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Abstract: Include a page summary

I wish to include a short summary at the start of the page. What is the best way to do this?

William Caxton: the first English printer

There are 2 approaches, depending on whether or not you want the summary to be visible in the HTML view of the page:

  • use the (:description:) directive, which maps to the abstract element and creates a semantically distinct abstract section
  • use the indent -> line markup, which maps to the blockquote element and treats the abstract as part of the text body

This page uses the first, and generally preferred, approach.

If you use (:description:)…

  • the abstract is visible to search engines, but not to human browsers (and Google ignores it)
  • in the PDF, it prints after the title and author, before the table of contents (if specified), as an indented block with the heading Abstract
  • the directive is text only — no wiki markup is allowed, although HTML entities are supported (notably the ¶ character)

If you use indent markup…

  • the abstract is visible to human browsers, but is just body text to web crawlers
  • in the PDF, it prints after the table of contents, indented and normal size, with no title
  • any inline wiki markup can be used — it’s just regular text

Note that when a page is typeset as part of a trail, the description text is ignored.

Category: markup

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Page last modified on 29 February 2008 at 10:25 AM