Sunday, 2 November 2008

What is HTML???

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a type of computer language that is primarily used for files that are posted on the internet and viewed by web browsers. HTML files can also be sent via email.

Although it may seem complex to the uninitiated, HTML is relatively simple. All text, graphics and design elements of a web page are "tagged" with codes that instruct the web browser how to display the files. Such files are easy to recognize because they contain the file extension of 'html' or 'htm'.

In addition to the page content itself, HTML files provide layout and formatting information. HTML is not case sensitive and can be easily updated after the file is created. For the novice web designer, there are many different software utilities and programs available to assist in generating HTML pages.

To format a simple text file into HTML, the user creates tags that start and finish with angle brackets. To end the formatting or change to another format, the HTML developer types the first angle bracket, a backslash, then repeats the command and closes the bracket. For example,

What is HTML?

is the code used to create the heading at the top of this article.

There are different codes for all sorts of other formatting including italics, tables, paragraphs etc. The "A" tag is used to designate words that are to be displayed as hyperlinks to other pages.

If you would like to view a sample of HTML, a good place to start might be the code that was used to generate this very page. Simply click on the "view" menu on your browser and then select "source". It may look complicated, but if you learned the limited number of tags, you would discover that it is a relatively straightforward language.


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