Confusion caused underlined text on a web page

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During my aimless wanderings on the Internet, I have come across several sites that have underlined text, something like this little phrase of text.

Makes you take your mouse cursor over it, doesn't it?
But the pointer doesn't turn into a hand and you realize it's not a link... frustrating... The worst scenario is when the web page contains both underlined (normal) text and underlined links and that too in the same color! So you start searching for links by moving mouse around recklessly (destroys two days of your mouse life).

What do you learn from this?

NEVER underline text that does not carry a link!
If I had my say, I would kill the <u> tag. It serves little purpose since developers have other options through which they can emphasize text.

If you want to highlight some text, use the alternatives to underlining. Here are some of them

  • Italics with <i> or <em>
  • Bold with <b> or <strong>
  • A different color using <font> or style sheets.
  • Background color using styles.
  • Or combinations of the above.

My advice: do not put underlines on normal text and confuse visitors :-)



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Page contents: The confusion caused by underlined text is but natural as visitors take this text as a hyperlink. Do not use the underline HTML tag to provide emphasis to statements.