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HTML Basics

The Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the common language used by browsers and servers on the World Wide Web. It specifies the structure of Web pages--levels of headings, links, images, forms, and more. When the Web was created in 1992, people edited HTML documents by hand, as one would with non-WYSIWYG, tag-oriented word processors.

When the Web was created, people first wrote pages by typing HTML tags by hand--just as they would write computer programs. Now, AOLpress lets you create pages without worrying about the HTML tags. You edit Web pages as you would edit documents with a word processor.

Although AOLpress hides HTML details, there are still some basics about HTML you should know.

You'll need to remember that HTML does not give you as much control over page layout as a word processor. The reader also has some control over how your pages look. The reader decides how big to make the browser window, and often the reader can even change the font your pages use.

Here are some things you should remember as you design pages:

Multiple spaces

Normally in HTML, any number of space is shown as one space. This means that if you type two spaces, you will only see one. If you type a tab it will also show up as a space.

AOLpress provides a way for you to type multiple spaces by using special "non-breaking space characters." You can turn on this capability by choosing the Tools Preferences menu item and selecting the "Nonbreaking" option in the Multiple Spaces field. However, some older browsers will show " " instead of spaces if you do this.

Paragraph Formatting

In some word processors, if you want to grab the paragraph formatting when copying a selection so that you can paste it, you grab the entire line at the end of the paragraph. In AOLpress, you need to grab the blank line before the paragraph, instead. (In HTML the information about the paragraph is stored in a tag before the paragraph.)

Bullets in Lists

Bullets are not characters that can be selected. Think of them as part of the line break between paragraphs. The only way to select or delete bullets is to select or delete the line break.

Titles

Every page has a title. This is different from the file name. The title is what will be placed at the top of a window displaying the page. Changing the title will not change the URL, nor will changing the URL change the title.

Images

AOLpress can display gif, jpeg and xbm files as in-line images at the moment. Other formats require an external viewer.

AOLpress corrects tag errors

If AOLpress sees invalid HTML coding, it will correct the tags. AOLpress supports the HTML 3.2 specification. Here are some common HTML flaws:

For more information

See http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/MarkUp/ for the latest information about the HTML language.


Help Table of Contents
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