A context break represents a shift in thought, time, location, or similar in a work of fiction or non-fiction. These changes are typically represented by a large blank space between paragraphs, which sometimes including asterisms and other decorations (traditionally when the shift occurs immediately at the bottom of a print page where it might not be apparent).
In the past, CSS margins and images have been used to include context breaks, but the HTML5 specification
has redefined the semantics of the
hr element specifically for this purpose. CSS styling can
be applied to change the default appearance.
hr element should not be used for purely decorative purposes, such as between sections or at
the beginning or end of them.
Although you may get the same visual effect, the reader is given no information that a change in context has occurred. CSS class names carry no semantic meaning.
Print-first workflow tools often use this CSS technique to indicate context changes when exporting, but it is inherently inaccessible.
imgtag to indicate context change?
Again, images are a suboptimal way to indicate a context change because they carry no semantic
information. Unlike pure CSS solutions, the
alt attribute can be used to indicate
the context change, but that doesn't compensate for the more uniform experience that the
hr element can provide.