Tutorial:Line breaks

By , published on 27th July 2010

This tutorial explains what a line break is, when to use it, and common problems with spacing in web content.

It is important to know the difference between line breaks and other typographical elements when adding content.

Often, the most common formatting element on a page is a paragraph. You can start a new paragraph by hitting the Return, or Enter, key on your keyboard whilst in the editor box. When you start typing, you should notice a small gap appear between the 2 paragraphs.

A line break is a bit different. You can add a line-break by pressing Shift+Return – the same way as you would using a Word processor like Microsoft Word. Theses are some common instances where you’d use a line break over a new paragraph:

  • New lines within an address
  • e.g.“s or “i.e.” s
  • Lists of contact details like telephone numbers, email addresses and website links.

Another thing to bare in mind is that you only need to press return once. You might create a new paragraph and decide that there isn’t enough space between the two. The key point to remember is that the content changes it’s appearance on the live site; it will not look the same as the editor window. If you hit return twice, the editor is creating a blank paragraph. An empty paragraph not only worsens the style of page, but also have a negative impact on your search engine ranking.

The best thing is to update your page regularly and view it on the live website.

Example of the differences between the editor box and the live site

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