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2.2.22 [CSS-Level2-2009] Section 9.4.2, Inline formatting contexts


The specification states:

 A line box is always tall enough for all of the boxes it contains. However, it may 
 be taller than the tallest box it contains (if, for example, boxes are aligned so 
 that baselines line up). When the height of a box B is less than the height of the 
 line box containing it, the vertical alignment of B within the line box is 
determined by the 'vertical-align' property. When several inline level boxes 
cannot fit horizontally within a single line box, they are distributed among two 
or more vertically-stacked line boxes. Thus, a paragraph is a vertical stack of 
line boxes. Line boxes are stacked with no vertical separation and they never 

Quirks Mode and IE7 Mode (All Versions)

The following clarifications apply:

  • When the height of the inner box is less than the height of the line box containing it, the height of the inner box is clipped and is not preserved.

  • Characters are not placed in the center of the inner box when they are displayed, but are clipped from the bottom up.

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