HTML tags are the controls that tell your browser how to display the information on your web page. You compose your web pages in one program - SIMPLETEXT- and then view your web pages using your browser. If you could directly compose your web page using your browser, there wouldn't be any trick to designing web pages. Fortunately or unfortunately, you have to learn some intermediate program to compose your page. In our case, it is a bit of HTML. HyperText Markup Language is something you must understand at least a bit of if you are going to construct a web page. I want you to understand how to use the most basic HTML tags. And they are very simple.

The best way to give you the basics of how tags function is for you to read this page as the browser displays it AND go to the source this page (VIEW>SOURCE) and read the page top to bottom. Focus on the tags- words and letters between the <> and what they mean. Flip back and forth between the browser and the SOURCE.

Here are a couple things to remember about tags. Upper or lower case does not matter. Tags can be placed anywhere in the text and they will function.

Remember this fact about tags: tags that modify text in any way have to "open" and "close." That is, the tags have to tell the browser when to begin modifying text and when to end modifying text.

Here are five of the most basic and useful tags:

The <br> tag means line BReak, meaning leave a blank line. If you want to leave four blank lines you have to type and return <br> four times. You don't have to do the return each time, but if all your tags are lined up on the left hand margin, it is easier to visually keep track of what you have been doing.

The <b> tag bolds whatever is between the open and closed</b> bold tag.

The tag <hr> stands for horizontal rule and it instructs the browser to put a horizontal line across the page. Like so;

(You will have click back to your browser window to see how these tags function.)

Tags can be written in upper or lower case.

The first tag at the top of this source page is the <html> tag. This tag is what alerts the browser to go to work. This <html> tag means the following information is to be a web page and will be until it sees the </html> which is the "closed html tag" as denoted by the /.

Next notice the <title> and </title> tags in the next line. Again you open and close the tags which is like starting and stopping a particular line of thought. In this case, the title is the identifying title at the top of your browser window. If you bookmark that page, what ever is between the open and close title tags is what will show up on your bookmark listing.

You can't alter the text of your web page unless you use tags. In addition to the bold tag mentioned above, you can alter the size of your text on a scale of one to six. You have to use open and close tags to define what text you want to alter.








(<h6>) to control your text size.

If you go to the source of this page- go VIEW>SOURCE- you will notice that all the HTML tags are the words and/or letters inside the < and >. Now please read the HTML tags on this page source. Notice that nearly all the tags open and close. Tags that just add things to the page like Line Breaks and Horizontal Rules do not open and close. They only have to open.

I have to pause a minute and explain a couple of things that are a bit confusing. In the beginning I am going to ask that you copy and paste some HTML tags from the SOURCE pages of different webpages. You need to learn to do this simply because you need to know how. While you are attending- and then after this tutorial, you will probably be stealing from and analyzing other web sites. (Don't worry, it's all legal.) As we move on a couple pages forward, I will start putting the necessary HTML on this page. It will be easier to see what is happening and you can copy and paste directly from here. Should you go to view the SOURCE of this tutorial page and those that follow, you may find the tags difficult to see and understand. That is because I cannot display HTML tags without having them want to do what they are supposed to do. It is a Catch-22 situation. So, it boils down to the fact that if you look at this tag <br> (the line break tag) on the SOURCE page of this page, it is going to look weird. That's because if I literally write the <br> tag on my SOURCE page, it is going to want to skip a line. In order to "disable" the tag and yet be able to display it on this page as <br> I have to put some gibberish in place of the tag. It is difficult to explain clearly. Perhaps look at this paragraph on the SOURCE page and you will understand. Just keep it in mind, it may or may not confuse you.

One more thing to keep in mind. I will be displaying some links on these pages. Even though they are blue and are links, some of the backup files are not there and you get the message that the file or page "cannot be found." That's OK. I am not going to supply "active" links in some cases.

Let's move on and create YOUR HOME PAGE