Block of text

A block of text is text that is grouped together in some way, such as with the use of paragraphs or blockquotes on a Web page. Often times, the text takes on the shape of a square or rectangular "block". For example, the paragraph below, is a block of text.

This paragraph forms
a block of text, which
can be short like this,
or extremely long!

Blocks of text are commonly mentioned on the Internet, either in reference to reading Web content or when referring to text that is affected by Web page code (such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or other languages).

When reading Web content, users tend to like text broken up into shorter "blocks" that have a clear separation between them (such as the use of paragraphs). For example, the blocks of text below should be fairly easy to read and to locate where lines and ideas begin and end.

This block of text is the first paragraph in this
example, and is not very long.

This block of text is the second paragraph, and
is also not very long, which is nice.

On the other hand, if the content within a block of text is long and has no visual separation, it is much more difficult to read, as shown in the example below.

This block of text goes on and on and does not have any visual separation between what would normally make up a new paragraph. Instead, it will continue to have more text added to it and look like it has not been formatted. It just keeps going and going and going and will start new topics without separating them with paragraphs. You see, even though this is nice, let's talk about Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), oftentimes called style sheets, for a minute. Style sheets are often used to affect the appearance of Web pages. CSS code contains selectors and definitions for the various tags, classes, or ids that are used when marking up and HTML document. JavaScript, on the other hand, can add additional functionality to a Web page. Since it is a programming language, you can write code to perform any number of tasks. You could change the content within a block of text, change an image when the user places their mouse over a specific part of the page, validate form content, send alert messages, and more. It can be learned through books, tutorials, or classes that are offered in many place, especially on the Web. If you want to delve into server side programming, you might look into PHP, ASP, Perl, Java, or a number of other available languages. These allow to save information into databases, handle feedback forms, create shopping carts, and more. Did you read all of this or did you give up after trying for a bit?

As you can see, the previous block of text was probably a bit more difficult to read. It ran a bunch of topics together into one block, rather than separating them with paragraphs or through other means (sidebars, tables, etc). If this were to be posted on an Internet forum or blog it may generate comments such as "Please use paragraphs" or "I'm sure your message was informative, but I had to stop reading because it was in such a long block of text". Typically, it is best to separate text into shorter, more manageable blocks.

When blocks of text are referred to in Web page coding, it is often in reference to how they are marked up, formatted, or controlled via scripting/programming. For example, a Web developer may want one block of text to be bold and another to be in italics, or may want a block of text to display only when a visitor performs an action on the page (such as clicking a tab).

Also see: Block, Paragraph, Text