refsect1 — A major subsection of a reference entry.


refsect1 ::=


Common attributes and common linking attributes.

Additional attributes:

  • label
  • status

Additional Constraints

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


Reference pages have their own hierarchical structure. A refsect1 is a major division in a refentry, analogous to a sect1 elsewhere in the document.

The value of a separate hierarchical structure is that it allows the content model of sections in reference pages to be customized differently than the content model of sections outside. For example, because of this split, it was easy to add a recursive sectioning element (section) as a peer to sect1 in DocBook V3.1 without introducing it to refentrys, in which it would not be desirable.

Processing expectations

Formatted as a displayed block.

In some environments, the name, number, and order of major divisions in a reference page are strictly defined by house style. For example, one style requires that the first major section after the synopsis be the Description, which it must have as its title.

In those cases, it may be useful to replace refsect1 in the content model with a set of named sections (following the pattern of refnamediv and refsynopsisdiv).

Formatting reference pages may require a fairly sophisticated processing system. Much of the meta-information about a reference page (its name, type, purpose, title, and classification) is stored in wrappers near the beginning of the refentry.

Common presentational features, such as titles and running headers, may require data from several of these wrappers plus some generated text. Other formatting often requires that these elements be reordered.


Common attributes and common linking attributes.

any attribute

Any attribute in any other explicit namespace


Specifies an identifying string for presentation purposes


Identifies the editorial or publication status of the element on which it occurs


These elements contain refsect1: refentry.


The following elements occur in refsect1: address, anchor, annotation, bibliolist, blockquote, bridgehead, calloutlist, caution, classsynopsis, cmdsynopsis, constraintdef, constructorsynopsis, danger, destructorsynopsis, enumsynopsis, epigraph, equation, example, fieldsynopsis, figure, formalgroup, formalpara, funcsynopsis, glosslist, important, indexterm (db.indexterm.endofrange), indexterm (db.indexterm.singular), indexterm (db.indexterm.startofrange), info (, info (, informalequation, informalexample, informalfigure, informaltable (db.cals.informaltable), informaltable (db.html.informaltable), itemizedlist, literallayout, macrosynopsis, mediaobject, methodsynopsis, msgset, note, orderedlist, packagesynopsis, para, procedure, productionset, programlisting, programlistingco, qandaset, refsect2, remark, revhistory, screen, screenco, screenshot, segmentedlist, sidebar, simpara, simplelist, subtitle, synopsis, table (db.cals.table), table (db.html.table), task, tip, title, titleabbrev, typedefsynopsis, unionsynopsis, variablelist, warning.

See Also

Related elements: refnamediv, refsect2, refsect3, refsection, refsynopsisdiv.