HTML Basics
Stanford University Libraries & Academic Information Resources

Break

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Like <hr>, this is an empty element. That is, there must be no end-tag. It is simply inserted anywhere in a piece of text to effect a line break.

The essence of this tag is that it forces a line break in a context where one would not ordinarily occur. Note that <br> causes a jump to the next line; it does not cause an empty line to be inserted. Note that <br> causes a jump to the next line, not the insertion of an empty line.

One of the most common uses is in an address element, which like p and blockquote, "collapses" all whitespace, including newlines.

Thus an address like

    <address>
    Conservation Lab
    Stanford University Libraries
    Stanford, CA 94305
    </address>

is rendered

Conservation Lab Stanford University Libraries Stanford, CA 94305

In order to get the desired linebreaks, we simply instert <br> at the end of each line but the last:

    <address><br>
    Conservation Lab<br>
    Stanford University Libraries<br>
    Stanford, CA 94305<br>
    </address>

which is rendered

Conservation Lab
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, CA 94305

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Walter Henry
Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources