About Line Breaking in HTML...
= Index DOT Html by Brian Wilson =

Justification | Controlling Line Breaking
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A rule of thumb in HTML is that, for display of content in a visual browser, line breaking is determined by THE BROWSER. This power is given to the browser due to the intrinsic uncertainty of the size and nature of the display area for an HTML document. Of course, there are cases when an author will occasionally wish to force a line break in a document. Thankfully, HTML provides this facility. It also provides a means of explicitly controlling general line breaking behavior as well. It is generally safer to leave this behavior in the hands of the browser, but several extensions to HTML in other areas have made the normal line breaking behavior inadequate to handle many design situations.
Controlling Line Breaking
[<br>, <nobr>, <wbr>]
The simplest of the line breaking control mechanisms is the BR element which forces a line break within document content. Several extensions to this element control line breaking under the special situations arising from using floating objects (such as images and tables.) The two remaining line break elements, NOBR and WBR, are used in situations where the author wants to disable the basic HTML behavior. NOBR turns off the normal line breaking behavior in a document, and the WBR element is used to explicitly break up content within a NOBR section.

In addition to these explicit line breaking mechanisms, there are several other HTML elements whose intent is not specifically to control line breaking, but is an added benefit. The Listing, Plaintext, Pre, and Xmp elements all disable the normal HTML line breaking behavior to some degree. Use your best judgment as to which element best suits your needs.

Related Sites
Official References
RFC 1866: The HTML 2.0 specification (plain text)
The web version of the HTML 2.0 (RFC 1866) specification
The HTML 3.2 (Wilbur) recommendation
[Includes all HTML 2 line breaking elements]
The HTML 4.0 Recommendation
[Includes all 2.0, and 3.2 elements plus many new features]
Netscape Extensions to HTML 2.0
[Explains the NOBR and WBR elements as well as the CLEAR attributes to the BR element.]
Internet Explorer Tag reference
[Includes usage of all line breaking elements]

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