What is HTML?

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, and is one of the standard languages of the internet. HTML cannot perform the many tasks that real programming languages perform, it is, as the name suggests, simply a markup language. That is, that it can take text and images and arrange them and format them into the way that you want them to look. It is becomming more and more powerful as it is developed further and further, though.

How does it work?

All HTML commands appear between angle brackets, < and >:


like so, where *HTML* is whatever command you are using at that point. A web browser will begin reading an HTML document at the beginning, and work through it, like we would reading a page of a book. When it encounters a tag, it will apply the effects of that tag to everything that comes after it, until it encounters a tag that ends the command. For example, if you are centering text, then you will turn on the center tag:


And all this text will be centered, until it encounters the end centre tag, usually denoted by the starting tag with a "/" before it, thus:


It must also be noted that although HTML was developed in Cern, it was decided that American spellings of some words should be used to standardise it, this menas that the spelling of some of the tags is in American spelling, such as <center>, shown above, and <color>, when declaring colours.

This Tutorial

In this tutorial, I am going to work through the basic ideas of HTML, and teach some of the most widely used, and useful tags. Every example that we come across will more than likely work differently on different browsers, so it's worth while trying out the examples, and seeing what happens, as the results you get may differ from mine.

Finally, when building a website, it is best to do it on your machine, rather than directly onto the web. The way to do this for most browsers is to type:


into the location bar at the top of your browser window, followed by the full directory and file name of the file that you wish to look at. Then simply edit the file with some sort of text editing application, and read it with your web browser. Then, when you've updated your file, you'll simply need to press "reload", and the browser will reload the file. If you've made some changes in the file, but "reload" doesn't cause the page to look any different, then you will need to empty your disk cache, before continuing, or find out how to tell your browser to load directly from the source, as opposed to from it's cache.

Now proceed to the first exercise...

[Index] [Introduction to HTML] [Building an HTML Document Template] [Basic Text Formatting] [Image Includes] [Anchor Tags] [Tables] [Advanced Text Formatting, plus Other Tags] [Lists] [Client-Side Image Maps] [Very Basic JavaScript] [Frames] [Forms] [Conclusion] [Reference List] [Glossary of Terms]

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