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Is there a generic word for it. I would call them infoboxes, but it's not a word, so I am assuming there's a word for it that I am not aware of.

For example:

The infobox on the side of the page read "Fig 5.13. Men tend to have bigger feet than women".

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    The "Fig." in your example gives you the answer! It's called a figure. – Canadian Yankee Mar 25 at 22:07
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    In some contexts, "callouts" (or call-outs). it's a bit if an advertising term. – Fattie Mar 26 at 1:06
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In American English, these infoboxes are usually called "sidebars".

Also, infobox is a word, even if it is not in many dictionaries yet.

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    I thought that was usually for tangential things, rather than things that are actually 'part of' the document itself? – SamBC Mar 25 at 22:52
  • @SamBC -- Yes, a sidebar is basically a giant parenthetical note. It has more visibility than a footnote. – Jasper Mar 25 at 22:55
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    I suspect sidebar comes from newspaper layout terminology that has now spread to online stuff that is similar to newspapers, and boxout comes from book publishing. I haven't got evidence for that, though. – SamBC Mar 25 at 22:59
  • @Jasper I wonder if Wikipedia coined the term "infobox." It's what they call areas on their pages. – Don B. Mar 25 at 23:15
  • @Don B: it's attested in the ngrams English corpus in the late 80s, albeit in tiny numbers. So, probably not. – SamBC Mar 26 at 9:36
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The general term in publishing for boxes, usually of text, set out from the rest of the text, is boxout, also box-out or occasionally box out:

A piece of text written to accompany a larger text and printed in a separate area of the page.

However, that's not usually used if there's a table or a graphic in it. Then it's called a table or a figure. In scientific typesetting circles, the catchall term for all three is float - whether that was originally the term and LaTeX used it, or LaTeX introduced it and it caught on, I don't know. I'm not aware of a catchall term for such things that is used generally by everyone.

Oh, and if such things are printed in the margins, they might be referred to as marginalia, a term originally used for additions made by readers by hand, as they read the text, but that I have seen used to refer to things deliberately printed in margins, especially of self-teaching books.


It's worth noting, though, that "not a word" is a flexible concept in English. Not as much as it is in German, perhaps, but flexible. There's no official list of words, not even one that has supposed status but limited real influence - there's just no official list. At all. Words that get used are words, and infobox has appeared in the Google Books corpus since the late 80s - albeit in very small numbers.

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