Discrete Headings

A discrete heading is declared and styled in a manner similar to that of a section title, but:

  • it’s not part of the section hierarchy,

  • it can be nested in other blocks,

  • it cannot have any child blocks,

  • it’s not included in the table of contents.

In other words, it’s a unique block element that looks like a section title, but is not an offshoot of a section title.

The discrete style effectively demotes the section title to a normal heading. Discrete headings are the closest match to headings in other markup languages such as Markdown.

To make a discrete heading, add the discrete attribute to any section title. Here’s an example of a discrete heading in use.

**** (1)
Discrete headings are useful for making headings inside of other blocks, like this sidebar.

[discrete] (2)
== Discrete Heading (3)

Discrete headings can be used where sections are not permitted.
1 A delimiter line that indicates the start of a sidebar block.
2 Set the discrete attribute above the section title to demote it to a discrete heading.
3 The discrete heading is designated by one to six equal signs, just like a regular section title.

Alternately, you may use the float attribute to identify a discrete heading. In this context, the term “float” does not refer to a layout. Rather, it means not bound to the section hierarchy. The term comes from an older version of AsciiDoc, in which discrete headings were called Floating Titles. DocBook refers to a discreting heading as a bridgehead, or free-floating heading.