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HTML HTML Text Abbreviations, Addresses, and Citations

Basic semantic tags: why use them?

Simple tags like abbr are described as useful. Why is it useful? What exact benefit accrues to using it vs. not using it? (Thanks!)

Mark VonGyer
Mark VonGyer
21,239 Points

Personally I think using brackets and then revealing the full meaning of the abbreviation is better for the end user.

Sherrie Gossett I know this is a super-old post, but I also am wondering about this too. I'm also not understanding why these semantic tags add to the accessibility to the site. Whom would find an address tag to help with accessibility? Or maybe even a broader question, how does one ensure a broad enough accessibility level if that's the sole reason for using semantic tags?

2 Answers

Hey Sherrie! Well, to make it a quick response I would say that semantic tags should be used for:

Search Engine Optimization - since Google and other engines will scan your page easier and a little better.

And mostly:

Accessibility - if you think about how a blind or visually impaired user will hear your site (yes HEAR it), semantics makes all the difference.

Unfortunately in our fast-paced world we often think it's a waste of time to prepare our sites to all audiences that may access them. Specially if those preparations mean more coding to us.

3,495 Points

Should we still consider using these tags when we make our website? Yes, it is a fast-paced world, so using these things will take up time when we include them in.

I'm curious to know if developers/designers have made their website and then they backtrack to include these tags later.

Well jemellesantos,

It really depends on the project, and if you're already using things that can speed up your workflow such as frameworks and snippets of code. I, personally, like to think that all my projects are accessible to anyone, even if it means more work for me.


Here's a great explanation of reasons to use abbr and acronym tags: http://accessify.com/tools-and-wizards/developer-tools/acrobot/why-use.php