Blank space

(Excerpt from "The MathML Handbook" by Pavi Sandhu)

The empty element mspace is used to explicitly insert a blank space of any desired size. The size and position of the space inserted depends on the value of the following three attributes:

  • width: specifies the width of the bounding box that contains the mspace element.
  • height: specifies the distance from the baseline of the text to the top edge of the bounding box.
  • depth: specifies the distance from the baseline of the text to the bottom edge of the bounding box.

The default values of all these attributes are chosen to make the mspace element have no effect on visual rendering. Hence, if you want to include a visible blank space, you must explicitly specify one or more attributes, as shown here:

<mspace width="5 em" height="2 ex" depth="2 ex"/>

The mspace element also takes an attribute called linebreak, which can be used to provide suggestions for linebreaking to a visual renderer. Possible values of this attribute and their meaning are given in the following table.

Table: Possible values of the linebreak attribute.

Value Meaning
auto There is no effect on linebreaking; the renderer uses its default linebreaking behavior.
newline This is a new line and do not indent.
indentingnewline This is a new line and do indent.
nobreak A linebreak is not allowed here.
goodbreak A linebreak is needed on the line; here is a good spot.
badbreak A linebreak is needed on the line; try to avoid breaking here.


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