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The Manager's guide to HTML

The Manager's guide to HTML

HyperText Markup Language is simply a text page with 'tags' included to
help the browser know how to display the contents. Tags are text enclosed
by less than and greater than brackets. Some sample tags are:

<HTML>
<BODY>
<br>
<p>
<H1>
<TITLE>
</TITLE>

Many tags come in opening and closing pairs with the closing tag
differning from the opening tag by a / leading the inclosed text. So,
some examples of proper tag pairs look like:

<HTML></HTML>
<BODY></BODY>
<H1></H1>
<TITLE></TITLE>

Tags rarely are placed back to back like this and typically have text or other tags
between them. The <HTML> tags signals the start and stop of a HTML page and
all the contents and tags of the page are between the opening and closing
HTML tags.

We can now use the information learned so far to create a simple web page.
The simplest web page that I would suggest looks like:

<HTML>
<BODY>

Some text.

<BODY>
<HTML>

The resulting page would look like:

Basic Page

HINT: Click on the 'Back' button on your browser to return here after you look at the page.

Now, I don't recommend a page this simple because it is missing three elements I consider key even to a minimal web page.

1) A title tag. When you include a title tag <TITLE>, the title you
enter shows up on the top of the browser window. Notice how 'The
Manager's guide to HTML' shows up on the top border of this page (NOTE:
Internet Explorer shows the entire path, Netscape shows only the title).
Return to the 'Basic Page' and see what is displayed up there. The actual text
depends on the browser you are using but wouldn't it be better to have your page
title there? Besides, this helps the user keep track of things when they have
many widows open on the screen simultaneously. And, when they minimize the
pages the title shows on the icon. This is more good page design and a consideration
to your user's than anything else. The syntax for a title looks like this:

<TITLE>Some title</TITLE>

And it goes on the line between <HTML> and <BODY>.

2) A heading. Again, more of a usability issue, but who wants to see a
page that just starts off with text? Simply putting a heading on a page
makes it look MUCH better. The syntax for a heading looks like this:

<H1>Some Heading</H1>

And it goes on the line below the <BODY> tag but above the first line of text.

3) A return navigation tool. Also, more of a usability issue, but why make your audience
have to search the browser for a 'Back' button just to go back where they came from?
The syntax for a return navigation link looks like this:

Return to <A HREF=index.html>The Manager's guide to HTML</A>

And it typically goes on the line between the last line text and the </BODY> tag.

So, what I consider to be a good minimal HTML page looks like:

<HTML>
<TITLE>Some title</TITLE>
<BODY>

<H1>Some Heading</H1>

Some text. <p>

Return to <A HREF=index.html>The Manager's guide to HTML</A> <p>

</BODY>
</HTML>

And it looks like:

Good Basic Page

Now, go off and start playing with web pages and I'll see you next time!!

Oops, I haven't shown you where to put your web pages or how to make them
show up on your screen. Guess you'll just have to wait 'til next time.

Next time


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