); adds id="name" to the HTML code
  • |title= takes text, which cannot be marked up in any way, and displays it as a pop-up "tooltip" when the cursor hovers over the {{strong}} span

Use cases

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This template is made to mark important words or phrases in a text, in a way that is (unlike simply boldfacing it) semantically meaningful markup. With this technique, the important text strongly stands out from the rest in most if not all visual browsers and some text-to-speech screen readers (which usually ignore purely typographic boldfacing), and can also be parsed by user agents and other software as definitively indicating importance, not just some typographic boldface effect for appearance's sake. It should therefore only be used very sparingly in articles to highlight the most important words or phrases in the entire article (and, rarely in encyclopedic writing, to represent relative importance). Use of this template has a strong effect on scannability, drawing the eye from elsewhere on the page to words marked up with the template.

Typical uses on Wikipedia:

  • In the lead section of an article, the article's title can be marked with {{strong}}. Example: "The soma is the bulbous end of a neuron." As of July 2022, there is no consensus either for or against this use.[1]
  • After the lead, it can be used to highlight crucial terms of importance only slightly secondary to that of the article title and its synonyms. For example, the article on a viral infection might use {{strong}} to highlight the names of two identified strains of the disease in a "Varieties" section, as an aid to scannability.
  • In unusual cases (most often direct quotations) it is used to represent contextually important text, if the passage were spoken rather than written (e.g., because it indicates shouting).
  • Outside articles, it should be used (but as of July 2021 isn't yet common) in polls, XfD processes, RfX votes, and similar comments and debates where users indicate that they approve of or disagree with a view or proposal. Example: "Support, because of this and that reasons [...]" or "Oppose, because of this and that reasons [...]".

When this template should not be used

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Because {{strong}} is strictly for semantic (meaningful) importance, it should not be used for layout, typography conventions and such. In these different cases, bold '''...''' (which resolves to <b>...</b> in the browser or other user agent) should be used instead. It also should not be used when the text to which it is applied is boldfaced for some other reason (e.g., it is part of a heading); in such cases use {{em}} instead. Avoid using {{strong}} in non-quoted sentences that end in an exclamation point. And it is usually excessive to use it on terms that are Wikilinked, since the link markup acts to indicate importance itself.

See also

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  • {{strongbad}} – same but red
  • {{stronggood}} – same but green
  • {{em}} – for italic rather than bold semantic emphasis
  1. The style guidelines at MOS:BOLDTITLE and MOS:BOLDSYN recommend regular bolding. The use of this template has been briefly discussed in 2018 and in 2022.