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HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition by Chuck Musciano, Bill Kennedy

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Chapter 7. Formatted Lists

Making information more accessible is the single most important quality of HTML and its progeny, XHTML. The languages’ excellent collection of text style and formatting tools help you organize your information into documents readers can quickly understand, scan, and extract, possibly with automated browser agents.

Beyond embellishing your text with specialized text tags, HTML and XHTML provide a rich set of tools that help you organize content into formatted lists. There’s nothing magical or mysterious about lists. In fact, the beauty of lists is their simplicity. They’re based on common list paradigms we encounter every day, such as unordered laundry lists, ordered instruction lists, and dictionary-like definition lists. All are familiar, comfortable ways of organizing content. All provide powerful means for quickly understanding, scanning, and extracting pertinent information from your web documents.

Unordered Lists

Like a laundry or shopping list, an unordered list is a collection of related items that have no special order or sequence. The most common unordered list you’ll find on the Web is a collection of hyperlinks to other documents. Some common topic, like “Related Kumquat Lovers’ Sites,” allies the items in an unordered list, but they have no order among themselves.

The <ul> Tag

The <ul> tag signals to the browser that the following content, ending with the </ul> tag, is an unordered list of items. Inside, each item in the unordered list is identified ...

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