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Web Design in a Nutshell by Jennifer Niederst

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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 styles fall into two conceptual categories: logical (or “content-based”) styles and physical styles. This distinction is purely intellectual and does not affect the way you use the tags in an HTML document. However, in the movement toward removing style information from the content revived by the introduction of style sheets, logical tags are the more “pure” way to go.

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 that code will appear in a monospaced font.

Table 7.1 gives a list of logical inline style tags. Refer to the “Summary of Text Tags” at the beginning of this chapter for complete browser-support information.

Table 7-1. Logical Inline Style Tags

Tag

Description

Usually Displayed as:

<abbr>

Abbreviation

Body text (requires ...

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