If I have an article of text, figures and tables, is there one word I can use to name a paragraph(s) of text, a figure or table with its caption?

thisword in an article could be text, figure, or table. An article may have multiple thisword.

thisword is intended for an internal use within an IT project. In IT, words component and unit are already used in architecture and testing, so I would prefer to avoid these words if possible, while element may be too generic and overused.

Thesaurus suggests a number of alternatives http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/component?s=t

My current choice is segment, though I'm not sure if this word would not be slightly misleading for native English speakers.

  • How about 'section'? Normally an article section will begin with a title and end with the title for the next [same level] section, yet there are title-less sections in articles. Nov 19, 2016 at 12:19
  • I've been working in LaTeX/MikTeX for quite a while, so, just in my case, section is reserved for a sub-chapter, if I may. And it seems to me, this is a common understanding of the word, and I do not want to confuse programmers even in the things. Let me elaborate on my case: I plan to start small with my IT solution, e.g. add printscreens of diagrams into the text; and at later stages of the project I plan to replace some of these static images with dynamic diagrams (change data and your diagram will follow). I would like to have a name for these types of elements. Nov 19, 2016 at 13:27
  • Really important context: dealing with a markup language Nov 19, 2016 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


As per the link given in the question, there are many possible synonyms and it's not clear which is best. One possibility is to use 'section' very standard in documents and with many more synonyms to choose from (http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/section?s=t), including 'segment'.

The comments clarify that 'section' is not usable because it already has a meaning within the LaTeX markup language, where thisword will occur.

In markup language XML the most general constituent (which may be small or large) is called 'element'. This might be your thisword. The choice is not based on shades of meaning but on convention.

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