Breaking Paragraphs

Skills Covered
Carriage Return
Paragraph Break<p>
Horizontal Rule <hr>
Line Break <br>

So far you have created and modified HTML documents, and you should feel comfortable with the process of editing text and reloading it into your web browser. So now relax for this fast lesson on inserting paragraph breaks.

Identify the paragraph break tag in HTML.
Copy text from the web page and paste it in another document.
Insert paragraph breaks into the text of your HTML document and view the changes within your web browser.

We've seen earlier that a web browser will ignore all of the CARRIAGE RETURNS typed into your text editor. The word carriage return is left over from the manual typewriter days. Hitting the carriage return key would end the current line of typing and start a new paragraph by sending the carriage back to the left side of the paper. Today, on computers, we hit the ENTER button.

To get a new paragraph in a web page, a browser needs to see the paragraph tag. The paragraph tag inserts a blank line and starts a new paragraph. The HTML code for forcing a paragraph break is:


Note that this tag is special in that it does not require an ending tag; for now you do not need to use:


In a later lesson we will see why we want to use a closing </p> for the more current HTML coding standards. For basic HTML coding, you don't have to worry about it.

Also, the <h> tags have a built in break so it is unnecessary to put <p> tag before a header tag:

<h2>The break comes before this line automatically, thanks to the H2 tag!!</h2>