HTML Explained: Part 2

Get started creating web pages using text files and HTML code! This article is a continuation of HTML Explained: Part 1, which gives a general overview of HTML. Here, we're going to get into the nitty gritty of the code itself. Once you see how simple it really is, you should RUN, not walk to the nearest bookstore and grab your own copy of a handy HTML manual. All right, let's begin.

In viewing the source of web pages, you may have noticed a lot of these things: < >. They're called HTML tags, and they're what the computer uses to interpret the HTML code.

NOTE: in this article I had to add spaces to all of my HTML tags so that I could display them without actually having them work. There are two HTML tricks to actually "shutting off" HTML tags, but neither of them function properly in this submission box.

The HTML tags shown here will display like so: < FAKE TAG > but in reality you're supposed to type them like so:

A friend of mine describes HTML tags as "on/off switches." An easy example which you may be well-familiar with, is the Bold command. To "turn on" Bold, type < B > (but with no spaces). All of the text that comes after the Bold tag, will then be Bolded. To "turn off" the bold characteristic, type < /B >. Any text that comes after the "bold off" tag will unbolded.

It's worth mentioning that in all cases, all text that falls between an "on" or "off" HTML tag will take on the characteristic of that tag descriptor. How much text can you put in between two HTML tags? As much or as little as you want. That means, you can use just a couple of HTML tags to design paragraphs and paragraphs of text.

What are some other HTML tags that web designers frequently use?

< I > and < /I > (for italics) < U > and < /U > (for underline) < BR > (to create a single line break).

In most but not all cases, if you activate an HTML tag by enclosing it in these: < >s, you must also deactivate it at some point, as in < I > and < /I > for italics shown above. An exception to this rule is < P >, or paragraph separator tags, and < BR > or line breaks.

Specifying Multiple Text Characteristics Within a Single HTML Tag

HTML tags work in different ways, depending on the aspect of the design they're controlling. As I mentioned above, you can control all elements of web design via HTML code-page separation, text formatting, image placement, design layout, and hyperlink insertion. For this reason, one HTML tag can include multiple variables. This sounds a lot trickier than it is.

For example, a tag with multiple variables enclosed all in one of these: < >, can be used to format text. An equals (=) sign is used to specify multiple characteristics within a single HTML tag. To tag a section of text for font specs, begin with:

< FONT FACE=

Using no spaces after the equals (=) sign, type your font name in quotes, as so: "arial". You can also specify the size and color here. In the same tag that says to close. Your font tag will now look like this:

< FONT FACE="arial" SIZE="2" > (but with no end spaces).

If you wanted to, you could also include a color for the text within that tag. The color is entered in the same way as the font face and size, and is named within its own set of quotation marks either in a basic name such as "black" or "red", or a 6-digit numerical code that begins with a number sign.

So, an HTML tag that designates a paragraph typed in Arial font at the 2nd smallest size of type, in the color black, would look like this:

< FONT FACE="arial SIZE="2" COLOR="black" >

All of the type that came after this HTML tag would take on the characteristics above. Once you wanted to "shut off" the font characteristics of that blurb of text, you would type the tag < /FONT >.

Using HTML Tags to Add Images to Your Web Page

Now suppose you wanted to add an image to your webpage. And let's assume the image was already located in the folder of your website where images are stored. In order to make the image appear in your NEW web page, you need:

1. the complete web address of your website (such as http://www.wordfeeder.com),

2. the folder (or subdirectory) on your server where images are kept, and

3. the file name of the image (ends in .jpg).

The HTML code used to "pick up" an image from a source is IMG SRC. As always, it belongs inside those handy bracket-things. So your tag would begin:

< IMG SRC=

Without typing any spaces before or after the = (equals) sign, you'd then paste the URL of where the image is located (as explained in examples 1, 2 and 3 above), and follow with the filename and .jpg ending. I'll illustrate this with an example from my own web collection of images:

< IMG SRC="http://www.wordfeeder.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/wordfeederlogox.jpg" >

By typing that HTML tag with the specific web address and folder information/filename within quotation marks, the computer knows the origin of the image, and will then "hyperlink it" into your web page.

If you're ever unsure of the filepath of an image you need, go to the webpage where it's located and then right-click the image. Under "properties", you'll find the complete URL path that must be typed in between the two quotation marks that fall inside your Image Source tag.

Note: you do not need to "shut off" an image tag.

You can also include multiple variables within a single image tag. For example, if you wanted to left-align the above image, you'd edit the above tag to look like this:

< IMG SRC="http://www.wordfeeder.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/wordfeederlogox.jpg" ALIGN=left >

Hyperlink Tags for Email and Website Addresses

Ever wonder how webmasters create live links? A live link might say something like, "Click here for more info!" and then when you click there, you're suddenly transported to a new web page. A live link is simply type covering a website address. Check it out:

< A HREF="http://wordfeeder.com" >Visit Wordfeeder for more info!< /A >

That's HTML code for "hyperlinked text". It looks weird, but think about it this way. The first part in that's enclosed in these: < >, is what turns on the "make the following words into a link that leads to the address I am typing here" function. The end tag, < /A > is what "shuts off" the "hypertext linking" feature and will then let you resume typing in normal, unlinked text.

As you can see, by typing a few simple HTML tags, you can create some pretty amazing things. This article is just the tip of the iceberg. I hope that the explanations and examples shown have at least provided a basic understanding of HTML for you. A great way to learn is by "studying" other people's web page code from the View>Source window. You practice by copying their HTML code into your own fake pages, and filling in the "meat" between their "on" and "off" tags with text and images that suit your own purposes. But be careful. If you paste HTML incorrectly, you can totally wreck and corrupt your document.

For folks who want to get into serious design, I highly recommend that you buy a comprehensive HTML guide. Once you get the hang of HTML, there's no telling what you can create!

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

Dina Giolitto is a New-Jersey based Copywriting Consultant with nine years' industry experience. Her current focus is web content and web marketing for a multitude of products and services although the bulk of her experience lies in retail for big-name companies like Toys"R"Us. Visit http://www.wordfeeder.com for rates and samples.

In The News:

COVID-19 rewrites how to value tech stocks  The Australian Financial Review
The Strange Saga of TikTok  The New York Times
Can Our Phones Stop a Pandemic?  The New York Times
Why is 5G important? | About Verizon  Verizon Communications

7 Reasons NOT to Take Your Laptop on Holiday!

Heading off on vacation soon?Then perhaps you're tempted to take... Read More

Email Management

If you utilize a computer at home or work it... Read More

SmartCar Memory Stick for LapTop Transfer Data

With the new technology used to transfer information to from... Read More

Why Build Your Own Computer System

Have you ever thought about building your own computer system?... Read More

Do Higher Digital Camera Prices Mean Better Cameras?

Understanding digital camera prices makes finding the best camera value... Read More

iPod users get the picture

iPod users start to get the picture and it's turning... Read More

Is Online DVD Rental or Pay-Per-View the Best Way to Get Your Movies?

With renting methods such as online DVD rental and pay-per-view,... Read More

Got Virus?

GOT VIRUS? Your Data is NOT lost forever!In the wake... Read More

Windows PDA Medical Software Benefits

PDA Medical BenefitsIf you are concerned about your medical history,... Read More

5 Steps to Removing PC Clutter

It's hard enough as it is these days to get... Read More

FTP - File Transfer Protocol Explained

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a protocol that is part... Read More

EDTV: What You Should Know Before You Make That Purchase

Enhanced Definition Television ? also known as EDTV ? is... Read More

How to Protect your PC from Spyware in the Cyber Age

Wouldn't you be shocked to find that your personal sensitive... Read More

Some Thoughts on Choosing a Flash MP3 Player

Flash mp3 players come with an exciting array of features,... Read More

How to Use SQLXML to Retrieve Data from SQL Server Database?

Using SQL Server 2000 and above versions you can retrieve... Read More

EDTV vs HDTV

Confused by EDTV vs HDTV? We don't blame you. The... Read More

Be Prepared in the Event Computer Disaster Strikes

ComputersBusinesses and individuals alike have all grown to rely on... Read More

Computer Geeks and Garden Gnomes

First and foremost before I begin my ranting it is... Read More

What?s the Difference Between Plasma TVs and LCD TVs?

Plasma and LCD TVs are the latest trend in home... Read More

Linux Power Tools - Great Tools to Make System Administration Easy

World War II - Germany decided to attack Poland. Poland... Read More

Help, I Need a New HDTV! (Part 4 of 5)

Feeling overwhelmed in selecting a new TV? With all the... Read More

Help, I Need a New HDTV! (Part 2 of 5)

Feeling overwhelmed in selecting a new TV? With all the... Read More

The Help Desk

When you think of a help desk, what do you... Read More

PC Tools Youd Never Think You Need

Do you use Windows standard uninstall feature? How do you... Read More

Digital Cameras Ratings Abolish Camera Comparison Guesswork

Digital cameras ratings are great tools for deciding which camera... Read More