Yet another variety of
After this lesson you will be able to:
Note: If you do not have the working documents from the previous lessons, download a copy now.
In lesson 6 we saw how to create two types of lists: ordered <ol>...</ol> and unordered <ul>...</ul> lists. We now introduce a third variety, the definition list. Unlike the lists we have seen earlier, the definition list marks its entries not with a bullet marker or a number, but by its pattern of indentation.
The format for a definition list tag is:
<dl> <dt> title1 <dd> definition1 <dt> title2 <dd> definition2 : : : <dt> titleN <dd> definitionN </dl>
The <dl> .... </dl> tags include alternating pairs of titles <dt> and definitions <dd>. A Web browser will typically generate the list with each definition indented to offset it from the title.
Viewed in a web browser, the above example looks like this:
The definition list might be used as a glossary , but for our example we will use it to create a short bibliography for our Volcano Web lesson:
<h3>Bibliography</h3> Check your library for these books: <dl> <dt>Cas, R.A.F. and Wright, J. V. (1987). <dd><I>Volcanic Successions: Modern and Ancient.</I> London: Allen & Unwin. <dt>La Croix, A. (1904) <dd><I>La Montagna Pelée et ses Éruptions.</I> Paris: Masson <dt>Lipman, P.W. and Mullineaux (eds). (1981) <dd><I>The 1980 Eruptions of Mount St. Helens, Washington.</I> U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1250. </dl>
NOTE: We have used some of the Special Characters for the ampersand symbol ("&") in the first reference and for the accent marks in the second reference. If you are unfamiliar with the HTML special characters, see lesson 10
Compare your document with a sample of how this document should appear. If your document was different from the sample, review the text you entered in the text editor. Do not forget the <dl>... </dl> tags that mark the whole list. One common mistake is switching the <dt> and <dd> tags.
Review topics for this lesson:
Use a definition list to add a glossary or bibliography to your own HTML page.
You can include other ordered/unordered lists within a definition list. For example, let's say we are making a list of the major mineral groups, with a description of their characteristics, and a sublist of minerals in each group and how they are used in society. We wish it to look like (just a few entries are shown):
The HTML to produce this is:
<dl> <dt><b>Oxides</b> <dd>Combinations of metal ions with Oxygen, comprises the major ores extracted in mining operations <ul> <li>Hematite (iron ore) <li>Magnetite (iron ore, magnetic mineral) <li>Corundum (gemstone, abrasive) </ul> <dt><b>Sulfates</b> <dd>Metal ions combines with the Sulfate ion (SO4), atomic structure sometimes can allow bonding of water molecules <ul> <li>Gypsum (plaster) <li>Barite (drilling mud) </ul> </dl>
Add an informative "signature" with a link for sending e-mail.
Writing HTML: Lesson 11: Definition Lists
©1994-1999 Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (MCLI)
Maricopa Community Colleges
The 'net connection at MCLI is Alan Levine
Comments to email@example.com