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Chapter 15. Supporting Accessibility wit... > CSS Positioning, Reading Order, and ...

CSS Positioning, Reading Order, and Navigation Links

The <div> element is similar to the <span> element in that the only reason it exists is to allow designers to associate styles with chunks of material. But the chunks that the <div> element works with are generally bigger. The <div> element is a block-level element, meaning that it can encompass a variety of other elements, including paragraphs, tables, lists, other <div> elements, and so on. By contrast, the <span> element is an inline element, meaning that it always ropes off a “span” inside another element—part of a paragraph, part of a table row, part of a label, and so on.

The <div> element is also an important tool for using CSS to position elements on the screen—to take them out of the document’s normal “flow” and put them where you want them. In fact, you can use CSS positioning to accomplish many of the layout tasks often handled with tables. This brings us back to the problem of reading order, which surfaced when we visited the Metropolitan Museum site in Chapter 7.


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