Just a littl HTML for Starters

Q: What's HTML and how do I use it?

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is a simple text-formatting language used to format pages for the World Wide Web (usually called the WWW or just the Web). While you don't need to know any HTML to create a homepage on Tripod, HTML is easy to learn and lets you customize your page.

To use HTML, you start with your basic text, then insert commands called "tags" that tell the computer how to display your words. The tags also help you structure your text into titles, headings, and paragraphs. HTML is part of a larger language called SGML, Standard Graphical Markup Language, that has been around for many years. If you learn a little about the ins and outs of HTML, you can make your page look exactly the way you want, and you can continue to build bigger, better pages.

Another good way to learn HTML is to find a page that looks good and see how the HTML behind it works. Web browsers like Netscape and Internet Explorer have an option to 'View Page Source'. This will show you the HTML code with which the page was written.

Q: What's the basic HTML set up for a new page?

In order to set up your page for building, you will want to start with the following tags. First, you want to let the computer know that you're writing an HTML document. The first tag you should enter in is . The most important lesson to learn in HTML is you need to close all of your tags, so for safety sake you may want to enter in the closing tag for this command and then write everything else in between.

sets off the title and other information that isn't displayed on the Web page itself, like meta tags (see below).

sets off the visible portion of the document.

Q: How do I place a title on my page?

my title places your page title in the blue bar at the top of your browser.

Q: How do I center my text?

To center text, use the HTML

tag. For example:


This text will be centered.

Result: This text will be centered.

Q: How do I change my text size?

The easiest way to change text size is to use the




tags in HTML. Remember that for every




tag, you must have a

, , , tag that returns the font size to normal.

Q: How do I make my text bold or italic?

The easiest way to create bold or italic text is put the text you want to make Bold between a text to be bold pair of HTML tags and the text you want to make Italic between the italic text pair of HTML tags.

Q: How do I put my text in a block?

If you want to indent a block of text on both sides, try the

tag. (While the indentation isn't the same in all browsers, Navigator and Internet Explorer both indent the text 40 pixels on each side.) Just enclose the text you want indented in a pair of
tags. Inside the blockquote, you can use standard

formatting tags to control line breaks as well as text-control tags such as and . Here's a sample blockquote segment:

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table.

--T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Q: What are the differences between "emphasis," "strong" and "citation?"

To quote from the HTML 2.0 specification, the and tags provide "typographic emphasis, typically italics." The specific emphasis can vary from browser to browser.

Again from the specification, the and tags provide "strong typographic emphasis, typically bold."

and specify a citation; this includes information like book titles, references, and so on. The text is usually displayed using italics.

NOTE: Emphasis, Strong and Citation are much like using bold and italic. As you use HTML more, you will figure out which tags work best for you and your page building style.

Q: What are comment tags and why are they useful?

If you want to put text in an HTML document, but don't want that text to show up in a browser window, you need to use the comment tag. To do that, you would do the following: Your note would go where the text Your Comment Here appears. Yes, you do need an exclamation point after the opening bracket, but not before the closing bracket. That's the way the standard is written. Also, there is no end tag; that is, a tag like does not exist. The comment tag is not a container. You can put comments pretty much anywhere, but you have to be aware of one important thing: you shouldn't put any HTML markup within a comment tag. Theoretically, you should be able to, but many browsers handle this less than gracefully (i.e., they either mess up or crash).

Q: Why should I end my filename with .html or .htm?

If you do not end your filename with '.html', it is possible that your Web browser will not display the file properly.

Q: What characters are illegal in a filename?

You can only use one period (.) in your filename. Also, characters like $, !, @, and ? are illegal. Please use only alphanumeric characters.