I want to display a leaderboard like so:

1 - John 232342
2 - Mary 45234
3 - Luke 234
59 - You 45

It's an ordered list but I can't make an ordered list that jumps from 3 to an arbitrary number.

So how should I mark this up?

  • Presumably not just marked up, but marked up in a way that is semantically correct?
    – Kris C
    Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 19:28
  • @Kris Yes. Also accessible and valid.
    – Adam Lynch
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 11:32

4 Answers 4


If I'm reading the HTML5 spec correctly you can do as suggested in Roger's answer and use an ordered list and then use a value attribute on one of the li elements to skip a few numbers:

The first item in the list has the ordinal value given by the ol element's start attribute, unless that li element has a value attribute with a value that can be successfully parsed, in which case it has the ordinal value given by that value attribute.

Each subsequent item in the list has the ordinal value given by its value attribute, if it has one, or, if it doesn't, the ordinal value of the previous item, plus one if the reversed is absent, or minus one if it is present.

See: http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/grouping-content.html#the-ol-element


<li value="1">John 232342</li>
<li value="2">Mary 45234</li>
<li value="3">Luke 234</li>
<li value="59">You 45</li>

The usual way that I've seen this done is with an ellipsis. Something like:

Leaderboard gap with ellipsis

Edit: For markup I would use an unordered list and insert the numbers into the name and use the ellipsis as an item.

Otherwise you end up with some difficult situations when the user is #4, as you would have an ellipsis where it doesn't make sense, or when the user is #2.

  • I'm asking for the markup. could you elaborate? Are you suggesting an ordered list and then a paragraph/unordered list/table or what?
    – Adam Lynch
    Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 14:34
  • @Adam: Added an edit for that.
    – JohnGB
    Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 14:42
  • So you're suggesting this? ...<li>3 -Luke 234 </li><li>...</li><li>59 - You 45</li></ul>
    – Adam Lynch
    Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 14:44
  • 1
    Use an ordered list, and use css to turn off the list numbers: list-style-type: none; because using an unordered list implies you don't care about the ordering--which you do! Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 14:50
  • Yes, if you want the style of an unordered list. If not just use something like: <p>3 - Luke<br />...<br />59 - You</p>
    – JohnGB
    Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 14:51

Here's a couple of options - but I think li's value is deprecated in HTML4 - and I don't know if it can be done in CSS.

<ol start="1">
   <li>Item 1</li>
   <li>Item 2</li>
   <li>Item 3</li>
   <li value=59>Item 4</li>
   <li>Item 5</li>

<DD>Item 1
<DD>Item 2
<DD>Item 3
<DD>Item 4
<DD>Item 5

This gives the following:

enter image description here

  • LI's value attribute does not appear to me to be deprecated in HTML4.01 and is also part of HTML5, so it can be used with no worries.
    – Erion
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 11:04
  • @Erion - yes I saw it was ok in HTML5 - but this is the bit that made me unsure wrt HTML4. Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 11:14

The common way of showing that a Y (or X) axis has a gap is to make a strike through or dots..

similar to:

I 50
I 40
I 30
I 0


I 50
I 40
I 30
I 0

None is more correct than the other, more of a aesthetic point of view...

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