para — A paragraph.


para ::= [-]

Additional Constraints

  • If this element is the root element, it must have a version attribute.


A para is a paragraph. Paragraphs in DocBook may contain almost all inlines and most block elements. Sectioning and higher-level structural elements are excluded. DocBook offers two variants of paragraph: simpara, which cannot contain block elements, and formalpara, which has a title.

Some processing systems may find the presence of block elements in a paragraph difficult to handle. On the other hand, it is frequently most logical, from a structural point of view, to include block elements, especially informal block elements, in the paragraphs that describe their content. There is no easy answer to this problem.

Processing expectations

Formatted as a displayed block.


The following elements occur in para: text, abbrev, accel, acronym, address, alt, anchor, annotation, application, author, bibliolist, biblioref, blockquote, bridgehead, calloutlist, caution, citation, citebiblioid, citerefentry, citetitle, classname, classsynopsis, cmdsynopsis, code, command, computeroutput, constant, constraintdef, constructorsynopsis, coref, database, date, destructorsynopsis, editor, email, emphasis (db._emphasis), emphasis (db.emphasis), envar, epigraph, equation, errorcode, errorname, errortext, errortype, example, exceptionname, fieldsynopsis, figure, filename, firstterm (db._firstterm), firstterm (db.firstterm), footnote, footnoteref, foreignphrase (db._foreignphrase), foreignphrase (db.foreignphrase), funcsynopsis, function, glosslist, glossterm (db._glossterm), glossterm (db.glossterm), guibutton, guiicon, guilabel, guimenu, guimenuitem, guisubmenu, hardware, important, indexterm (db.indexterm.endofrange), indexterm (db.indexterm.singular), indexterm (db.indexterm.startofrange), info (, informalequation, informalexample, informalfigure, informaltable (db.cals.informaltable), informaltable (db.html.informaltable), initializer, inlineequation, inlinemediaobject, interfacename, itemizedlist, jobtitle, keycap, keycode, keycombo, keysym, link, literal, literallayout, markup, mediaobject, menuchoice, methodname, methodsynopsis, modifier, mousebutton, msgset, nonterminal, note, olink, ooclass, ooexception, oointerface, option, optional, orderedlist, org, orgname, package, parameter, person, personname, phrase (db._phrase), phrase (db.phrase), procedure, productionset, productname, productnumber, programlisting, programlistingco, prompt, property, qandaset, quote (db._quote), quote (db.quote), remark, replaceable, returnvalue, revhistory, screen, screenco, screenshot, segmentedlist, shortcut, sidebar, simplelist, subscript, superscript, symbol, synopsis, systemitem, table (db.cals.table), table (db.html.table), tag, task, termdef, tip, token, trademark, type, uri, userinput, variablelist, varname, warning, wordasword, xref.


An ordinary paragraph.

<article xmlns=''>
<title>Example para</title>

<para>The component suffered from three failings:
<listitem><para>It was slow</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>It ran hot</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>It didn't actually work</para></listitem>
Of these three, the last was probably the most important.


The component suffered from three failings:

  • It was slow

  • It ran hot

  • It didn't actually work

Of these three, the last was probably the most important.

A formal paragraph.

<article xmlns=''>
<title>Example para</title>

<formalpara><title>A Test</title>
<para>This is a test.  This is only a test.  Had this been a real
example, it would have made more sense.


This is a test. This is only a test. Had this been a real example, it would have made more sense.

A simple paragraph.

<article xmlns=''>
<title>Example para</title>

Just the text, ma'am.


Just the text, ma'am.

Last revised by Norman Walsh on (git hash: a5bf9d0f457b11f1d181c442e7789af392c4e1b6 9ea0f4c253876426b585b1ed5a3a381a983013c5)