On this page, you’ll learn:

  • How to italicize text in AsciiDoc.

  • Where to modify your site’s italic text styling.

Text is often italicized in order to stress a word or phrase, quote a speaker, or introduce a term. Italic type slants slightly to the right, and depending on the font, may have cursive swashes and flourishes.

Italic syntax

A word or phrase is marked as italic when it is enclosed in a single set of underscores (_word_) (constrained formatting). Bounded characters are marked as italic when they’re enclosed in a set of double underscores (char__act__ers) (unconstrained formatting).

Bounded characters are characters that are:

  • directly preceded by a non-whitespace character, or

  • directly followed by a non-whitespace character.

You don’t need to use double underscores when an entire word or phrase marked as italic is directly followed by a common punctuation mark, such as ;, ", and !.

Example 1. Italic inline formatting
An italic _word_, and an italic _phrase of text_.

Italic c__hara__cter__s__ within a word.

The result of Example 1 is displayed below.

An italic word, and an italic phrase of text.

Italic characters within a word.

Mixing italic with other formatting

You can add multiple emphasis styles to italic text as long as the syntax is placed in the correct order.

Example 2. Order of inline formatting syntax
`*_monospace bold italic phrase_*` & ``**__char__**``acter``**__s__**``

Monospace syntax (`) must be the outermost formatting set. Bold syntax (*) must be outside the italics formatting set. Italic syntax is always the innermost formatting set.

The result of Example 2 is displayed below.

monospace bold italic phrase & characters

Site styles

How italic text appears on your site depends on the fonts loaded by your UI and any CSS styles applied to the <em> HTML tag. You can learn more about customizing how italic text appears in your site in the UI documentation.