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Chapter 7. Boxes and Borders > Basic Element Boxes

7.1. Basic Element Boxes

Thanks to CSS, all document elements generate a rectangular box. This is called the element box. This box describes the amount of space that an element and its properties occupy in the layout of the document, and each box can therefore influence the position and size of other element boxes. For example, if the first element box in the document is an inch tall, then the next box will begin an inch below the top of the document. If the first element box is somehow altered in such a way as to make it be two inches tall, then every following element box will be shifted downward two inches, and the second element box will begin two inches below the top of the document.

As we can infer from Figure 7-1, the entirety of an HTML document is composed of a number of rectangular boxes that are distributed such that they don't overlap each other. Also, within certain constraints, these boxes take up as little space as possible, while still maintaining a sufficient separation to make clear which content belongs to which element.


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