Introduction to Elements

This section describes each element in the Balisage Conference Paper tag set. The elements are described here in alphabetical order of their tag names (i.e., element type names). The tag name is the shorter machine-readable name used in tagged documents, for example, the tag name <xref> is used for the element named Cross-Reference.

Each element is described by a separate HTML page, where the heading for the page displays the element’s tag name followed by its longer descriptive name. The rest of the element description page discusses aspects of the element and its usage. These sections within the page always appear in the following order although any given element description may not contain all the sections:


Provides a narrative description of the element, that is, it “defines” the element and may provide information on its usage. This is not intended to be a formal dictionary definition, but more to provide information about an element and how it may be used.


When present, provides additional information about the element, explanations of similar or contrasting elements, or instructions for element usage. (See also Related Elements described below.)


For an element that may take attributes, this segment contains an alphabetical list of those attributes. Each line contains the identification for one attribute: first, the attribute’s name as it is used in tagged documents, then a longer, more descriptive name. Full attribute definitions are not provided; instead, each attribute is linked to its description in the Attribute Section, which follows the Element Description Section in this Tag Library.

Related Elements

Contains information about elements associated with the current element. For example, a two-part list (Variable List) has many components: an optional title and multiple wrapper elements (Variable List Entry), each containing a single term and its definition (List Item). In order to better understand the relationship of such components, information about all of them may be provided in the Related Elements segment for each element comprising a Variable List.

Model Description

Contains a description of the “content” of the element, that is, what is allowed to be inside the element, for example, whether it may contain text, other elements, or both text and others elements in some combination. For example, the description of an element may contain, “text, numbers, and special characters”, which means it contains ordinary text. If an element contains other elements, their names are listed here.

Context Table Segment

The tag library contains a complete context table providing information about where any element can be used. This segment contains the portion of the context table relevant to the element being discussed, that is, a listing of the elements which may contain the element under discussion.

Tagged Example

Provides an excerpt of a tagged XML document, showing use of the current element. Usually an element is shown in context, with its surrounding elements, and the current element is highlighted in bold.