Re: Netscape's SPACER

Hakon Lie (
Wed, 17 Jul 1996 11:59:15 +0200

Date: Wed, 17 Jul 1996 11:59:15 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: (Holger Struppek)
Subject: Re: Netscape's SPACER
In-Reply-To: <v02130501ae1262aa94c0@[]>
From: Hakon Lie <>

Holger Struppek writes:

 > >>Can anyone explain to me what the TYPE and SIZE attributes add to SPACER
 > >>besides complexity, confusion, and extra characters?
 > You can use SPACER in three different ways:
 > a)
 > (behaves like multiple &nbsp;)

No, it doesn't. The width of &nbsp; is relative to the font that is
being used, while the SIZE attribute takes pixel values.

Compare this with the CSS1 [1] alternative:

  <BR STYLE="display: inline; width: 10px">  <!-- pixel units -->
  <BR STYLE="display: inline; width: 10pt">  <!-- point units -->
  <BR STYLE="display: inline; width: 10em">  <!-- ems, relative to font size -->
  <BR STYLE="display: inline; width: 10%">   <!-- %, relative to parent 
                                                  element's width -->

The first example is equivalent to a horizontal spacer. The other
examples show examples of other units that are supported in CSS1. I
believe graphics designers want all these units to be available.

The "display: inline" part in the above examples is there because BR
is normally a block-level element. One can avoid this annoyance by
using an inline element, but then an end tag is required:

  <SPAN STYLE="width: 10px"></SPAN>

 > b)
 > (behaves like an 'invisble <HR>')

Again, the only units supported are pixels. Compare this with:

  <BR STYLE="width: 10px">
  <BR STYLE="width: 10pt">
  <BR STYLE="width: 10em">
  <BR STYLE="width: 10%">

 > c)
 > <SPACER TYPE=BLOCK WIDTH=width HEIGHT=height ALIGN=alignment>
 > (behaves like an invisible image)


  <BR STYLE="width: 10px; height: 10pt">




Hakon W Lie, W3C/INRIA, Sophia-Antipolis, France