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To make a page or e-mail which uses HTML you must start it with the symbol <HTML> and end it with </HTML>, (Tripod does this much for you automatically even in custom page mode).

Basically, HTML is a language your computer's or webtv's program (your browser) uses to change the way a page looks on your screen. You will not see the orders, called tags, on the screen, just the results. HTML is a layout language, it isn't a programming language.

There are a few basics you may or may not know. The < symbol begins an html order, called a tag.

The > symbol ends a tag.

Between the < and > are the instructions for your browser, called a tag. A simple tag is <P>. <P> instructs your browser to skip a line.

Some tags stay working until they are turned off. To turn a tag off, the / symbol is used. For example, <B> turns boldface text on. </B> turns it off. All the text between <B> and </B> will be in bold face.

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It's central function is linking the net together. I think that's why the tag for linking is A. There are several variations of the A tag. The most useful is <A href="URL"> description </A>.

This may look complicated, but here is how it works:
"<" signals the beginning of a HTML statement.
"A" begins a link.
"href=" further defines the instruction, (it's called an attribute), this attribute tells your browser that what follows is the address to go to. Whenever an = sign is used in html it is best to use quotes to contain what follows (called the value).
"URL" is the address of where you want to go. There are several variations. Addresses that begin with http:// go to web pages. Addresses which begin with mailto: go to the mail system of the person viewing the page, (in which case the rest of the value is an e-mail address). Addresses which begin with news: go to newsgroups.
">" closes the tag
The "description" can be any text or image. It is what will appear on the page (to click on).
"</A>" Starts HTML, tells your browser to stop the clickable area, and come back from HTML.

Another irresistable tag is <img src="URL" align="left or right"> It puts a picture on a website. I like to add the align attribute because it adds a nice polished touch to the page, much like in a professionally laid out magazine; use the word left or the word right as the value. Another popular attribute is width="number" try using 100 as the number. It's a nice discreet size; simply add the attribute before the > symbol. The img statement doesn't need to be ended.

A webpage would be kind of boring without colors. To add a splash of color use the <BODY text="#xxxxxx" link="#xxxxxx" bgcolor="#xxxxxx"> tag. Other attributes are: vlink="#xxxxxx" background="URL" and alink"#xxxxxx". The value "#xxxxxx" is called an RGB value. Click Here for an explanation and chart. You can use names of colors, but there is no guarantee they will appear the same, (if at all), on other browsers; do not use the # symbol when using color names. The body tag should be ended </BODY>

Another way to add color is with the <FONT color="#xxxxxx"> tag. Another attribute of font statements size="1-9"; 1 is the smallest, 9 is big. The font statement should be ended </FONT>

The last way to change colors is with the <TABLE bgcolor="#xxxxxx"><TR><TD> tags. All these tags have to be ended: </TD></TR></TABLE>. Tables are really intended to make charts, which is why you have to use so many tags. Be careful when adding color with tables, be sure your page will look okay on a browser which can't handle tables. Another nice attribute to use is border="1-9", numbers higher than 9 look odd.

The proper use of the table tags:
All tables must begin with a TABLE tag which has to be ended when you want to get on with the rest of your page. Each row (side to side) starts with TR(table row) and ends with /TR. Each column in the row starts with TD(table data) and ends with /TD. The browser will automatically line up the columns (up and down) into straight sections. A few attributes you can add to TR and TD tags are align="center or top" or bgcolor="#xxxxxx". To make boldface headers for your columns use the <TH> tag, end with </TH>, a useful attribute is colspan="the number of columns you want the heading to cover". The easiest way to explain tables is to show one so:

Poor again
check # + or - client date cleared
1 +$1.00 IRS 3/30/1998
2 -$2.00 groceries 3/31/1998
click here
When I write HTML I use capitals for tags which I will have to end. HTML itself is not case sensitive, (URL's are), but I have found it easier to find typo's and other mistakes using this organization. Be VERY careful to close all quote marks you open in HTML statements. I write the P tag in capitals but it ending it is optional, (something to do with logic).