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How To Use Bold Underline Italics Effectively

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Are you confused as to where to use bold, italics, or underline in your text?

The three types of typographical emphasis are used to highlight words to help differentiate them from the rest of your content.

They draw the attention of the reader to important phrases and words that could get lost within the thousands of words that make up some articles.

Bolding, italicizing, and underlining also help your SEO.

When they are applied to words, they slow down readers and force them to take the time to read the highlighted text in detail.

This leads to longer dwell times that will be interpreted as a positive sign by search engines.

But, where and how should you use them in your text?

In this article, I will show you the right way to use bold underline italics in your blog posts, and why overusing emphasis will have a negative impact on the quality of your content.

How To Use Bold Underline Italics: Frequently Asked Questions

What Do You Call Bold, Italics, and Underlining?

They are all types of emphasis used to show the importance of a word or phrase.

Bold and italics are font styles that modify the brightness or style of the affected text, while underline is simply a line under the text.

Why Do You Use Bold, Italics, and Underline?

Bold is used for heavier emphasis when describing hugely consequential words or phrases, while italics are used for gentler emphasis when you just want the words to stand out from the other text in the paragraph.

Underlining is used to distinguish hyperlinks.

What Is Needed To Use Bold Underline Italics Effectively

Here are the tools you will need to instantly implement the principles of emphasis that I will explain in the next section:

  • Word Processor — you will need Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or Apple Pages to create your content. To use any of the three types of emphasis, highlight the relevant text, then select the bold, italics, or underline icon from the toolbar. You can also use a keyboard shortcut.
  • Content Management System (CMS) — this is relevant if you are writing or editing your content in a CMS like WordPress or Wix. To bold, italicize, or underline the relevant text, highlight it in your editor, then click the relevant icon from the toolbar or block menu.

How To Use Bold, Italics, and Underline Effectively: Step-By-Step Instructions

If you bold, italicize or underline all the words in a block of text, then nothing is emphasized.

If you want to create emphasis in your article successfully, you must apply the right formatting tag to only a few words within a paragraph.

Below, I will show you when to use bold, italics, and underlines in your content.

  1. Bold text: use it to emphasize important words and phrases
  2. Italic text: use it to highlight labels and conversational sentences
  3. Underline: use it to highlight hyperlinks

Bold Text: Use It To Emphasize Important Words And Phrases

The goal is to grab the attention of readers as they skim through your content.

It’s more like you are placing a special emphasis on keywords that are crucial to the central message of your content.

For example, I highlighted the paragraph in the blog post shown in the image below because it conveyed the most crucial message in that subheading.

01 using bold text on bloggingtips.com

You should always bold your headers and subheads.

For body text, only highlight words or phrases surrounded by a significant amount of text.

This helps to create the visual contrast that makes the bold text stand out.

You want to limit the number of bold sentences in your content. If you use them sparingly, they will be more effective.

Italic Text: Use It To Highlight Labels And Conversational Sentences

The goal here is not to make the emphasized text stand out from the entire piece.

Italics should instead be used to distinguish a word or phrase from the surrounding text in the sentence.

For example, “it is recommended not to eat more than one egg in a day.”

Below are common uses of italic text:

  • To highlight foreign words or phrases
  • To highlight the definition of a technical word
  • To highlight quotes, conversations, or dialogues
  • To highlight the name of a novel, play, book, or newspaper
  • To highlight imagination or a story

Underlined Text: Use It To Highlight Hyperlinks

The only words or phrases you should underline on your web page are links.

The image below is a good example of an underlined link text.

02 using underline for link text in bloggingtips.com

Underlines can’t be used for emphasis on blog posts because most internet users are accustomed to identifying underlined text as hyperlinks.

You should only use underlining in normal body text for handwritten notes, textbooks, or newspapers.

Similar Tutorial Types To Check Out

Wrapping Up

Emphasis only works when it’s done properly.

Also, other than using the right kind of emphasis in your sentence, you must ensure there are no distracting page elements like ads or images that will make it impossible for the highlighted text to stand out.

If you have any other tips on how to properly use bold, underline, or italics, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

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