Is there any way to use a small font size in questions or answers? That is, for the purpose of minor and possibly irrelevant information?

I've checked the Markdown syntax but couldn't find anything. However I feel I've seen it on the site somewhere...

  • 5
    You have editing powers on SO. Check the post where you have seen it ;) Or do what random says. Commented Oct 21, 2009 at 13:23
  • 1
    You're right John, but I never think of it when I see it!
    – Alex Angas
    Commented Oct 21, 2009 at 13:24

4 Answers 4


You can use the <sup></sup> or the <sub></sub> tags for that:

This is sub text, and this is sup text.


It'd be nice if this was officially supported. The sup/sub thing is a nasty hack.

IMHO support for the <small> tag would be ideal.

  • 2
    <small> would be the hack here. Both <sup> and <sub> are valid and semantic HTML tags.
    – random
    Commented Oct 21, 2009 at 15:38
  • 76
    They're valid and semantic tags for writing superscripted or subscripted text. Using them to make text small is not at all semantic.
    – Kip
    Commented Oct 21, 2009 at 15:50
  • 6
    See Allow the <small> tag.
    – Arjan
    Commented Jan 23, 2011 at 11:54
  • 5
    i would also agree, that using superscript or subscript for small fonts is defiantly more of a hack, than using the small tag for small fonts :) Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 22:54
  • 1
    @Kip <sub> would subscript it. It won't make it aligned correctly...
    – Honey
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 19:01
  • 1
    But it's not supported. So how is your answer an answer? Semantically speaking, it's not. At best it is wishful thinking. Don't take the downvote personally.
    – Mentalist
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 17:31

Use the traditional <sub></sub> tag (for text to shunt into subscript).

<sub>Thar be monsters under the bed, ma</sub>


Don't turn off the night light please.

Or you could go superscript with <sup></sup>

Open up a floating balloon and suck some helium and your voice goes like this.

  • 9
    That's a heck of a powerful tag, that can change the content of the text it contains. Commented Oct 26, 2009 at 2:09
  • That it does, and it is a partly affected semantic hack nonetheless.
    – random
    Commented Oct 26, 2009 at 2:24

you could easily add custom styles to any html tag

## this is a title and <span style="font-size: .5rem">this should be small</span>

this is a title and this should be small

but as you see it doesn't work here
inline styles are valid markdown but they don't work here or any stackexchange sites.

you could instead use <sup> or <sub> to make things a bit smaller but with no flexibility

## this a title and <sup>this should be smaller</sup> <sub>or like this</sub>

this a title and this should be smaller or like this

you can chain these tags to achieve your desired effect

## this a title and <sub><sup><sub>this should be smaller<sub/><sup/><sub/>

this a title and this should be really small!

  • 1
    SE doesn't use HTML for styling in posts. We use commonmark with a few whitelisted HTML tags Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 23:43

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