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, acronym, address, alt, anchor, author, bibliolist, biblioref, blockquote, bridgehead, calloutlist, caution, citation, citebiblioid, citetitle, coref, danger, date, db:inlinestagedir, editor, email, emphasis (db._emphasis), emphasis (db.emphasis), epigraph, equation, example, figure, firstterm (db._firstterm), firstterm (db.firstterm), footnote, footnoteref, foreignphrase (db._foreignphrase), foreignphrase (db.foreignphrase), glosslist, glossterm (db._glossterm), glossterm (db.glossterm), important, indexterm (db.indexterm.endofrange), indexterm (db.indexterm.singular), indexterm (db.indexterm.startofrange), info (, informalequation, informalexample, informalfigure, informaltable, inlineequation, inlinemediaobject, itemizedlist, jobtitle, link, literal, literallayout, mediaobject, note, olink, optional, orderedlist, org, orgname, person, personname, phrase (db._phrase), phrase (db.phrase), procedure, productname, productnumber, qandaset, quote (db._quote), quote (db.quote), remark, revhistory, sidebar, simplelist, subscript, superscript, table, task, termdef, tip, trademark, uri, variablelist, 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: c3457cab689d8fd89ba4252de204cf9a14e40acd 6a501344525f32f9834f0e4a5c3c3f8131803fa4 47fe34b28bad7941a61b9c1c17d47f6eed36cd04)