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HTML Made Simple
Author: Mike Ware
Website: [warebiz] :: "The Programmer's Domain" -
Copyright © 2002 Michael Shawn Ware, All Rights Reserved.

    --> [Getting Started with HTML - First Things First]
    --> Ground Zero - Where Do I Begin?
    --> HTML Tags - It's All About Tags
    --> Character Formatting - How to Spice Up Text
    --> HTML Lists - Looking Sharp and Organized
    --> Hyperlinks - Getting Out and Around
    --> HTML Tables - Far From Picnic Tables
    --> Displaying Images - Adding Life to Your Pages
    --> HTML Forms - Forming What?
    --> Image Mapping and Editing - Importance of Being Unique
    --> Frames - Structuring Static Document Layout


Getting Started with HTML - First Things First

So you want to learn HTML? Let me guess. You have been surfing the net for a couple of months now, and you can't stop thinking about how these genius webmasters design web sites and keep them updated on the net. Well, in all actuality, designing a website is not a five-year project. With a little creativity and desire, you could have a personal site running on your computer within ten minutes of reading the first couple articles in this tutorial. Don't get me wrong. With new programming languages constantly arising, the sites you see on the net by major companies require knowledge of a much more complex programming language or combination of languages. However, you don't need knowledge of complex web programming languages to tailor a website to meet your needs. HTML provides the basic capabilities for designing a simple, professional website.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is a web programming language designed to create web documents or web pages. Based upon SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language), HTML's basic concept involves the use of "tags". These "tags", "mark up" or alert the browser that the document contains hypertext so it can be interpreted and rendered as a web page document. All HTML documents consist of a mix and match of HTML "tags" and regular text. Tags only aid in describing the document content or text, and thus leave the actual appearance and layout decisions for a web browser to handle when the web page is rendered or opened.

HTML documents are plain-text files that can be created using any basic or high-level text editor, such as Notepad, TextPad, Microsoft Word, or any other HTML authoring program. When you create an HTML document, you must save it with a .html or .htm extension. By default, most text editors save documents with a .txt extension, which is not capable of being displayed by a web browser. The .html or .htm extension allows the document to be rendered and displayed by a browser.

Unfortunately for web designers, web documents are browser dependent; different browsers display content differently. A document may look crisp and clean in Internet Explorer, but it may have a slightly different look in Netscape, or vice versa. Web page designers should make every attempt to create portable HTML documents that can be opened by many different web browsers while showing little or no visual differences. Reliable HTML web pages are created by following all syntax rules and understanding which tags are supported by all web browsers. For more information on creating error-free HTML code and performing validation checks, visit The World Wide Consortium (W3C), which provides free HTML resources.

What does a person need to create a web page? A text editor, and a web browser. It's that simple. In most cases, a web page or web site, which is a collection of related web pages, should initially be designed locally on a computer, and then once completed, the web documents and files may be uploaded for publishing on the World Wide Web. This makes web site or web page creation extremely easier than trying to edit existing documents on the WWW. Before reading further and learning actual HTML code, you should become familiar with the following terms:

HTML - short for HyperText Markup Language; basic programming language of the World Wide Web based upon SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language)

web browser - application capable of interpreting and rendering HTML code and other web programming languages

URL - [Uniform Resource Locator] - the address to any web site or web page document that is uploaded on the World Wide Web (WWW)

hyperlink, link - text, image, or object in a web page document that "links" or "points" to another document on the World Wide Web

element - a fundamental component of structure in a web document; web pages are ultimately divided into many individual elements

tag - used to denote various elements in a document; it signals a command or instruction for a web browser and specifically describes the type of content to be rendered

attribute - additional information included inside the start tag of an element; issues a command to a web browser telling what kind of operation is required

web document - actual web page text file with an extension of .html or .htm that is capable of being displayed by a browser

You now have a brief background of HTML and are ready to dig deep into the core of the language. The next section will show you how to create your first web page document. Read on for more about where to begin...

Move on to next topic: Ground Zero - Where Do I Begin?

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