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Creating pages

Creating text

One of the basic elements of Web pages is text. Good old words ... for providing information, selling products, or whatever you want to do. In AOLpress, you just type text into a page. It's just as easy as using a word processor. (You can also bring text into your page from other files by choosing FileImport or by copying and pasting with EditCopy and EditPaste.)

If you haven't already done it, you might want to make this window wider so you'll have plenty of room to read the instructions and edit the page. Feel free to play with the examples; you don't need to follow the instructions exactly. (You can use EditUndo to remove your latest changes, or you can click the toolbar button to reload the saved version of the page.)

Then, just click on the format you want to learn about in the picture below.

[ Headings | Paragraph Styles | Line Breaks | Alignment | Type Styles | Sizes | Colors | Spelling ]


To create larger text and to show the structure of your page, you can create headings. For example, the word "Headings" above is a third level heading (also called a "Heading 3"). You can skip heading levels and you don't have to use the heading levels in order.

  1. Put your text cursor in the middle of the text that says "Heading 1".
  2. Choose FormatHeadingHdg 1. The text will be formatted as a really big heading.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to change the rest of the lines to the other heading levels.
  4. Put your cursor in one of the lines, and choose FormatRemove Heading Format. This is how you change a heading back to normal text.
   Try it here:
Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5

Heading 6

Notice the words in the title bar at the top of this page that say "Creating Text". The same words are also shown in the Title field near the top of the AOLpress window. You can change the title of a page by editing the words in the Title field.

Try changing the title of this page to see how it works.

Paragraph Styles

When you press the Enter key in AOLpress, you start a new paragraph. It's just like using a word processor. There are several ways you can format whole paragraphs. Let's play with them.

Note: Different Web browsers format paragraph and type styles in different ways. That's because HTML (the language used to create Web pages) was originally created to define the purpose of chunks of text -- not to define how that text should be formatted.

Things have changed somewhat -- you now have a lot of formatting choices, but you still can't count on all browsers doing the same thing with many styles. AOLpress is designed to display pages almost the same way they will look in Netscape. (You can also make it follow the HTML 3.2 standard by changing the setting in the ToolsPreferencesGeneral window.)

  1. Put your cursor in the proverb to the right and choose FormatParagraphBlockQuote. Notice that the text gets indented from both margins.
  2. Put your cursor at the end of the paragraph you just formatted and choose FormatExit Paragraph Format. Your cursor will move to the next line and you can type a normal paragraph. This is a quick way to move back to the normal paragraph format. Otherwise, pressing Enter creates a new paragraph with the same format.
  3. Now, use your mouse to highlight the four lines about dog sizes.
  4. Choose FormatParagraphPreformatted. Notice that the letters change to a font in which the width of each letter and number is the same.
  5. Add spaces to line up the weights and heights into columns.
  6. Move your cursor back to the first paragraph (the one you made into a "blockquote") and choose FormatRemove Paragraph Format. This is how you change formatted paragraphs back into normal paragraphs.
   Try it here:
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

-- Chinese proverb

Breed Weight Height

St. Bernard 155 lbs 26 in.

Malamute 80 lbs. 24 in.

Chihuahua 6 lbs 6 in.

You can also use the "Address" format by putting your cursor in a paragraph and choosing FormatParagraphAddress. The text will become indented and italic.

Line Breaks

When you press Enter, a new paragraph starts on the next line and there is space between the two paragraphs. Like the space right after this line...

If you don't want space between paragraphs, you can simply press Shift and Enter together to start a new line with no space. (You can also choose ElementForced Line Break to do the same thing.)

  1. Press the Shift and Enter keys together to format the poem to the right without adding spaces between the lines (after the words "sigh", "hence", "I --", and "by").
  2. Notice that you can add more than one space at the beginning of a line. The spaces won't be the same size on all browsers, but you can use them to indent lines.
  3. (If you can't add multiple spaces, choose ToolsPreferencesGeneral and change the "multiple spaces" setting to "Nonbreaking". When you type more than one space in a row, you actually create special characters called "nonbreaking spaces".)
   Try it here:
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

-- from The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost


Another way to play with paragraph formatting is to align text to the right margin or to center it, like this...

  1. Put your cursor in each of the paragraphs to the right and choose the appropriate alignment format from the FormatParagraph menu.
    For example, to align the "Center" paragraph to the center, choose FormatParagraph Align Center.
  2. If you want to change the alignment later, just select another alignment style. You can choose FormatParagraph Align Default to return to the normal alignment.
   Try it here:
Left: This text is already aligned to the left. You don't need to align it, but you can if you want.



AOLpress also lets you align both the left and right margins of text (Align Flush), like a newspaper column. For example, this paragraph is aligned flush, but most other Web browsers can't display this alignment style.

Type Styles

In addition to formatting entire paragraphs, you can easily format any text you select within a paragraph. Here are some examples:

bold italic underline fixed-pitch deleted new subscript superscript citation code definition emphasis keyboard sample strong variable

All the type styles are listed in the FormatType Style menu.

  1. Use your mouse to highlight one or more words in the text to the right.
  2. Select one of the type styles from the FormatType Style menu to format the text you selected.
  3. You can add more type styles to the same selection. For example, text can be bold, italic, and a superscript at the same time, like this.
  4. You can also select a type style as you are typing and continue to type using that style.
  5. If you want to reset text to look like normal text, just choose FormatType StylePlain.
  6. Play with the various type styles.
   Try it here:
Restraint is good when using type styles. Don't use too many, or your text will look like a mishmash. Avoid the "ransom note" effect.
When you design your pages, remember that different Web browsers can display type styles in different ways. The choices in the top section of the Type Style list are more likely than the rest to be formatted the same on most browsers. (However, many browsers do not support the "Underline" format.)

Type Sizes

You can change the size of your text too. For example, the first letter of this paragraph is two sizes larger than the rest of the paragraph. Or you can use sizes for effects like this: "Bigger smaller".

You don't set font size numbers as you would in a word processor, because different Web browsers use different sizes for normal text. Instead, you make text larger or smaller than the rest of the text .

Try making the numbers in this example different sizes.
  1. Highlight the 1 to the right with your mouse and choose FormatType SizeSmaller.
  2. Highlight 3-6 and choose FormatType SizeBigger.
  3. Highlight 4-6 and choose FormatType SizeBigger again.
  4. Highlight 5-6 and choose FormatType SizeBigger again.
  5. Highlight 6 and choose FormatType SizeBigger again. Now you see all the sizes AOLpress uses for normal text.
  6. If you try to make the 1 smaller or the 6 bigger, you won't see any change. However, AOLpress adds HTML tags so that the text will be even smaller or bigger if you look at it with a browser that supports more font sizes. (You can see that text can be two sizes smaller if you make the text into a heading.)
   Try it here:
1 2 3 4 5 6
You can also change the size of larger text like the heading after this paragraph, but some browsers will not show type size changes to headings.

Type Colors

Another fun (and fairly new) way to format text in your Web pages is by changing the color of text.

Try picking colors for the text in this example.
  1. Highlight the color names to the right and give them a color from the FormatType Color menu. (These are the standard 16 colors on a 16-color display.)
  2. Highlight the word "favorite" and choose FormatType ColorCustom. Then, choose a color you like using the color picker.
   Try it here:
Red, fuchsia, yellow, lime, green, olive, aqua, teal, blue, navy, purple, maroon, black, gray, silver, and white.

My favorite

Since colors can be harder to see than regular text (depending on the color of your page's background), you might also want to make colored text bold or larger.

Spell Checking

AOLpress gives you lots of ways to edit text. For example, you can use these standard editing techniques:

  • Cut and paste (EditCopy and EditPaste)
  • Drag and drop
  • Find and replace (EditFind/Replace)

You can check the spelling of the text in a page with ToolsSpell Check.

  1. Find the misspellings in the text to the right by choosing ToolsSpell Check.
  2. Pick the right spelling to replace"wrogn" and click the Replace button.
  3. When there are no more spelling errors to correct, click the Done button.
   Try it here:
Is this right or wrogn?
Now you know how to format your text. For more information, see the chapter on text and lists in the AOLpress User's Guide.

The next lesson shows you how to use lists. Don't forget to choose FileSave to save the changes you made in this page.

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