What is an HTML indent?

An indent in HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a tag or Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) property that causes one or more visual elements on a web page to be moved a certain distance from the margin of its enclosing block. The effect of using an HTML indent is the same as using indents in print. The most widely accepted way to indent an HTML document is to use CSS to change the text-indent property of the paragraph that contains the text. Some formatting instructions, such as lists and blockquotes, automatically indent their contents to differentiate them from the surrounding text. Using CSS to insert an HTML indent only works on the first line of the paragraph and does not work on an entire block, which can be achieved with different formatting properties.

The most widely accepted way to indent an HTML document is to use CSS to change the text-indent property of the paragraph that contains the text.

The way the HTML standard operates, multiple spaces and the tab character that is used on most computers to create indents are removed from files before the code is parsed for display. This means that text that appears formatted in a word processor will not retain that formatting if pasted directly into an HTML document, unless the text is pasted into an HTML editing program what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG ). To indent the first line of a paragraph, or to indent an entire block of text, special HTML and CSS code must be used.

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The text-indent property of block-level elements in CSS will indent the first unformatted and rendered item in a block. The indent value must be specified numerically. The option allows the user to specify a number that tells the browser how many pixels, points, centimeters or other measurement ways the line should be indented. This number can also be a percentage of the total block width. This CSS option works only at the block level, indents only the first line, and does not work on items that already have a predefined type of formatting behavior, such as bulleted lists.

A hanging HTML indent is the opposite of a standard indent and will pull the first line of a block back so that it renders to the left of the rest of the paragraph lines when the text is aligned for reading from left to right. The same text-indent property is used for an HTML hanging indent, except the number of the indent value is negative. This method only works if a block’s margin and border values ​​are large enough to contain the hanging indent.

You can set an HTML indent that moves an entire block or paragraph. This can be done with various block-level CSS properties, including modifying the margins or spacing of the container block on a page. It can also be achieved with basic HTML tags such as blockquote or pre, which stands for preformatted text. The disadvantage of using basic tags to create an HTML indent is that the amount of text to move cannot be explicitly controlled or set.

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