When you click to a page on the Internet, such as this one, you see a document which may look like those made using a word processor or a desk top publishing program. However, documents on the web might have been created using a simple text editor.
Unlike word processors and desk top publishing, the web page author writes instructions called tags which tell the browser how to read the document. Really this is much the same as using a word processor. The other difference is that all the files are saved with an HTML or HTM file extension. For example, MyHomePage.htm .
It may not be essential to learn HTML when clever editors can write it for you. Even standard word processor software can write HTML. However, just as calculators can do arithmetic, if we didn't understand arithmetic we'd sometimes end up with and accept some silly answers. Similarly, WYSYWIG ( W hat y ou s ee i s w hat y ou g et - sometimes!) HTML editors will write the code for you, but they sometimes mess you about, and change code, and wind you up creating effects that you never intended! I often use FrontPage, but although it is one of the best, it never seems to do just what I want for some applications. It would be silly not to use the tools which make our job easier, but we should not be a slave to them. We can only master the tools for HTML by learning a bit about it! I think that understanding HTML is essential, but that is just my opinion.
Tags are always placed between the less than, <, and greater than, >, symbols; < A Tag > . The first tag on the page is the HTML tag which tells the browser that the document is HTML;
< html >
The last tag on the page is the end HTML tag, which tells the browser that the HTML bit has finished;
</ html >
Did you notice the ' / ' bit which tells the browser that this is the end tag, not the start?
Most pages will start with these tags;
< html >
< head >
< title >My Home Page< /title >
< /head >
< body >
You write things here...
< /body >
< /html >
Did you notice more of the '/' bits to tell the browser you had finished certain parts, such as the title and the head? And by the way, the text in the title tags is shown at the top of the browser, and not as a title in your page. We will deal with all of these tags later, but at the moment just accept that they are needed.
If you copy the code to an editor and save the file with an html or htm extension, and if you change it a bit, then you will learn this stuff much better and quicker!
The only thing you see on the page is the 'You write things here ... ' However, at the top of the browser you see what you have written in the title tags - 'My Home Page -'
Using the above you could go on and create a document for the web. Just copy it and write your stuff. But it wouldn't be very interesting because the all the text would be the same size! Let's look at headings !
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