$Revision: 1.3 $

$Date: 2002/06/12 11:18:20 $

para — A paragraph


Mixed Content Model

para ::=


Common attributes


A Para is a paragraph. Paragraphs in DocBook may contain almost all inlines and most block elements. Sectioning and higher-level structural elements are excluded. DocBook offers two variants of paragraph: SimPara, which cannot contain block elements, and FormalPara, which has a title.

Some processing systems may find the presence of block elements in a paragraph difficult to handle. On the other hand, it is frequently most logical, from a structural point of view, to include block elements, especially informal block elements, in the paragraphs that describe their content. There is no easy answer to this problem.

Processing expectations

Formatted as a displayed block.

Future Changes

The InterfaceDefinition element will be discarded in DocBook V4.0. It will no longer be available in the content model of this element.


The following elements occur in para: abbrev, acronym, action, address, anchor, application, author, authorinitials, beginpage, blockquote, calloutlist, caution, citation, citerefentry, citetitle, classname, classsynopsis, cmdsynopsis, code, command, computeroutput, constant, constructorsynopsis, corpauthor, corpcredit, database, destructorsynopsis, email, emphasis, envar, equation, errorcode, errorname, errortext, errortype, example, exceptionname, fieldsynopsis, figure, filename, firstterm, footnote, footnoteref, foreignphrase, funcsynopsis, function, glosslist, glossterm, graphic, graphicco, guibutton, guiicon, guilabel, guimenu, guimenuitem, guisubmenu, hardware, important, indexterm, informalequation, informalexample, informalfigure, informaltable, inlineequation, inlinegraphic, inlinemediaobject, interface, interfacename, itemizedlist, keycap, keycode, keycombo, keysym, link, literal, literallayout, markup, medialabel, mediaobject, mediaobjectco, menuchoice, methodname, methodsynopsis, modespec, mousebutton, nonterminal, note, olink, ooclass, ooexception, oointerface, option, optional, orderedlist, orgname, othercredit, parameter, personname, phrase, productname, productnumber, programlisting, programlistingco, prompt, property, quote, remark, replaceable, returnvalue, revhistory, screen, screenco, screenshot, segmentedlist, sgmltag, simplelist, structfield, structname, subscript, superscript, symbol, synopsis, systemitem, table, tip, token, trademark, type, ulink, uri, userinput, variablelist, varname, warning, wordasword, xref.

See Also

formalpara, simpara.


Ordinary paragraphs can contain most block elements:

<!DOCTYPE para PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.1.2//EN"
The component suffered from three failings:
<listitem><para>It was slow</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>It ran hot</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>It didn't actually work</para></listitem>
Of these three, the last was probably the most important.

The component suffered from three failings:

  • It was slow

  • It ran hot

  • It didn't actually work

Of these three, the last was probably the most important.

Formal paragraphs include a title:

<!DOCTYPE formalpara PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.1.2//EN"
<formalpara><title>A Test</title>
This is a test.  This is only a test.  Had this been a real
example, it would have made more sense.

A Test. 

This is a test. This is only a test. Had this been a real example, it would have made more sense.

Simple paragraphs may not contain block elements:

<!DOCTYPE simpara PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.1.2//EN"
Just the text, ma'am.

Just the text, ma'am.

For additional examples, see also abbrev, abstract, accel, ackno, acronym, action, address, anchor, appendix, application, article, authorgroup, beginpage, blockquote, book, bookinfo, caution, chapter, citation, citerefentry, citetitle, classname, collab, colophon, command, computeroutput, constant, contractsponsor, database, emphasis, envar, errorcode, filename, firstterm, footnote, footnoteref, foreignphrase, formalpara, glossary, glosslist, guibutton, guiicon, guilabel, guimenu, guimenuitem, guisubmenu, hardware, highlights, html-form, imageobject, important, indexterm, informalequation, informalfigure, inlineequation, inlinemediaobject, itemizedlist, keycap, keycode, keycombo, keysym, link, literal, manvolnum, markup, medialabel, menuchoice, mousebutton, msgset, note, olink, option, orderedlist, otheraddr, parameter, part, personname, phrase, printhistory, procedure, productionset, productname, productnumber, programlistingco, prompt, property, qandaset, quote, refentry, reference, remark, returnvalue, screenco, sect1info, section, segmentedlist, seriesvolnums, set, shortcut, sidebar, simplelist, simplesect, structfield, structname, subscript, superscript, symbol, systemitem, table, tip, title, titleabbrev, token, trademark, type, ulink, userinput, variablelist, varname, videoobject, warning, wordasword, xref.