While the body of most documents is text, an appropriate seasoning of horizontal rules, images, and other multimedia elements makes for a much more inviting and attractive document. These features are not simply gratuitous geegaws that make your documents look pretty, mind you. Multimedia elements bring HTML and XHTML documents alive, providing a dimension of valuable information often unavailable in other media, such as print. In this chapter, we describe in detail how you can insert special multimedia elements into your documents, when their use is appropriate, and how to avoid overdoing it.
You also might want to jump ahead and skim Chapter 12, where we describe some catch-all tags (the HTML 4 and XHTML standard <object> and the popular browsers' <embed>) that let you insert all kinds of content and data file types, including multimedia, into your documents.