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Learn Basic HTML

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Introduction

One of the best features of FrontPage is that you don't need to know HTML to create great looking web pages.  As you get more advanced, it can be helpful to know some basic HTML so you can tweak what some of FrontPage does automatically.




Learn Basic HTML

HTML stands for "Hyper-text markup language".  HTML is made up of tags.  For example, <b>hi</b> will write: hi on the screen in bold face.  Almost all the HTML tags have an opening and a closing tag.  The opening is in this syntax: <tagname>.  The closing is in this syntax: </tagname>.  HTML is a fairly simple language once you know some of the tags.  

Another thing you need to know about HTML is that many tags have "attributes".  Attributes will generally somehow shape what the result of the tag will look like.  Here's an example of a tag with an attribute: <div name="pagebody">.  Only opening HTML tags contain attributes, and they must be in this syntax: attributename="result".  The place that you define what the attribute equals is after the equal sign.  The value must be enclosed in quotes or single quotes (quotes are preferred, as all browsers don't understand single quotes).

Here's what a basic HTML document looks like: (the tags in bold face are required in any HTML document.)

<html>

<head>

<title>Test Page</title>

</head>

<body>

Welcome to this page!  I'm testing HTML

</body>

</html>

Here's some of the basic HTML tags that every web developer should know:

<html></html> - This tag tells the web browser that the document it is reading is an HTML document.  This tag is required in each HTML document.

<body</body> - This tag begins and ends that part of the document that is shown in the browser window.  Everything on this page you are reading is in the <body> and </body> tag.

<head></head> - This tag is required in all HTML documents.  It must be directly after the <html> tag, and the closing head tag (</html>) must be directly before the <body> tag.  Inside the <head> and </head> tags, you can include META tags as well as the Title tag (more on this discussed below).

<title></title> - This tag is not required, but it is nice to have.  Whatever you type between the <title> and </title> tag will appear in the web browser's Title bar.  This tag can only be used in between the <head> and </head> tags.

<b></b> - This tag will make the text between it bold face.  It must be used between the <body> and </body> tags.  Here's an example of this tag: <body>Welcome to <b>Computer Training 2000!</b></body>.  Using this code, you will produce: Welcome to Computer Training 2000!.  

<i></i> - This tag will italicize the text between it.  It must be used in between the <body> and </body> tags.  It's use is similar to the <b> and </b> tags, except it produces Italic text, not bold text.

<u></u> - This tag will underline the text that is between it.  It again must be used between the <body> and </body> tags.  It's use is similar to the <b> and </b>, and <i> and </i> tags.  

<a></a> - This tag creates a hyperlink.  It's also a good example of a tag with attributes.  Here's how it is used: <a href="link to page">Click Here</a>.  Replace the "link to page" text with the actual address to the page you want to hyperlink to (just be sure to keep the quotes).  This tag must be used between the <body> and </body> tags.

<BR> - This tag inserts a line break at any part of your HTML document.  This tag does not have a closing tag like most tags.  It must be used between the <body> and </body> tags.

<HR> - This is again another tag that does not have a closing tag.  This tag will insert a horizontal line into your HTML document.  It must be used between the <body> and </body> tags.

<p></p> - This tag creates a new paragraph in your HTML document.  This tag has many attributes which allow you to format it.  One of the main attributes for this tag is align.  You can set this attribute to: center, left, or right.  This allows you to move the text to where you want.  This tag must be used between the <body> and </body> tags.

<font></font> - This tag allows you to specify fonts for use in your HTML document.  Here's how it is usually set up: <font family="verdana,arial,helvetica" size="2">text here</font>.  The family attribute allows you to specify several fonts that will be used on your page.  If the first isn't available, the second one will be searched for.  If that isn't available, it will go to the next, then the next, etc.  If none are available (an unlikely situation), the page will go to the default system font.  The size attribute will allow you to specify a size for the text.  These are web sizes, not point sizes.  Setting 2 for this attribute is usually okay.  Any text between the <font> and </font> tags will have this formatting applied to them.

There are dozens of HTML tags that are used in HTML documents.  There are so many, entire books are written on them.  This page isn't meant to be a book, but just as an HTML primer.  If you want to learn more HTML, we recommend you purchase a book on strictly HTML.


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