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HTML <sup> Tag

Topic: HTML5 Tags ReferencePrev|Next


The <sup> (short for superscript) tag renders enclosed text as superscript.

Superscript text appears half a character's height above the baseline, and is most often used in mathematical (e.g. y = x2), or scientific formulas (e.g. E = mc2).

The following table summarizes the usages context and the version history of this tag.

Placement: Inline
Content: Inline and text
Start/End Tag: Start tag: required, End tag: required
Version: HTML 3.2, 4, 4.01, 5

Usage Notes

  • The <sup> tag should be used for typographical reasons only.
  • This tag must not be used for styling purpose like changing the vertical position of the text. In that case CSS should be used instead: the vertical-align property with the super value will achieve the same effect.


The basic syntax of the <sup> tag is given with:

HTML / XHTML: <sup> ... </sup>

The example below shows the <sup> tag in action.

<p>The equation of mass–energy equivalence is: E=mc<sup>2</sup></p>

Tag-Specific Attributes

The <sup> tag doesn't have any specific attribute.

Global Attributes

Like all other HTML tags, the <sup> tag supports the global attributes in HTML5.

Event Attributes

The <sup> tag also supports the event attributes in HTML5.

Browser Compatibility

The <sup> tag is supported in all major modern browsers.

Browsers Icon

Basic Support—

  • Firefox 1+
  • Google Chrome 1+
  • Internet Explorer 2+
  • Apple Safari 1+
  • Opera 4+

Further Reading

See tutorial on: HTML Text Formatting.

Related tag: <sub>.

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