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5. Basic block element

Blocks are the full-width elements that provide the structure of and overall aesthetic of an article. Basic blocks are the less complex.


The simple blocks are just that!

The simple block elements are:

Horizontal line like the one above this glossary, with a width of 40% of the page. Traditionally used to indicate a change of scene in a novel, but can be used to indicate a change in perspective in the narrative of an article.
Up to 20 lines of plain text suitable for poetry or song lyrics. Option to add final full stop.


Containers provide a structure for presenting other blocks.

The master container is the Article element, and depending upon its type, some elements are allowed within it. Many of those elements are containers themselves.

The containers that are part of more complex blocks are:

  1. a.Section or subsection – in General article element.
  2. b.Information, question or comments – in Test article.
  3. c.Step action, response or notes – in Procedure article.

The container block elements that can be used in many other containers are:

Bordered area to the end-side of the page with a heading. Often used for pictures or other media. Not considered essential to the article, but providing some extra related information. Any following free-flowing elements will render to its starting side then go full-width after it.
block quote
Up to 20 paragraphs or verses that form an extended quote. There are two display modes. With an introduction, as when initially created, its children are indented and slightly smaller. If the introduction is deleted, all children are normal size with an opening quote, except the last which also has a closing quote. The latter mode is for when the source is known from the context or has previously been identified.
Up to two columns with a central border, for up to 50 verses or paragraphs that would leave a lot of space on the page otherwise. Avoid if too many lines of verses in the columns wrap.
Introduced bordered area containing up to two other elements illustrating usage of those elements.
Introduced list of entries for terms, abbreviations or names, each with a rich-text description and an optional image.
Bordered area with background tint and a heading, filling 90% of the page width. Meant for up to two paragraphs of important information, though they can be buttons, perhaps with styling, to provide prominent calls to action.
Introduced list of rich-text items with bullets, numbers or letters at the start of each. See Linking to figures in Media element for how to link list items to figure labels.
Introduced set of lines of monospaced computer code, which can use the colour-selection of the text element to provide colour-coded syntax.

Rich textβ–³

Rich text blocks can contain inline elements to provide formatting or functionality.

Full-length gap closing diagramA paragraph or glossary entry can have a card or aside thumbnail at its end, as here, that will expand when clicked on and retains focus, though a paragraph needs at least three lines so that the thumbnail doesn't protrude into the next block. Also, see Full stops for how Smallsite Design applies them in relation to rich-text elements.

The rich text elements are:

Standalone workhorse rich-text element that can be used almost everywhere, unlike the remainder that are part of other blocks.
To a list, table, figure, example, diagram, glossary, program, block quote, diagram, audio, video or sequence.
list item
Allows more than just passive lists.
table cell
Unlike other rich-text elements, table cells can be left blank, as long as at least one on a row has content.
glossary entrySplit-gap closing diagram
Like this one, with the term as its heading. See Glossary for how useful they can be for cataloging sets of information that can be directly linked to, as in this article.
program line
Monospaced text with colour-coding for highlighting syntax. Can be used with box-drawing characters for simple diagrams, but the diagram element is more flexible and adapts to the reading direction.
Allows for formatting and links in the questions, as well as the in the incorrect and comment paragraphs, in a Test article.
step objective
Allows linking to other procedures and formatting for control names in a Procedure article.
For comprehensive bibliographies with links. Though inserted at the end of their associated paragraph, list item or table cell, only the footnote number is shown there when rendered, with the full text shown in the article footer. There are bi-direction links between then for quick access and return.
  • β€’Inline element
  • β€’Diagram element
  • β€’Sequence element
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