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10.3. Inline Type Styles

Most HTML text tags indicate style or structural information for inline elements (strings of characters within the flow of text). Inline style tags affect the appearance of the enclosed text without adding line breaks or extra space. Closing tags are required for inline style tags in order to "turn off" the style attribute.

HTML inline styles fall into two conceptual categories: logical (or "content-based") styles and physical styles. This distinction does not affect the way you use the tags in an HTML document. However, in the movement toward removing style information from content, revived by the introduction of style sheets, logical tags are more in keeping with the ideal HTML model.

10.3.1. Logical Styles

Logical or content-based styles describe the enclosed text's meaning, context, or usage and leave the specific rendering of the tag to the discretion of the browser. Using logical tags, you may indicate that a selection of text should be emphasized or displayed as code. Fortunately, browsers adhere to conventions for the display of logical styles; for instance, you can be pretty certain that emphasized text will be rendered in italics and code will appear in a monospaced font.

Table 10-1 gives a list of logical inline style tags. Refer to Section 10.1, "Summary of Text Tags" at the beginning of this chapter for complete browser support information.

Table 10-1. Logical inline style tags

Tag

Description

Usually displayed as

<abbr>

Abbreviation

Body text (requires style sheets for style information)

<acronym>

Acronym

Body text (requires style sheets for style information)

<cite>

Citation

Italic

<code>

Code

Monospace font

<del>

Deleted text

Body text (requires style sheets for style information); may be rendered as strike-through text.

<dfn>

Defining instance

Body text (requires style sheets for style information)

<div>

Division

Body text (requires style sheets for style information)

<em>

Emphasized

Italic

<ins>

Inserted text

Body text (requires style sheets for style information)

<kbd>

Keyboard text

Monospace font

<q>

Inline quotation

Italic (newer browsers only)

<samp>

Sample text

Monospace font

<span>

Span

Body text (requires style sheets for style information)

<strong>

Strong

Bold

<var>

Variable

Monospace or oblique (slanted) monospace font



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