In some applications it may be important to specify a range across a document rather than a particular point in the document. For instance, the selection a user makes with a mouse is not necessarily going to match up with any one element or node. It may start in the middle of one paragraph, extend across a heading and a picture and then into the middle of another paragraph two pages down.
Any such contiguous area of a document can be described with a range. A range begins at one point and continues until another point. Each point is identified by a location path. If the starting path points to a node set rather than a point, then the first point in the location set the XPointer identifies is the start point. If the ending location path points to a node set rather than a point, then the last point in the location set the XPointer identifies is the end point of the range.