Tag Description:


<DL> Definition List

Definition: The <DL> tag stands for definition list, a compilation of terms and corresponding definitions. A definition list is usually has the term on the left and the definition following on the right or on the next line. The text of the definition itself is normally indented with respect to the term. The definition list's alternative format features the term on the left, aligned in a wide margin, and the definition to the right of the term in one or more lines.

If the DT term doesn't fit into the DT column, which is one-third of the display area, it's possible to move the DD section to the next line and extend it across the page. It can also be wrapped onto successive lines in the column on the left. The list must open with <DL> and close with </DL>. Between these two tags, you may include an optional list header (<LH>caption</LH>) and then term names (<DT>) and definitions (<DD>).

Standard Attributes: CLASS, CLEAR, ID, LANG



COMPACT tells the user agent to use reduced interitem spacing. This attribute can also reduce the left-hand DT column's width.

There are actually several ways to increase a list's compactness: smaller font size, reduced vertical interitem spacing, or even avoidance of line breaks between items. It's best to handle this through the class attribute and associated style sheets.

DL COMPACT must be the opening list tag and must be immediately followed by the first term (DT).

Context: <DL> is legal within

<BANNER>, <BODY>, <BODYTEXT>, <DD>, <DIV>, <FIGTEXT>, <FN>, <FORM>, <LI>, <NOTE>, <TD>, <TH>

The following markup can be used within <DL>

<DD>, <DT>, <LH>

Suggested style/usage: Close Tag: REQUIRED


<DD>not quite two
<DD>a bit more than one


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Text - Copyright © 1995, 1996 Ed Tittel & Steve James.
For Dummies, the Dummies Man logo and Dummies Press are trademarks or registered trademarks of Wiley Publishing, Inc. Used with Permission.
Web Layout - Copyright © 1996, LANWrights
Revised -- May, 2002 [MCB]