How to Use Line Breaks in HTML

By Carol Finch

When you create Web pages in HyperText Markup Language, you use tags to tell browsers how to format your content. If you're formatting text, you put tags around the content to show where formatting should start and end. However, you only need one tag to add a line break, as this tag is a command to move to a new line rather than an instruction to format content.

Add a Line Break

To insert a line break in HTML, type "
" (without quotation marks) at the point after which the break should go. For example, if you're writing an address and need a break between two of its lines, write "1 New York Street
New York" (without quotation marks). The address lines should then appear on two separate lines. If you're using Extensible HyperText Markup Language, the line break tag is "
" (without quotation marks).

When to Use Line Breaks

HTML line breaks format lists, addresses, quotes or poems into individual lines. It's also useful if you're formatting space around images, tables or captions, or want to create white space on a page. This tag isn't the same as the paragraph tag. When you create paragraphs in HTML, you create discrete sections with a blank line between them. The line break tag simply advances to the next line.