Just a quick question that's nagged at me for a while. When using the <br /> tag, is the tag considered to be a space between text as well? In other words, if the html was: <p>Publication Author<br />Publication Citation</p>, would it be read as "Publication Author Publication Citation" or "Publication AuthorPublication Citation"?

  • Read by who????
    – John Conde
    Commented Jul 21, 2011 at 19:21
  • Both by crawlers and screen readers.
    – SubTypical
    Commented Jul 21, 2011 at 19:41

1 Answer 1


At the technical reading-the-specs level, the first one is correct. In HTML, the br tag is white space and functions as a separator.

In terms of actual practice, however, it should be interpreted as, literally

Publication Author
Publication Citation

which in terms of "reading" carries a different sort of "pause" from simply two words separated by a space.

As for screenreaders, now that you've specified, things get more complicated as they're highly configurable to the user's preference. I don't do any work with them, but I've seen various comments over time that one ignores them, another respects them with a slighly longer than between-words pause as I mentioned above but could also be told to ignore them, etc. It's a specialized area, and if you need definite answers you might pose the question in the Accessify forum or similar and report back. Screenreaders in general just haven't come up much on this site

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