chapter  5
17 Pages

Markup and annotation

While we tend nowadays to associate the term with documents generated on computer, the concept of markup goes back a long way, right back to pre-computer days in fact. Marks were put on texts in order to tell typesetters in the printing industry how to lay out texts. The marks were inserted manually with a pen or pencil by the typists or writers of the text. The marks represented specific instructions regarding the physical appearance of a document. Such instructions indicated, for example, which parts of the text were to be displayed as headings and sub-headings, which

parts were to be displayed as standard paragraphs, which parts were to be formatted in columns, which parts were to be indented and by how much. The markup scheme used was a type of shorthand language with different symbols representing different instructions. Many of the symbols used to mark up texts in the past are still in use today by proof-readers.