HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language and it is "the" language upon which the internet runs. What you see when you are looking at any given web page is not the way the creator of the page composed it. The page you are looking at right now is how the browser- either Explorer or Netscape- translates the HTML page I composed into a page you can recognize. You can view the HTML of any given web page by going to "View" at the top of your screen and scolling down to "Source" if you are using Explorer and "View Source" if you are using Netscape. Please do that right now and view the HTML of this page. When you look at it, notice all the "tags" that are the words and/or letters contained in the "<>".
All I am going to provide you with is about 25 of those HTML tags and how to use them. There are more tags, but all I use for my site is perhaps 25 of them. You simply have to learn to use these tags and you can quickly compose basic web pages. I suggest that you procure a list of the HTML tags. Check out the links below- you can print out a list- or perhaps buy an HTML instruction book, or go to Office Depot or a school bookstore and buy an HTML quick reference chart. I bought a four page laminated HTML quick reference card from my community college bookstore when I was taking a six week HTML course.
Here are three references you can click on for info about tags:
Please read the following and keep these things in mind. I'll just list them since they are basics you must remember about me, HTML, and the web. It will make things easier if you have these facts in the back of your mind.
1. I think I know what I am talking about, but I may give you some incorrect information now and then. However, any bad info will not inhibit you from having a functioning web site constructed from this information.
2. When I refer to your browser, it doesn't matter if you use Explorer or Netscape. They are the same to me. When I say "Explorer," I could just as easily say "Netscape" and vice versa. In fact, you may want to view your site in both of them as your site progresses. The same web info will be displayed slightly differently by both browsers. For example, Navigator has a default background color of gray where Explorer has white. Anyone using Netscape to view your web site will see a gray background on every page of the site unless you instruct the browsers to always show a white background. There is an HTML tag for that. So, it is wise to occasionally view your progress in the browser you don't build your site with. Not crucial, but helpful.
3. I am on a Mac and use SIMPLETEXT to write my website. On PCs you want to use NOTEPAD. Use either one, it doesn't matter. Just remember that when I say "SIMPLETEXT," I could just as well be saying "NOTEPAD." Just like when I say "NETSCAPE," I could just as easily be saying "EXPLORER."
4. The web will not tolerate blank spaces in your file names. For example, if you have a file name for a photograph that is "P9290021 my car.jpg," you have to fill in all the spaces with dashes like so- "P9290021-my-car.jpg." Remember: no spaces. No spaces. No spaces. Remember that and it will save you a lot of time trying to figure out why things don't work.
5. You have use tags to get the browser to display your information the way you want. Tags run the show. You can't just hit a "RETURN" if you want to skip a line. You have to put a line break tag (<br>) where you want to skip a line. Also remember that most tags have to be opened on the front end and closed on the back end. For example, if you place a tag like <b> which instructs the browser to display whatever follows it in bold text. It will continue to display everything that follows in bold text until you tell it not to with a closing bold tag like so: </b>. You may find yourself on the bottom of a webpage and being affected by a tag at the top that you forgot to close.
6. HTML will not do a number of things you might want. It will not let you line things up on the right hand margin, for example. You can get around these things, but generally it is too complicated to bother with.
Ahhh, enough of this stuff. Go to the next page to view the Desktop Procedure for generating web pages. In a matter of minutes, you will have a very basic web page running on your desktop!