Numbering: general

page number line number reference system
n milestone pb

Use of the n attribute and handling of line numbering

Numbering of sequences is a basic and ubiquitous function in text encoding, and the TEI provides a general-purpose attribute with which to encode numbering of all kinds. The n attribute is a global attribute, which means that it is available on all TEI elements. It is intended to provide a way of encoding number sequences, not structural hierarchies: that is, it is correctly used to encode things like page number sequences, but not to encode things like whether a heading is a level 1 or a level 2 heading.

The n attribute carries with it the general sense of being information supplied by the encoder or on the authority of the encoding project, rather than being information taken directly from the source in unmediated form. It therefore can be used to supply a regularized numbering system in cases where the source text either does not supply a number at all, or supplies a number which is faulty or untrustworthy.

Some examples of possible uses for the n attribute include:

Note that in most cases, this numbering can also be generated automatically and does not need to be captured in the encoding.