# [Tex/LaTex] \emph or \textit

best practicesemphasisfontsitalicsemantics

In the comments section of Does it matter if I use \textit or \it, \bfseries or \bf, etc, I asked for a clarification of these points. The clarification has mostly been made, but it was requested that I turn this into a question to provide for more room for this question to be fielded.

So here it is:

Please explain the difference between \emph and \textit. When should they be used, respectively?

• If you want to emphasize a word or some text, use \emph. Don't just make the text italic or bold. If needed, you may change the behaviour of \emph whenever you wish in the preamble and the whole document will be adjusted accordingly.
• If you want to get italic text, use \textit. \emph might have a different effect, a package like ulem might change it to underlining for instance.
• \emph may be nested: emphasized text within emphasized text may be upright. In contrary, nesting \textit just keeps the italic shape.