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Creating Inline Spans

While you can organize big chunks of your Web page into head and body sections, into divisions, or even with headers (h1, h2, etc.), you can name smaller chunks or spans of text or other inline elements in order to identify them and apply styles to them.

Figure 3.16 Figure 3.16 The span tag is used to mark a bunch of inline content, usually, but not always, text. You can then format the marked text however you like (which we'll do in Chapters 10 and 11).

To name inline spans:

  1. At the beginning of the inline content, type <span.

  2. If desired, type id="name", where name uniquely identifies the spanned content.

  3. If desired, type class="name", where name is the identifying name of the class that the spanned content belongs to.

  4. Type > to complete the opening span tag.

  5. Create the inline contents you wish to name.

  6. At the end of the span, type </span>.


  • For more details on the difference between block-level and inline content, consult Block vs Inline on page 28.

  • A span has no inherent formatting. It becomes useful when you apply styles to it (generally through its class or id).

    Figure 3.17 Figure 3.17 Again, the span element gives your document underlying structure. You can't see its effect until you apply styles (see page 147). You can see this page with styles on my Web site (see page 24).

  • You may apply both a class and id attribute to the same span element, although it's probably more usual to apply one or the other. The principal difference is that class is for a group of elements while id is for identifying individual, unique elements.

Find extra tips, the source code for examples, and more at

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