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HTML: The Definitive Guide

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4.8 Block Quotes

A common element in conventional documents is the block quote, a lengthy copy of text from another document. Traditionally, short quotes are set off with quotation marks, while block quotes are made entirely of separate paragraphs within the main document, typically with special indentation and sometimes italicized--features that you may change through style or class definitions (see Chapter 9, Cascading Style Sheets).

The <blockquote> Tag

All of the text within the <blockquote> and </blockquote> tags is set off from the regular document text, usually with indented left and right margins, and sometimes in italicized typeface. Actual rendering varies from browser to browser, of course.

The HTML standard allows any and all markup within the <blockquote>, although some physical and content-based styles may conflict with the font used by the browser for the block quote. Experimentation will reveal those little warts.

The <blockquote> tag is often used to set off long quotations from other sources:

We acted incorrectly in arbitrarily changing the Kumquat
Festival date. Quoting from the Kumquat Growers' Bylaws:
<blockquote>
  The date of the Kumquat Festival may only be changed by 
  a two-thirds vote of the General Membership, provided 
  that a <strong>60 percent quorum</strong> of the Membership
  is present.
</blockquote>
(Emphasis mine) Since such a quorum was not present, the
vote is invalid. 
 

The style and class attributes

Although the browsers usually display <blockquote> content in a defined style, you can override that style and add special effects, such as a background picture, by defining your own style for the tag. This new look can be applied to the <blockquote> tags using either the style or class attributes. [the section called "Inline Styles: The style Attribute"] [the section called "Style Classes"].


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