Indentation [212]


Treatment of indentation using the indent keyword in the rendition ladder; handling of indentation resulting from an enlarged initial capital letter


Indentation is always encoded usingthe indent() keyword in the rendition ladder. (For more information on indentation, see 223.)

Indentation should never be captured with spaces or tabs typed into the text.

In poetry, an enlarged initial capital letter in the first line may make it difficult to decide whether the indentation of the following lines is owing to the space taken up by this capital or to the actual indentation called for by the verse structure. If there is a regular stanzaic pattern visible, and the first verse seems to follow the same model as the other verses, its indentation should be assumed to be the same regardless of the initial capital. Conversely, if no other lines in the poem are indented, no indentation should be encoded even if the initial capital forces the second (or subsequent) lines to the right. The main point here is that indentation should only be encoded in cases where it would appear normally, without the enlarged initial capital. Any indentation which results only from the presence of such an ornament should not be encoded.

As a rule, indentation of regularly occurring verses should be captured consistently, disregarding minor variations in spacing from verse to verse. Thus if a poem has regular quatrains with every other line indented, an individual stanza whose last line appears slightly further to the right should not be assumed to have an additional indent. It is much more likely that this is simply a printing variation.

When recording indentation of elements which only take up a single line, consider whether it would be more accurate to encode their position with align() rather than indent(). To take an obvious example, the position of a signature printed in the middle of the page should be encoded with align(center) rather than indent(6). Similarly, the last words of a line of verse which wraps onto a new line might best be encoded as align(right) rather than indent(12).

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