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italics: introduction

Because italic (sloping) type contrasts with roman (vertical) type, you can type words or passages in italics to call special attention to them, to give them special meaning, or to distinguish them from the rest of your text.

  • This sentence is in italics.

Use italics sparingly, or they lose their effectiveness.

When an entire passage is printed in italics, the punctuation (including parentheses) and any numbers (including footnote references) will also be in italics. If just a word or phrase is in italics, only the punctuation belonging to it is printed in that typeface.

Note that when the main body of a text is printed in italics, roman type is used for emphasis and for the other purposes usually assigned to italics.

Italics are not recommended for use online because many people have trouble reading italic type. On the Web, it is better to use other devices (e.g. bold font) for emphasis where possible.