Setting Paragraph Formats
In addition to formatting the font, size, and color of text, the alignment and format of the block of text as a whole can be defined. A paragraph format displays the block of text according to the defaults of the formatting tag that is applied. Dreamweaver has three basic paragraph styles: paragraph, heading, and preformatted. They are applied using the Format drop-down list in the Property inspector (see Figure 3.8).
Figure 3.8 The paragraph format is used to signify text as being a paragraph, a heading, or preformatted.
Most text on the page is formatted as the default Paragraph format. This format ignores white space, so sequential spaces within the paragraph appear as only one space when viewed in a browser.
Headings are used to identify different sections of content on a page. They range from largest and boldest (<h1>) to smallest (<h6>). Although designers have used them independently in HTML, ideally headers should be used hierarchically to divide the site into readable segments of information in much the same way as this book is laid out. Headings are applied to the entire paragraph, so you can't mix heading styles within the same line of text.
The proper use of headings is a serious part of document structure. For more details on why this is considered important, see the "Peer to Peer" section at the end of this chapter.
Preformatted text is the solution to instances in which the paragraph format is too restrictive. The preformatted format enables you to space text exactly as you want, including using white space and line breaks (see Figure 3.9). Text doesn't automatically word wrap, so you must press Enter to end a line. When put into practical use, your results with the preformatted format can vary depending on the fonts used and the default size settings on users' browsers.
Figure 3.9 The top heading, About Peanut Butter and Chocolate, is fashioned here using h1. The "This month . . ." subhead uses h2. Finally, the paragraph describing peanut butter has been reconfigured using the pre element. You can tell this by the fact that the font is monospaced.