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HTML is the cornerstone of web design, the very language that breathes life into the digital world we interact with daily. It’s the essential building block upon which websites are crafted, and understanding its nuances is key to creating engaging and functional web pages.

women use hr tag in html to code a horizontal line

The HTML <hr> tag, which stands for “horizontal rule,” is a simple yet powerful tool in web design. In this guide, we’ll break down web page dividers and teach you everything you need to know about using the <hr> tag to create elegant and effective separations on your website.

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What is the HTML <hr> tag?

In simple terms, the <hr> tag in HTML is like a digital ruler or a horizontal line that you can place on a web page to visually separate content. It stands for “horizontal rule,” and its primary purpose is to create a visible line that spans the width of the webpage, helping to divide and organize content.

Here’s a basic example of how the <hr> tag is used in HTML:

 <p>This is some text above the horizontal rule.</p>
<p>This is some text below the horizontal rule.</p>

In this example, you have a paragraph of text, and the <hr> tag is inserted between two paragraphs. When displayed in a web browser, it will create a horizontal line between the two paragraphs, making the content visually distinct.

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See the Pen hr tag example by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.


Why is the <hr> element important?

The <hr> tag may seem simple, but it serves several purposes in web design:

1. Visual Separation: It’s an easy way to break up long sections of content, making a webpage more visually appealing and easier to read.

2. Content Organization: Web designers use the <hr> tag to divide content into sections, such as separating a blog post from comments or distinguishing different topics on a page.

3. Accessibility: It can improve the accessibility of a webpage by providing a clear visual indicator of content separation for users who rely on screen readers.

4. Structure and Formatting: While CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) can be used for more advanced styling, the <hr> tag provides a quick and simple way to add a horizontal line without extensive coding.

In essence, the <hr> tag is a fundamental tool that contributes to the overall structure, readability, and aesthetics of a web page. It’s a small but mighty element in the toolkit of web designers, helping them create well-organized and visually appealing websites.

How to Use hr in HTML

The <hr> tag in HTML has various use cases, each serving a specific purpose in web design.

These code examples illustrate various ways to use the <hr> tag in HTML to separate and organize content on a webpage. Depending on your specific web design needs, you can employ the <hr> tag creatively to enhance the structure and readability of your site.

If you want to learn more, check out our Ultimate Guide to HTML for Beginners.

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Section Separation

Use different CSS styles to customize the line’s appearance, such as changing its color, width, or style, to match your site’s design.

See the Pen hr tag example – section separation by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.


Visual Separator in Forms

Use <hr> tags strategically in forms to group related fields and enhance form readability. It helps to structure forms and improve user interaction.

See the Pen hr tag – forms by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.


Content Grouping

Use CSS to customize the appearance of the <hr> tag so that it aligns with the overall style of your content.

See the Pen hr tag – product by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.


Thematic Break with Text

Adding the <hr> tag in this way provides a thematic break with a horizontal line and text, emphasizing content breaks and giving readers context.

See the Pen hr tag example – thematic break by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

You can add descriptive text between the <hr> tags to provide context or emphasize the separation. For example, <hr><p class=“break-label”>New Section</p>

Styled Horizontal Rule

This example demonstrates how you can style the <hr> tag to create a more visually appealing line. Experiment with different CSS properties to achieve unique visual effects. You can control height, color, background, and more to match your website’s design.

See the Pen hr tag example – stylized by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

These examples showcase the versatility of the <hr> tag in HTML. It’s not just about basic horizontal lines; you can use them creatively to enhance the structure and visual appeal of your web content.

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Getting Started

The HTML <hr> tag is a simple yet powerful tool in web design. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Visual Separation. The <hr> tag allows you to create horizontal lines that visually separate content on a webpage, making it more organized and easier to read.
  • Versatility. You can use the <hr> tag in various ways, such as section separation, thematic breaks with text, and decorative styling. It adapts to your specific design needs.
  • Accessibility. It improves web page accessibility by providing a clear visual indicator of content separation for users who rely on screen readers.
  • Customization. You can style the <hr> tag using CSS to match your website’s design, including changing its color, width, and style.



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