HTML Display - Text Formatting, Background, and Graphics

Samuel Marshall (
Sun, 13 Nov 94 09:01:01 EST

I have just looked at the draft HTML 2.0 specification, and I'd like to
suggest some extra features that could maybe be included in 2.1 or 3.0 or

I hope I sent this to the right place. If not, sorry for wasting your time.

These are cosmetic document formatting features.

1. Superscript and subscript
2. Specifiable page background colour
3. JPEG inline graphics
4. Specifying margins and justification


1. Superscript and subscript

so you can do (tm) and x^2 properly, also xi to indicated `the i-th x
element' as in normal mathematical notation.

YourCompany<ss>tm</ss>, x<ss>2</ss>, x<sb>i</sb>

The superscript tag would be interpreted as: use a smaller font than the
current one, and raise it above the text baseline. Subscript same but
below the baseline. Spacing of the lines involved might need to
change to avoid text running into other text.

It would obviously be up to browsers to choose how much smaller to
make it, etc.

2. Specifiable page background

It would be nice to be able to specify a preferred background colour
that a graphics browser could use. Currently, I understand that this
is up to the user who can configure their browser software.
(X-Mosaic defaults to grey, last time I saw WinMosaic it was white).

Purely for cosmetic purposes. In particular, with low-resolution
computer screen bitmaps, it's nice to have anti-aliased graphics
with smooth edges not jaggies. To anti-alias graphics you need to know
the background colour.

Not quite sure: something like <background 50,50,50> where the numbers
are % red, green, blue and browser software picks the nearest available

3. JPEG inline graphics

The HTML format (I'm looking at the draft specification again) doesn't
seem to specify the type of image file, but the examples are GIFs. It
would be nice to have the option of JPEG for smaller file sizes.

But I realise this may not be part of HTML. If not, sorry.

4. Specifying margins etc

The page author could specify left and right margins (offsets from the
screen border) for a paragraph or document section. It would be nice
if justification (a choice between flush left, flush right, centred,
or fully justified) was also available.

It gives page authors more control over their design.

Hope these options will be considered for future HTML versions.