HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It's a an embedded language of directions that browsers read to display text, images and hyperlinks on the World Wide Web (www). HTML was designed in 1992 specifically as a semantic markup language, but it had few layout capabilities. The underlying philosophy was that by marking your content with descriptions any machine in the world could then interpret those tags. An HTML file is just a page of text, like an email message or a word document. It can be created and processed by a wide range of tools and text editors (BBedit, simple text, MSword, HomeSite). An HTML file contains all the elements that will appear on your web page, plus instructions to the browser about where those elements should go and how they will appear. Pictures, animations and sound can be included in the HTML file. Not taking the time to learn HTML is like learning English without understanding the alphabet.
- Anything between a tag "< >" is HTML code and does not show on the page.
- Any number of consecutive spaces, returns or tabs are reduced to one space on the web page.
- You can view the source code of any web page by selecting the "View Source" on the menu bar in Netscape or Internet Explorer. This means that you do not need to type any of the HTML code in the page templates which are included since you can just download one and change the parts that need to be changed.
- Different browsers and different computers display web pages differently which means the way the page looks on your computer is not necessarily the way it will look on other computers or other browsers.
- Files should always be saved as "text" or "raw" data and should always be saved with their proper file extensions ".html" or ".htm". (ie. index.html).
Tags are letters or words between two brackets <tag> that define text and images inside an HTML document. HTML uses tags to structure text into headings, paragraphs, lists and hyperlinks. For example, there's a tag that will make your text bigger, another that will center it on the page, and another that will create a link to take you to somewhere else.
- Start by selecting the tag that you want to use.
- Place the tag in front of the word that you want to change. This tells the browser what to do in that spot.
- Always remember to close the tag when you are finished telling the text what you want it to do.