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Jan's Working with the Web

   HTML & CSS Basics

Project Objectives

  • Know what HTML is
  • Know what CSS is
  • Know the advantages/disadvantages of a text editor and a WYSIWYG editor
  • Know basic HTML tags: body, heading, paragraph, numbered list, list with bullets, definitions and terms list, link, image, table, table heading, table row, table cell, horizontal line, break, comments
  • Write a simple HTML document
  • Format a simple HTML document with a variety of CSS properties
  • Edit an existing HTML document
  • Create text and image links
  • Insert and format images
  • Use Paint to edit an image background
  • Format text and page as a whole
  • Create a table
  • Use a table for positioning
  • Use DIV for positioning
  • Save and print a page and the HTML code for the page
  • Convert an existing document to HTML

Now that you have some experience with the World Wide Web from Browser Basics, it is time to dig a little deeper into how all those beautiful web pages are created. You'll even learn how to create web pages of your own.

Web pages are written in HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and are stored on a web server for people to view over the Internet. These kinds of pages can also be viewed directly from a CD or a hard disk. In fact, many new programs come with interactive tutorials that are written with HTML. For convenience, documents that are written in HTML are all called web pages even when they will never be on the Internet at all.

The name HTML is somewhat misleading. HTML is not a programming "language". It is just a way to mark the logical divisions in a document and to give the browser suggestions for how to display it.

Purpose of HTML

HTML was created to make two things easier.

  1. Sharing documents:
    If you have ever wanted to share a computer file with someone, you have run into the question "Do they have a program that can read my file?" HTML was created to help with this problem for Internet documents. Any browser can read a basic HTML document. This is different from word processors. A document written in one word processor cannot always be opened by a different one. Even when it can be opened, the document may not look the same.
  2. Linking to other documents:
    Originally Internet documents were mostly scientific and academic papers. Such papers often refer to related research papers that the reader might find helpful. To actually find and view these related materials on your own could be quite difficult. A hyperlink to the document makes it easy by including the Internet address for the related document in the HTML code for the page. All the reader has to do is click on the hyperlink to download and view the related materials.

Apologies Up Front

The underlying code for the lesson pages on this site is not entirely consistent! I started writing in the 90's. Things have changed. New standards, new 'best practices'. I have tried to keep the lesson text and images updated but the HTML code I used then is not always what I would do now nor is it what HTML editors would do for me automatically these days. But, going back to update is very time-consuming and it is easy to miss spots. So... my apologies to the teachers and students who read the lessons and then look at how those lesson pages are coded! Please, do as I say, not as I did!!