literallayout — A block of text in which line breaks and white space are to be reproduced faithfully.



Common attributes and common linking attributes.

Additional attributes:

  • class (enumeration)
    • “monospaced”
    • “normal”
  • continuation (enumeration)
    • “continues”
    • “restarts”
  • linenumbering (enumeration)
    • “numbered”
    • “unnumbered”
  • startinglinenumber (integer)
  • language
  • xml:space (enumeration)
    • “preserve”


A literallayout is a verbatim environment. Unlike the other verbatim environments, it does not have strong semantic overtones and may not imply a font change.

Processing expectations

This element is displayed “verbatim”; whitespace and line breaks within this element are significant.

Unlike programlisting and screen, which usually imply a font change, literallayout does not. How spaces are to be represented faithfully in a proportional font is not addressed by DocBook.

The class attribute gives users control over the font used in literallayouts. If the class attribute is specified and its value is monospaced, then the literallayout will be presented in a monospaced font, probably the same one used for other verbatim environments. The default value for class is normal, meaning that no font change will occur.


Common attributes and common linking attributes.


Specifies the class of literal layout

Enumerated values:

The literal layout should be formatted with a monospaced font


The literal layout should be formatted with the current font


Determines whether line numbering continues from the previous element or restarts.

Enumerated values:

Line numbering continues from the immediately preceding element with the same name.


Line numbering restarts (begins at 1, usually).


Identifies the language (i.e. programming language) of the verbatim content.


Determines whether lines are numbered.

Enumerated values:

Lines are numbered.


Lines are not numbered.


Specifies the initial line number.


Can be used to indicate explicitly that whitespace in the verbatim environment is preserved. Whitespace must always be preserved in verbatim environments whether this attribute is specified or not.

Enumerated values:

Whitespace must be preserved.

Parents [+]

This element occurs in 74 elements.

Children [+]

This element contains 104 elements.


  1 <article xmlns=''>
  2 <title>Example literallayout</title>
  4 <blockquote>
    <attribution>William Shakespeare, <citetitle>Henry V</citetitle></attribution>
  6 <literallayout>  O, for a muse of fire, that would ascend
    The brightest heaven of invention!
  8 A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
    And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!</literallayout>
 10 </blockquote>
 12 </article>
  1   O, for a muse of fire, that would ascend
  2 The brightest heaven of invention!
    A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
  4 And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
William Shakespeare, Henry V
Last revised by Norman Walsh on 16 Jun 2011 (git hash: 7cf44d0f3aa4244c54913b42ac9cc634bd9b7fc9)