Getting Started with HTML

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Copyright 2004 Dean Walden

The basic language of the Internet is HTML. If you can do crossword puzzles, if you can write a report for your teacher or boss, you can be creating web pages in a matter of minutes.

Even if you're not a writer or not a 'techie'. It's sort of like your first date. Terrifying to think about, but not nearly as bad as you thought when it's over.

The truth is that you can create your first webpage with just eight words enclosed in <> symbols.That's right! The following words, with each enclosed in <> symbols, make a complete usable web page.


html
head
title
/title
/head
body
don't enclose this one, it's your content: hi (:
/body
/html


If you copy what's between the lines above, open Notepad, paste it into a page, enclose each word in <> symbols and save it as anyname.htm, you can open your web browser and load it just like any other web page or double click on it and it should load automatically.

Now, that wasn't as bad as you thought, was it? All you need now is to learn some more of those words enclosed in <> symbols and you'll be a pro.

Those words such as html, head, /head and /html (when enclosed in brackets like these <>) are called tags, for instance <some tag> and </some end tag>. The ones such as html and head are called start tags and the ones with this symbol / such as /html and /head are called end tags.

What you see in the web browser is what you put between the body and /body tags. You could type an entire report or letter without knowing any more than you do now.

If you learn just two more tags you can create links and use images in your web pages. Also, and nearly as important, you could be making changes in web pages that you may own already.

LINKS

The HTML below will put a link to Google on your web page when a < symbol is placed before the a and /a letters and a > symbol is placed after the second quote and the /a symbol .


<a href="http://www.google.com">Google</a>

To put the link on the web page you created above just copy the line between the lines above and paste it between the body and /body tags and save it. Then load it or double click it as before.

The tag used for links is the a tag and it's counterpart the /a tag. As you can see there is a little more to this tag. In the <a> tag you add the webpage that the link will load into your browser.

IMAGES

If you want an image on your web page use the HTML tag below and place a < at the start and a > at the end.


img src="a:mypicture.jpg"


This is set up to put an image called mypicture.jpg (located on the floppy disc in drive a:) on a web page.
Again if you just copy this (replacing 'mypicture.jpg' with the name of your image) and paste it between the body tags the picture will appear in the browser window. (by the way if you make changes to the web page then save the changes, you need to click the refresh button on the browser to see the changes in the browser window.)

Of course, there is also a lot more to HTML (It doesn't get too complex until you start making tables). In fact complete books (many of them) have been written on the subject, but if you look at the HTML for most web pages you will find less than ten different tags, including the ones above.

Well, that's enough to get you started. If you'd like to learn more just send an email to morehtml@voltsearch.com. I hope this has been helpful and encouraging.


Publication Date: Tuesday 20th April, 2004
Author: Dean Walden View profile

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