Yes it's quite legal but it's semantically poor. This is what information
architecture is all about.

> h1 <global section> (logo, slogan, navigation, search etc.)
> h1 <actual content section>
> h1 <optional section one>
> h1 <optional section two>
>
> That is the structure I would like to use. Any thoughts?

Does the title of a book have the same semantic meaning as a chapter title
within it? No. One is a higher level of information. Just look at the table
of contents in any book. All chapters are within the book and the book, in
this case is the <global section>.

Now <global section> could either be the site logo/name etc or it could be
the title of the section of the site or even just the page title. Don't
think of it as how you want them to display on the page. Use CSS to make
them all look the same if that's your issue. This is about structure, not
presentation.

Think of it the same way as a document tree, an XML structure or a nested
list.

- <global section> (H1)
  - <section 1> (H2)
    - <sub section 1.1> (H3)
    - <sub section 1.2> (H3)
      - <sub sub section 1.2.1> (H4)
    - <sub section 1.3> (H3)
  - <section 2> (H2)
    - <sub section 2.1> (H3)
  - <section 3> (H2)

Let's put that into a real scenario.

- <h1>Web Standards Group</h1>
  - <H2>Resources<H2>
    - <H3>CSS Resources</H3>
      - <H4>CSS Selectors</H4>
      - <H4>CSS Specificity</H4>
    - <H3>HTML Resources</H3>
      - <H4>HTML Metadata</H4>


If you don't use the H1 for the global section then they all move up one in
the hierarchy and then H1 is correct for the section titles, but not the sub
sections. Otherwise they wouldn't be sub sections at all.

- <section 1> (H1)
  - <sub section 1.1> (H2)
  - <sub section 1.2> (H2)
    - <sub sub section 1.2.1> (H3)
  - <sub section 1.3> (H2)
- <section 2> (H1)
  - <sub section 2.1> (H2)
- <section 3> (H1)

- <H1>Resources<H1>
  - <H2>CSS Resources</H2>
    - <H3>CSS Selectors</H3>
    - <H3>CSS Specificity</H3>
  - <H2>HTML Resources</H2>
    - <H3>HTML Metadata</H3>


P


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