To accommodate the complex textual structures of canon law collections, which often compile independent textual units as a set of subordinate units in a larger text, the CCL uses the following markup. When a smaller textual component (council, preface, book, part, title) has "a reasonable claim to be considered as a text in its own right" (quote from TEI website), the CCL recognizes it as a separate text and uses the <text> tag, with the clarifying attribute "type=" ("council", "preface", "book", etc.) Every collection transcribed for the CCL must begin with a <text> tag; this <text> tag represents that collection from beginning to end. If the text being encoded is a composite canon law collection, then nested within this main <text> tag there must be a single <group> tag.

In the <text> section, certain tags will require the use of <p> within them. <p> stands for paragraph, and these tags are where the bulk of the transcribed text will be contained.