Where a text repeatedly uses the same rendition for a given element, the encoder can save time by setting a default for the renditional information, instead of having to encode it for every instance of the element.
Default renditions are specified in the <tagsDecl> section of the <teiHeader>. The <tagsDecl> starts with a series of <rendition> elements which contain a rendition ladder as their content. Each of these rendition elements should be identified with an id= attribute.
The second part of the <tagsDecl> is a series of <tagUsage> elements. Each <tagUsage> element associates a document element (e.g. <name>) with a single <rendition> element. The gi= attribute of the <tagUsage> element declares the element whose rendition is being defaulted, and the render= attribute of <tagUsage> points to the id= of the <rendition> element that describes the default rendition.
Individual elements which do not conform to these defaults can override them using their own individual rend= attribute. Any renditional information on a particular element will override the renditional information specified in the default.
Designing a set of renditional defaults which addresses the needs of the particular document is an important part of document analysis.
Note: The <tagUsage> element is also used to record other information about the use of tags in the document, and in the completed transcription there should be one <tagUsage> element for every element type. However, this additional information will be added automatically. The encoder only needs to enter a <tagUsage> element for any element which requires a renditional default.