HTML Basics:

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101
españolIcon: Change web
Did you want IE9+, Chrome, Firefox; Notepad? Icon: Change web

Now that you have tried a bit of hand coding, you should be better able to appreciate the joys of a WYSIWYG editor for HTML.

With most WYSIWYG editors you can:

  • Use the toolbar to apply HTML tags to selected text.
  • See the results of your changes as you work in a WYSIWYG view.
  • Switch to HTML view to hand edit code when necessary.
  • Insert images from toolbar or drag-and-drop.

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Web

Before you start...

Project 1: Browser BasicsTo subtopics

Project 2: HTML Basics
    HTML CodeTo subtopics
    About HTML
    What You Need
    Code by HandTo subtopics
    FrontPage/FPXTo subtopics
    Images in HTMLTo subtopics
    FormattingTo subtopics
    TablesTo subtopics
    ConvertTo subtopics
    ExercisesTo subtopics


Do It!

A Really Simple HTML Editor*

The text area below is actually a basic WYSIWYG editor for HTML. Formatting buttons appear when you click inside the text area. You apply HTML tags by first selecting text and then clicking one of the buttons. In the source code view, the code is in a continuous line that wraps, instead of being on separate lines for easy reading. Sometimes the formatting is NOT applied with styles but with the old FONT tags. Smiley face - sad

WarningSelect first: Be sure to select text before clicking a button to apply a tag! If the display goes crazy, refresh the browser window and start over.

  1. Click in the text area below. Buttons appear across the top and one at the bottom left.

    Icon: Chrome Icon: Firefox Chrome & Firefox: Use the bottom left button to switch between WYSIWYG Mode (where you can see the effect of your tags) and the source code. The label on the button changes to the mode your are not in.
    Icon: IE IE9 is not happy with this HTML editor though it apparently worked in earlier versions of IE. It is will do the formatting but refuses to show the source code. No clue as to why! If you don't have an earlier version of IE, use Chrome or Firefox to do this exercise.

    *The WYSIWYG editor above is TinyEditor Icon: Off Site, by Michael Leigeber, used under creative commons license.

  2. Type several lines of text. Include your name in the first line.

  3. Use the ENTER key on your keyboard to start a new paragraph.
    Use SHIFT + ENTER to create a line break.
  4. Play with the various buttons until you understand what each of them does.

  5. Apply at least two heading styles and two formatting choices to text that you select.

  6. Look at your lines in both WYSIWYG and Source modes.

  7. View the source and add color to some text by typing in a STYLE attribute,
     like  <span style="color:red;"> text to be red  </span>
    or <span style="color:#00cc00;"> text to be green </span>

    Of course, you can pick your own text and colors.

  8. Switch back to WYSIWYG mode.

  9. Icon: Print In WYSIWYG mode, print using the Print button in the editor from WYSIWYG mode - NOT the browser's print command.
     (Use a color printer if you can.) Be sure your name is in the first line.

  10. Switch to show the source code in the editor.

  11. Icon: Print Print again using the Print button in the editor, not the browser.

* Scripting for the HTML editor in this page was created by, LLC. Copyright 1997-1999 All rights reserved. This code cannot be reused on commercial sites without explicit permission from, LLC.


What advantages did the simple WYSIWYG editor above have over writing your own source code in Notepad? Click the button to see what I think! Did you come up with the same advantages?

  • WYSIWYG view immediately shows the effect of the tags.
  • It is easy to switch between WYSIWYG and text views.
  • You do not have to remember the tag codes!