Style demo

Initially I was planning on writing a style guide. However, this is not so much a guide on how to use certain elements, but more a demonstration of how certain elements are styled.

This page roughly follows the chapters in the elements of HTML section in the HTML5 spec. That is, I’ve picked the elements that are relevant for this site and I also changed the order a bit (for example, it makes sense to describe the <code> element together with the <pre> element).



Usually there is just one <h1> element on a page and it is used for the title of the page, as is the case in this page.

If an article is long enough that it needs to be split in several sections, the <h2> element is used. This heading is smaller smaller than the <h1> and is not bold. The <h2> is also used in lists of articles where the titles of the articles are marked up with an <h2>.

Occasionally more hierarchy is necessary and this is where the <h3> comes in. To make it stand out from an <h2>, the heading is a lot smaller and bold. This makes it easier to determine the level of the heading, especially in a longer text where the <h2> and <h3> might not appear on the screen at the same time.

The headings are set in Source Sans Pro.

Grouping content


Because this is a weblog, most of the content will be contained in paragraphs, using the <p> element. Normal paragraphs are set in Noticia Text. have chosen this font mainly because I liked the appearance.

Another important reason is that Noticia Text is a complete family. This means I can use e.g. bold to increase the importance of text (using <strong>) and italic to put emphasis on other text (using the <em> element). Should it be necessary, I can even combine them to bold italic. Having separate fonts means that the result looks better than when the browser tries to fake them. In other words, I can say no to faux bold.


As this is a technical weblog, pieces of code are often part of the articles. They can be included in two separate ways: inline in a paragraph and as a preformatted chunk of text. For both, the font Inconsolata is used.

For code that needs to be displayed in a normal sentence, as demonstrated earlier, use the <code> element. For preformatted text, use <code> wrapped in a <pre> element, like so:

    Put your source code here.


When quoting someone, use the <blockquote> element, optionally combined with a <cite> element.

This is for example a quote from the HTML5 spec:

The blockquote element represents a section that is quoted from another source.

Content inside a blockquote must be quoted from another source, whose address, if it has one, may be cited in the cite attribute.

The content of the <cite> element is set in italic, while the quote itself is indented on both sides to distinguish it from ‘normal’ text.


There are three types of lists: ordered lists (using <ol>) unordered lists (<ul>) and finally description lists (<dl>).

In ordered lists each item is created by an <li> element and each item is preceded by a number:

  1. Here is an example of an item.
  2. This is an item with a nested list.
    1. The first sub item.
    2. The second sub item.
  3. And back to the original list but this time the list item is a bit longer just to see whether the line is nicely indented.

Unordered lists are similar to ordered lists in the sense that they are consist of <li> elements. The difference is that the items are not numbered.

  • An item in an unordered list
  • This item has a nested list:
    • Item one
    • Item two
  • And a last item that contains a bit more text. This mainly shows that if an item spans more than a single line, it is nicely indented.

Description lists are created a bit differently. The <dl> element must contain one or more terms (<dt>) which are followed by one or more definitions (<dd>). Note that one term may have more definitions and multiple terms may be related to a single definition.

Single term
Single definition
First term
Second term
Single definition
Single term
First definition
Second definition


For figures, such as images, which are (according to the HTML5 spec) self-contained and [are] typically referenced as a single unit from the main flow of the document you can use the <figure> element. Optionally you can add a caption, using the <figcaption> element.

For example if I would talk about the Ubuntu Circle of Friends logo, I might want to include an image of that logo.

Ubuntu Circle of Friends logo
The caption of this image in which I can tell this is the Ubuntu Circle of Friends logo.

Text-level semantics


Using the <a> tag you can create links.

First an example of a visited link and then an example of an unvisited link.


To stress emphasis on a certain piece of text, use the <em> element.

Example: You must try this fancy HTML element.


To change the importance of text, use the <strong> element.

Example: Do not use this element too much.


For side comments, such as small print, you can us the <small> element. It typically contains disclaimers, caveats and copyright information.

Example: Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.


To mark text as no longer relevant or accurate, use the <s> element. To mark a text as having been removed, use the <del> element (for example on a “to do” list).

Example of <s>: My favourite editor is Vim Emacs.

Example of <del>:

  • Write style demo
  • Update style demo


To represent a title of a ‘work’ (e.g. a book, film, report, etc) use the <cite> element. Most often found on this site in combination with a quote (using the <blockquote> or <q> element).

Example: To know why 42 is an important number, you must have read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Phrasing content

Content quoted from another source, not being a block of code, should use the <q> element. Note that the browser add the quotation marks.

Example: Okay, I’ll tell you: 42 is Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything.


To display code fragments inline, use the <code> element, as shown earlier.

Example: To display code fragments inline, use the <code> element.

Subscript and superscript

Subscript and superscript can be accomplished using the <sub> and <sup> elements.

Example: Since this is a software development blog and not a science blog, this is the 1st time I’ve used something like “H2O” on this site. And it will also probably be the last time.

Tabular data

For tabular data, the <table> element is available. There are a number of elements related to tables, for instance <thead>, <tbody>, <tfoot>, <tr>, <th>, <td>, <caption>. I’ve combined these in one example:

The caption of this table
Item Value 1 (%) Value 2 (abs)
A first item in this table 58 377.0
Second item 14 91.0
Third item 21 136.5
Last item 7 45.5
Total 100 650

Some notes:

  • The caption has been placed at the bottom. (Although this is common, it is not the default.)
  • The rows are separated by a horizontal line. This should make it easier to follow a row on larger tables while being less ‘heavy’ than e.g. using a background colour every other row.