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I opened an epub file created exporting an odf file written with a recent version of LibreOffice (7.3.6.2). All the empty lines are rendered with a space encoded as $#160; inside a span tag inside a p tag. In Calibre and Sigil they are rendered correctly, in Okular they are not rendered and the text is less readable. I am not much worried about Okular, but I wonder if it is the only reader behaving in this way. I made some research on the internet and I know that in the past not all the readers supported it.

Strange enough, if I replace the lines with br tags it works in the readers I have available, but the linked article says that few ebook readers will support it.

What is the current situation with the most common readers?

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That's an interesting way to make a gap between paragraphs <p><span>&#160;</span></p>. Though <br></br> is still often used to break to the next line (or create an extra gap between paragraphs) its not an ideal solution, and it's recommended to not use it. We use the
for our .xhtml epub pages on rare occasion. But we primarily use the CSS margins and padding in a <p> tag as intended by coding correctly to create the necessary letter gap, word gap, and paragraph gap. A directly coded solution (to resolve Okular discrepancy) would be to set the paragraph padding to have its own gap before/after the paragraph. Such as:

p {padding: 8px 0 8px 0;}

or....

p {margin: .5em 0 .5em 0;}

The second is suggested by KDP: See KDP link

If you seldom intend to directly adjust the CSS code.... As a viable alternative with its own built-in pre-sets is something known as 'CSS framework' that you might consider. It's a big step but might be something worth looking into for your next project. These are CSS frameworks such as 'modular framework', and 'minimalist framework', and 'component-based frameworks'. The only ones suggested here are strictly the frameworks which aren't loaded via a windows Command Prompt terminal.

CSS framework examples are Bootstrap, PureCSS, W3.css, Bulma, Skeleton CSS framework, etc.

To answer your question, we have used <br></br> on a number of KDP epubs, Kobo epubs, also tested on Aldiko app, on Pocketbook app, ADE app, on Moon+ app, and all of them render that line-break code fine. Those are common eReaders, and during our testing (text and image heavy epubs) there has not been a problem to date using
on those Apps (though as mentioned above its better to use CSS paragraph adjustment instead).

Here is a link with a number of alternative creative line break suggestions worth reading:

Creative line-break options

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  • Thank you for the answer. Just a small note. BR is an HTML tag a little bit different from the others. It is written as a single tag. Without open and close tag.
    – FluidCode
    Commented Aug 29, 2023 at 10:55
  • @FluidCode It is the same as any tag in HTML <tag></tag> is exactly the same as <tag/>
    – mmmmmm
    Commented May 14 at 8:19

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