Section Breaks

Manage section breaks properly when producing an e-book.



Section breaks show a division in content without the use of heads. They can include an ornament or just use white space to represent this break.

The ornament can be text, such as three asterisks, or an image. When ornamentation is used, it follows the same rules as a head for articulation.

Standard Scribing

For an ornamented section break, use sec.

For an unornamented section break, use the psec or psec1 style.

The sec style should never be followed by psec or psec1.

When scribing a document, section breaks that use text or an ornamental image follow the same rules as heads for articulation. The paft style should be used for a standard paragraph following a sec.

Context Breaks

The sec, psec, and psec1 styles are used for context breaks and trigger an invisible horizontal rule, which is recommended for meeting accessibility requirements. This signals read-aloud technology to give an extra pause.

The psep style should be used for a paragraph that requires extra space above it but does not represent a context break (a true section break).

Images Used as Section Break Ornaments

Commonly, section breaks are shown as asterisks or underscores.

If an image is used instead of text, it should be given the role of “presentation.”

Note: When entered as alt text in a sam or ScML file, “PRESENTATION” must be in all caps in order to achieve the appropriate treatment when processed through the Digital Hub.

In sam/ScML

    <sec><img src="fig01.jpg" alt="PRESENTATION"/></sec>


    <p class="sec"><img src="images/fig01.jpg" role="presentation" alt="" width="40" height="40"/></p>

These two attributes will alert assistive technology not to announce the presence of the image to users.

For more information on decorative images, see the Short Description Text (Alt Text) page.