Every HTML element has a default display value, depending on what type of element it is.

There are two display values: block and inline.


Block-level Elements

A block-level element always starts on a new line, and the browsers automatically add some space (a margin) before and after the element.

A block-level element always takes up the full width available (stretches out to the left and right as far as it can).

Two commonly used block elements are: <p> and <div>.

The <p> element defines a paragraph in an HTML document.

The <div> element defines a division or a section in an HTML document.

The <p> element is a block-level element.

The <div> element is a block-level element.

Example

<p>Hello World</p>
<div>Hello World</div>

Here are the block-level elements in HTML:

<address> <article> <aside> <blockquote> <canvas> <dd> <div> <dl> <dt> <fieldset> <figcaption> <figure> <footer> <form> <h1>-<h6> <header> <hr> <li><main> <nav> <noscript> <ol> <p> <pre> <section> <table> <tfoot> <ul> <video>

Note: An inline element cannot contain a block-level element!

The <div> Element

The <div> element is often used as a container for other HTML elements.

The <div> element has no required attributes, but styleclass and id are common.

When used together with CSS, the <div> element can be used to style blocks of content:

Example

<div style="background-color:black;color:white;padding:20px;">
  <h2>London</h2>
  <p>London is the capital city of England. It is the most populous city 
in the United Kingdom, with a metropolitan area of over 13 million inhabitants.</p>
</div>

The <span> Element

The <span> element is an inline container used to mark up a part of a text, or a part of a document.

The <span> element has no required attributes, but styleclass and id are common.

When used together with CSS, the <span> element can be used to style parts of the text:

Example

<p>My mother has <span style="color:blue;font-weight:bold">blue</span>
 eyes and my father has <span style="color:darkolivegreen;font-weight:bold">dark green</span> eyes.</p>

Chapter Summary

  • There are two display values: block and inline
  • A block-level element always starts on a new line and takes up the full width available
  • An inline element does not start on a new line and it only takes up as much width as necessary
  • The <div> element is a block-level and is often used as a container for other HTML elements
  • The <span> element is an inline container used to mark up a part of a text, or a part of a document

HTML Tags

TagDescription
<div>Defines a section in a document (block-level)
<span>Defines a section in a document (inline)