The Page Box Formatting Model - HTML

If you’ve ever worked with a desktop publishing platform using software such as Quark XPress, InDesign, or PageMaker, you’re probably familiar with the concept of a page box, within which fits everything that must go on a page. Even if you haven’t worked with desktop publishing software, you’ve probably seen precursors to the Web’s page box formatting model in word processing packages you’ve used.

When you work in a word processing or desktop publishing environment, you work with finite page sizes and page margins. The CSS page box formatting model is an attempt to replicate this for browser-based media. The page box model is based on the CSS box model .

The CSS box model.

The CSS box model.

Simply extends the box model to reveal two major areas:

  • The page area, which contains all of a page’s elements.
  • The margin area, which surrounds the page area. When a page area size is specified, the margins, if any, are subtracted.

On top of the page box, the model is expanded still further to account for the difference between continuous media, as represented by a browser, and paged media, which consists of discrete and specific page entities. This expansion is represented by the visual formatting model, which allows transfer of the continuous media as seen in a Web browser to an actual sheet of paper or transparency (or even film).

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