Download as PDF

Correct use of text tagging

Online editors can make use of numerous formatting options to tag and structure texts in a reasonable way. In doing so, editors should always stick to the following rule: the rich text editor does not format contents visually, but semantically.

Semantics are a subdiscipline of linguistics dealing with the analysis and description of the meaning of language and linguistic expressions. With their formatting, online editors make a statement on the meaning of contents at this specific location. How the content is optically presented in the rich text editor plays a minor role. The information content of a text is separated from its appearance. Highlights make a statement on the type of highlighted location, for example "this is a heading" or "this is a quotation".

Every online editor should always ask himself the following questions when he wants to record contents:

  • What do I want to communicate?

  • Which type of information do I have here?

  • How can I structure my information in the easiest and clearest way?

  • What is the meaning or function of my contents?

  • What type of tagging is the best way to describe the contents?

The question "What should my contents look like?" should not be posed!

The advantage of this procedure is an improved processing of the recorded contents. These contents are usually transferred into a target format, for example HTML for the output on a website or as PDF. This transfer is effected by transformation developers. They are independent from semantic structures in order to correctly transform the recorded data into the corresponding output format without any losses. If an editor tags a heading as such, the transformation developer can see this and also transfer the semantic information into the target format. A text recorded as heading will then also appear as heading on the website or in the PDF.

Editors can use the following information to reasonably use the available formatting options.