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Last Update: 5 January 1998

4.1 Organization of Elements in the BODY

A. Text Block Elements

As mentioned on the previous page, the BODY element contains all the displayed content of a document. Structurally, the document content is organized into blocks of text, such as paragraphs, lists, headings, paragraphs, block quotations, and so on. These are generically called block elements, since they "block" chunks of text together into logical units. Block elements can often contain other blocks -- for example, a list item can contain paragraphs or block quotations, so that these elements can often nest together.

The block-level elements are:

B. Text Emphasis Elements

At the next level down are text-level markup elements. These are elements that mark text for special meanings, for example, that a particular piece of text is emphasised (EM) or a citation (CITE), or that specify the desired physical formatting, such as boldface (B) or italics (I). These elements can usually appear anywhere inside a block element, with a few exceptions (you can't have images inside a PRE element).

C. Special Elements -- Hypertext Anchors

Analogous to the text-level markup is the anchor (A) element. This is the element that marks hypertext links. Obviously you want to know a lot about this one.

D. Character-Level Elements

Then are what I call character-level elements, namely line breaks (BR) and images (IMG). These are treated much like characters, and can appear wherever there is a character in a document.

E. Character References

Finally there are character or entity references. These are special HTML "escape" codes that can be used to enter special characters that are hard to type, such as accented or other non-ascii characters. You also need to use these to type angle brackets or ampersand characters -- as these are otherwise interpreted as HTML tags (< ... > ) or as the beginnings of character or entity references (&).

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© 1994-1998 by Ian Graham
Last Update: 5 January 1998